Practical ways to help you can unlock creativity, imagination and problem solving for your business or career..

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So over a period of more than a year now, through curiosity and experimentation, I researched a range of different techniques to see if they actually worked and applied them on myself.

After applying these things consistently, I started to become aware of changes in myself and experience results too.

This helped develop the motivation to experiment with more things and to integrate these habits into my routine daily too.

I did this systematically. As one thing became integrated as a habit, I introduced another.

Here they are:


1 - Disconnect from digital devices: spend more time alone and in nature

We live in the information/digital age. We are constantly bombarded with messaging and information on a daily basis about who we should be, what we should buy and what we should do.

Because the brain has an in built survival mechanism, when we are out and about in public, it is constantly scanning our environment and looking out for danger and pleasure. This is an automatic reflex.

The brain uses up in the region of 20% of our daily energy intake. By spending more time alone, we have more control over our environment, more control over where we invest this 20% and can protect ourselves from distraction or things happening in the outside world.

Through exercising more control over our environment (though spending time alone or taking walks in nature away from noise in the city) give us the opportunity to give our minds some rest. This also provides an incubation period to help the brain work on problems in the background.

I expect we have all had that experience of ideas or solutions to challenges come to mind when we focus our attention on something totally different (I think this is how the term ‘lightbulb moment’ came about).

Research from the Journal of Environment Psychology also indicates that spending time in nature also promotes creativity.


2 - Intermittent Fasting

Research from a range of medical professionals advocate the benefits of intermittent fasting on health (Rhona Patrick, Satchin Panda, Valter Longo, Dan Pompa).

Research by Mark Mattson, a Professor of Neuroscience at the John Hopkins University indicates that reducing the frequency of meals and energy intake can have a positive impact on the brain.

Intermittent fasting can deplete glycogen stores in the body and stimulates the production of ketone bodies. Ketone bodies boost energy levels in your brain.

Fasting is a challenge to the brain. The brain responds by activating adaptive response and nerve cells become more active and alert.

Intermittent fasting also promotes the production of brain derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF). BDNF strengthens existing brain cells and stimulates the production of new brain cells which in turn helps the brain operate more efficiently.


3 - Binaural Beats

I started listening to binaural beats as I developed my meditation practice (when I first started meditation I was using the Headspace app).

Over time, I noticed that my meditation practice had dramatically improved when listening to them. From personal experience, I really found that they helped me ‘get in the zone’.

I decided to start listening to them for work. From personal experience, I noticed that my concentration had improved dramatically. My approach to work was calmer and more measured. It helped me manage stress and anxiety. It seemed I could concentrate for longer periods of time.

The research is inconclusive about the clinical benefits of binaural beats. I can only speak from my personal experience but there is evidence out there that suggests that positive mental states help improve cognitive function and learning (Shawn Achor who is a researcher and lecturer at Harvard University and author of The Happiness Advantage talks about this a lot)

You can try binaural beats out for yourself and observe if they work for you.


4 - Meditation

Meditation is known to change the brain’s waves and vibrational frequency. The brain waves most associated with meditation are Theta, Alpha, Gamma.

Theta is associated with creativity and imagination. We are also in a state of Theta when we sleep which is why we dream.

Alpha is associated with a relaxed flow like state and creativity. The Gamma state is involved in processing more complex tasks and are important in learning and processing.

So through meditation, you can actually unlock these states of creativity, imagination and learning. It can be quite challenging to incorporate Meditation into your routine. At first I didn’t really understand what it was, quite how it could benefit me or how to approach it.

Naturally, because I didn’t have anyone to guide me, I just researched, experimented and made mistakes. Through practice and consistency results came. I now make time everyday for meditation.


5 - Minimalism

Now this comes back to my first point about conserving the 20% of energy that our brain consumes each day.

By practicing minimalism both at home and in life (what I do, who I see, etc), helped me to better manage how and where my energy levels were invested.

Sometimes our attention can be unconsciously taken away (that is just the way the brain is) but by practicing minimalism does give a level of control over the situation.

I simplified my life (I am always looking for more ways I can simplify, it is an ongoing process).

As a result, my brain has less to focus on and doesn’t get as distracted. This has helped me to focus more of my attention on the few things that really matter to me…

I put together a short Youtube (it’s under 8 minutes) which shares more info, the resources I used to incorporate these things into my life and the mistakes I made so you can avoid those too.

If you want to find out more and get the resources to help you get started, take a look..