Scientifically Proven Ways to Boost Your Creativity

Written by on August 19, 2015 in Sci-Tech, Science with 1 Comment

biomimicryBy Laura Moss |

At one time or another, you may have found yourself staring at a blank page, struggling to find a solution or simply longing for a burst of inspiration.

Surely you could grasp that great idea you were searching for, if only you could spark a creative thought. But you can’t simply generate creativity, can you?

To some degree, you can.

Scientists have found numerous ways to boost creativity, so if you really want to get those ideas flowing, read on for a little inspiration.

1. Spend time in nature.

A University of Kansas study found that unplugging and heading outdoors increased creativity by 50 percent.

Psychologist Ruth Ann Atchley led the study and found that creativity peaked among 56 backpackers after three days in the wilderness.

“It’s when you have an extended period of time surrounded by that softly fascinating environment that you start seeing all kinds of positive effects in how your mind works,” she said in a news release.

2. Don’t work in silence.

A little ambient noise — the patter of rain, some coffeehouse chatter — can help you think more creatively, according to researchers at the University of Illinois.

When participants brainstormed ideas for new products while exposed to varying levels of background noise, researchers found that people performed best when the sounds were at about 70 decibels.

Luckily, you don’t have to go to a coffee shop or track down a rainstorm to reap the benefits of ambient noise. Websites like ASoftMurmur can bring the noise right to your headphones.

Related Article: 8 Steps For Enhancing Your Creativity and Productivity

3. Travel.

Our neural pathways are influenced by our environment and how we interact with it, so when we enter a new environment — with new languages, sights, scents and sounds — it has an effect on the brain. However, simply traveling to a new location — no matter how exotic — won’t get those creative juices flowing.

“The key, critical process is multicultural engagement, immersion, and adaptation,” writes Adam Galinsky, who has conducted numerous studies on the connection between international travel and creativity. “Someone who lives abroad and doesn’t engage with the local culture will likely get less of a creative boost than someone who travels abroad and really engages in the local environment.”

In other words, taking a vacation to an all-exclusive Jamaican resort where you don’t venture outside the hotel walls isn’t going to be as effective as exploring the island and interacting with locals.

Related Article: The Science of Improving Your Brain’s Creativity

4. Get the blues.

Surrounding yourself with the color blue may help you think outside the box.

A University of British Columbia study of 600 people found that when participants performed cognitive tasks on a computer with a blue screen (instead of a red one), they produced twice as many creative outputs.

Juliet Zhu, who conducted the study, says that colors cause different unconscious motivations because of learned associations.

“Through associations with the sky, the ocean and water, most people associate blue with openness, peace and tranquility,” she writes. “The benign cues make people feel safe about being creative and exploratory. Not surprisingly it is people’s favorite color.”


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  1.' David Siddharth says:

    E.m. Charmington

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