It seems like everyone’s getting on the fitness bandwagon these days, but whole-body fitness isn’t just about your body; it’s also about your mind. In fact, activities that promote brain fitness can be a huge boon for creativity. So, if you’re feeling like your creative juices are running dry, it might be time to start practicing some fun fitness fixes for your mind.
Video games get a bad rap for being irresistible to adolescents who should be spending more time outside, but video games aren’t all bad. It turns out that video games have some creativity-enhancing benefits hidden behind their façade of mindless entertainment. According to researchers at Penn State University who conducted a study on the creative benefits of video games, defocused attention is the key to creativity, and video games help to promote precisely that.
Card games aren’t just for kids and poker enthusiasts. In fact, an enjoyable game of cards can help you beat stress – and it stimulates nerve growth in areas of the brain that are largely responsible for things like emotion and executive functioning. Whether you opt for a game like poker which can help boost your strategic prowess or something like Bridge, which has been shown to help boost short-term memory, most card games carry benefits far beyond merely passing the time.
If you view journaling as a hobby only enjoyable for would-be writers, you’re thinking about it all wrong. Putting pen to paper is a powerful way to unleash your inner creativity, problem-solve, relieve stress, and more. Developing a habit of writing every day – and that doesn’t necessarily mean writing a lot each day – can be helpful in overcoming challenges, navigating emotions, and enhancing your creativity. It doesn’t have to be good, either. The key is simply to produce something, no matter how much or how little or how good or bad.
Move in a Different Way
Physical movement can unleash the creative juices, particularly when you move in a way that you’re not used to. If you’re not a regular yoga practitioner, yoga is sure to get you moving in strange ways that your body is unfamiliar with. If you do yoga on the regular, try something different – perhaps salsa dancing, golfing, or even standing on your head.
Visualization requires the use of your imagination, but it doesn’t necessarily mean trying to visualize the specific solution to whatever creative challenge you’re facing. While there’s certainly something to be said for visualizing successful outcomes, you can also flex your creative muscles by visualizing rich landscapes, unusual objects, and a variety of other visuals that have nothing at all to do with the issues at hand. Whatever visualization method you choose, take the time to explore all your senses: touch, taste, smell, sight, and sound.
These five examples are just a few tactics for enhancing your mental fitness and encouraging creativity. They’re probably not what you’d necessarily think of as creativity-enhancing activities, but that’s the point: sometimes, your mind needs a break from the constant hustle and bustle towards measurable outcomes. Taking a little time to redirect your attention and let your mind flow freely can often be just what you need for greater creativity.
About the author. Larry Mager is passionate about the study of how to reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s Disease. He believes in regular exercise of the brain as a means to do just that. Give yours a workout with some fun, brain-stimulating games at ReadyBrain.net. Image via Pixabay by Pexels