Six Scientifically Proven Creativity Boosters

Effective even if you don't have a creative bone in your body.

28/07/2016 4:00 AM AEST | Updated 30/07/2016 11:38 AM AEST
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There are several scientifically proven ways you can improve your creativity. And they are all simple.

No matter what industry you spend your working life in, most of us would love to be considered a creative genius at some stage of our career, whether it's illustrious or banal. There seems to be an urban myth that a creative genius is born and not made. Some scientific research even backs this up.

Researchers at the Department of Neurology and Neuroscience at Cornell University discovered that the brains of creative people have a certain characteristic that may boost creativity.

But there's another school of thought that some creativity can be taught. Doctor Amantha Imber is a psychologist and the founder of Inventium.

She told The Huffington Post Australia there are six fabulous creativity boosters that have been proven to actually work.

"Scientific research has shown that only 30 per cent of creativity is genetically predetermined. The remaining 70 per cent is up to you," said Dr Imber.

Dr Amantha Imber

1. Clench your left hand

"When we clench our left hand into a fist it activates a region called the extention memory system. So when this is activated it promotes more unique thinking. In studies, the people who were not squeezing or were using their right hand and not their left hand, didn't have as many creative thoughts. So if you clench your left hand you will have more creative thoughts just through that simple action," Dr Imber said.

2. Look for the odd one out

"Try staring at an image for a couple of minutes, so long as that image represents the concept of 'being different'. One study compared the ideas generated by people looking at a poster depicting an 'odd one out' image versus people seeing an image representing conformity. The 'odd one out' viewers came up with significantly more ideas. In addition, their ideas were judged as being 25 per cent more creative."

3. Turn up the volume

Researchers from the University of British Columbia found that 70 decibels (the sound level of a busy café or city street) is the optimal noise level for creativity. "It leads to a greater amount of distraction compared to lower noise levels, and some distraction is important for creativity," Dr Imber said.

Turn up the volume to help your creativity.

4. Raise your eyebrows

"When it comes to creativity, if we can broaden our exposure to a wide range of things, it improves creativity. An experiment was held where one group of people were told to raise their eyebrows before a problem solving task. The others were told to do the opposite; instead of widening their eyes, to narrow their visual field. It was found that those that raised their eyebrows produced more creative ideal."

5. Get Sweaty

"Try to do about 30 minutes of aerobic exercise because it's been found to increase our ability to think creatively. And, our increased creative ability lasts for up to two hours post exercise."

6. Make decisions in the morning

"If you've got a decision to make, wait until the morning. Research calls this area 'decision fatigue'. What we know about how the brain works is that if you think of your brain as a battery, in the morning when you wake up, it's fully charged. So we have a lot of mental energy to make good decisions. But, during the day, we eat away at our energy and it eventually runs on empty. So this means the more decisions you make during the day, the worse the quality becomes," Dr Imber said.

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