We need mental space to be creative
AS a child I was bored often. This boredom lead me to go and design a Lego vehicle or paint a picture, or go and create “The Teddy Times” newspaper for my local friends. In short, having time on my hands lead me to fill it with wonderful creative things.
Now, we spend time on our phones. A recent TED talk highlighted that without that downtime, we are becoming less creative.
This lack of creativity could be a problem in the future – where are our entrepreneurs?
This addiction to our mobile phones has shown up time and again with kids, I see approaching their exams. One young guy, in particular, was responding to every bing, bong, chirrup his laptop or phone made making it difficult in concentrating on his revision.
Manoush Zomorodi spoke to a number of neuroscientists who said that every time we switch attention our brains use energy. It often fools us to keep watching stuff late into the night. It upsets the quality of sleep. In short, it’s exhausting our brains, making us dumber.
How we enhanced creative processes in the past
Over the years I have looked into the ways engineers and artists have come up with ways of setting off that creativity. Consequently, it’s when our brains have nothing to do that they kick off into daydream mode and then the magic begins.
Salvadore Dali would have his favourite chair where he would relax and let himself go almost to sleep to allow his mind to wander and create. By holding a set of keys over a metal plate, he made sure he didn’t fall asleep. As soon as he nodded off, those keys would wake him, he’d make a note of what he had seen and start all over again.
Often I hear how people lack time to just sit and stare, but I have always come up with my best ideas lying in the bath. Edison, I read used to go off fishing on rainy days. The sound of the rain hitting the umbrella is similar to white noise or the sound of the sea and allows the brain to go into this focused state of attention. It moves from producing Beta waves to Alpha, and it’s in Alpha we are creative.
In meditation too we go from Alpha to Theta between 3 – 8 Hz. We lose the sense of our bodies and can easily fall asleep. However, it is the passage between wakefulness and sleep. During this time we can dream, we often see vivid imagery and it’s where we can create ideas.
And believe it or not, hypnosis does the same. Using self-hypnosis will allow you to get into that state and help you solve problems. It can delve deep into your subconscious mind to bring back ideas and understandings. It can sort through memories and give you “A-Ha!” moments.