How to use all your senses to stimulate creativity
As a result of the Corona pandemic, many people are now working from home at least part of the week. While working at home isn’t too bad, it doesn’t always help the creative process. A Microsoft study shows that working from home reduces creativity. One reason for this is the lack of communication remote workers have with their colleagues. When you’re working from home you have less direct contact; you’re not having lunch with your coworkers and making small talk isn’t as easy when you’re not in the same room. Luckily, there are ways to improve your creativity even when you’re home alone. In this article, I’ll share how you can use all your senses to stimulate creativity.
How stimulating your senses can improve creativity
Stimulating your senses can activate specific parts in the brain that improve creativity. This can help you with creating new, innovative ideas. Certain smells, visual triggers or sounds can improve the creative thinking process. So when you’re having trouble getting into that creative zone, try stimulating each of your senses with the following tips:
Your visual environment can affect your creativity and your way of working. If you want to stimulate your creativity, dim the lights. Studies show that “darkness elicits a feeling of being free from constraints and triggers a risky, explorative processing style”. Changing the colours in your work environment can also improve creativity. The colour blue, for example, is associated with safety and leads to more openness to come up with creative ideas.
People can have different psychological reactions to specific scents. At the very least, a smell can be a trigger for your brain to remember something. This is useful as it allows you to make new connections. There are certain smells that particularly seem to boost the creative process. For instance, the scent of vanilla appears to make you more creative.
While some people may think that complete silence is the best condition for creative thinking, this isn’t the case. In fact, if it’s creativity you’re after, a bit of ambient noise might be more beneficial. Background noise like coffee shop chatter can improve your creative performance. But don’t overdo it. While ambient noise between 50dB and 70dB is shown to enhance creativity, noise above 70dB has the opposite effect.
Even eating the right food can help the creative process in your brain. Fruits and green vegetables have a positive effect on your mood and your creativity. Berries, for example, have lots of compounds that help activate the so-called ‘brain derived neurotrophic factor’; a substance in the brain that stimulates the growth of new neurons that you need for creative thinking.
Would you ever have guessed that something as trivial as clenching your left fist can improve your creativity? Studies show that squeezing the left hand activates the right brain hemisphere. The right hemisphere controls the artistic and imaginative process, so activating this side of your brain improves your creative thinking.
How to create your perfect environment for creativity
Next time you’re having trouble coming up with creative ideas, try some of these tips to stimulate your creativity:
- Use a website like Coffitivity and play some ambient noise that replicates the sounds of coffee shop chatter or library murmur.
- Try adding some helpful colours to your environment. Blue and green are perfect colours for stimulating creativity.
- Dim the lights in your room.
- Buy yourself a stress ball and squeeze it with your left hand while brainstorming.
- Light some vanilla scented candles and keep them on your desk while working.
- Eat some berries while working. These can be any type of berries: strawberries, blueberries or blackberries, it’s up to you!
Curious how else you can stimulate creativity while working remotely?
Try Brightstorming. This application is your own digital brainstorm facilitator. You can use Brightstorming with your team, but you can just as easily use it on your own to come up with creative ideas for any kind of challenge. Take a look at https://hatrabbits.com/en/brightstorming/ for more information or to book a demo.