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Five Easy Ways to Boost Creativity

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Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Five Easy Ways to Boost Creativity

There’s no doubt about it—Cyndi Lauper knows a thing or two about being creative! As a singer and songwriter of pop, rock, New Wave, blues and adult contemporary music, the Grammy Award-winning musician has released over 40 singles and sold over 50 million records worldwide. Cyndi is also an accomplished actress and producer on stage, film and TV—and now a reality star on WE tv! And while someone like Cyndi may have been born with multiple talents, everyone has the ability to tap into their artistic or innovative side.

Here are five proven ways on how the get your creative juices flowing.

Sip some alcohol: Yes, you’ve read that correctly! A study published in the journal Consciousness and Cognition evaluated the effects social drinking may have on creativity. While 40 male volunteers remained sober, another group of 40 men drank cranberry and vodka beverages until they reached an average blood alcohol content of 0.075. Researchers then asked all of the volunteers to participate in a word-association test. The cocktail drinkers solved more problems than the sober guys—58% compared to 42%—and they gave their responses about four seconds faster, claiming that they solved the problems “more intuitively.”

Daydream: Don’t let anyone tell you that letting your mind wander is a waste of time! Study participants at the University of California, Santa Barbara, were divided into four groups, handed an object and given the challenge to come up with as many useful functions for it as possible. After a period of time, researchers then asked each of the groups to do something different for 12 minutes before returning to the original task. The only group who performed better on the what-can-this-object-do task during round two was the group who was instructed to do an undemanding task—where they reported high levels of daydreaming. As a result, researchers believed that mind wandering unlocked their creative skills.

Take a nap: Sleep does a body–and a mind—good! Researchers in Germany three environments that varied in noise conditions—low, moderate and high. They then asked participants to either come up with innovative ideas for a new mattress or to list a number of unusual uses for common items. The researchers discovered that people in the moderately-noised setting generated the most creative ideas and solutions. Their advice to those who want to think abstractly—leave your quiet retreat and head to a café.

Be blue: A study conducted at the University of British Columbia concluded that certain colors trigger unconscious thoughts and behaviors. More than 600 volunteers were asked to perform six tasks that required skills that were either detail-orientated or creative. The tests were conducted on computer screens that were either white, red or blue—and those who worked off the blue screen produced twice the amount of answers compared to the others. The study authors believe that most people associate the color blue with the ocean and the sky, which connects to feelings of openness, peace and tranquility—the same feelings that encourage people to explore their creativity.

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