Jumpstart your Creative Brain

“The worst enemy to creativity is self-doubt.” Sylvia Plath 

All of us are born creative. Every single one of us. Our creative expression might be different but the bug is in all of us. Infact come to think of it, as children, we never doubt our creativity. But as we grow up, other people’s perception about our ability, our educational system, societal need to conform, starts to gradually quell our creative voice. 

A report by the United Kingdom Literacy Trust of 2005 indicated that out of 1,600 children tested between the ages of 3-5, 98% showed they could think divergently. By the time they were 8-10, only 32% could do so. And this number moved progressively down with age. By the time they were 25, only 2% could think divergently. 

Creativity is essential to individual and collective progress as it encourages new perspectives and ways of thinking. In fact all our advances in civilization can be attributed to human’s innate desire to create and move along the less tread path. 

Albert Einstein once said, “The true sign of intelligence is not knowledge but imagination.” 

So whether you are a banker, a doctor, an accountant, or a designer, a creative brain will always be a critical determinant for success. 

So how do we activate our creativity? 

Our brain can primarily be divided into the left and right hemisphere. While the left side of the brain rules logic, precision, language, the right side of the brain is the seat of intuition, imagination, lateral thinking, and emotional non-verbal thinking. 

People who are at the top of their fields are generally good at using both sides of the brain. 

While the right side encourages divergent, non-local thinking; leading to conceiving a set of different solutions, the left-brain brings about the convergence of ideas and focussed attention on the chosen path. 

But over a period of time our left side of the brain has started dominating and hence we are more inclined to move along safe, logical paths, while ignoring the creative energy of exploration and new thinking. 

Luckily our brains are very adaptive and can quickly form new neural pathways once we consistently start to engage both sides of the brain. 

So here are 5 simple ways to jumpstart your right brain: 

  1. Inverted drawing – The right brain welcomes non-conformity, while the left side abhors it. Hence doing anything unusual, uncomfortable, or new, activates your right brain. So invert a picture and try to copy it in your book in that upside down manner. Initially you will find the activity difficult as your left-brain tries to resist. But keep at it and very soon your right side of the brain will take over and you will start to enjoy the process. 
  1. Use your non-dominant hand – This means that if you are a right-handed person, use your left hand for your day-to-day activities, for some time. Since the left side of the brain controls the right side of the body and vice versa, working with your non-dominant side, i.e the left hand in this case will activate your right brain. 
  1. Learn a new motor skill –Play sports or a musical instrument  or learn a new dance. Your abilities are not on call here. So don’t worry even if you don’t do very well. The very act of moving in an unfamiliar manner activates your right side of the brain. Something as simple as even squeezing a ball repeatedly for at least 5-7 minutes with your left hand activates your right brain. 
  1. Word Association – All word association games, memory games help in activating your right brain. A daily practice of even 10 minutes can start rewiring your brain. 
  1. Breathing exercises – Anulom vilom or alternate breathing is one of the key pranayama practices for balancing both sides of the brain. However in case you are particularly interested in activating your right brain, then close your right nostril and breathe in and out only through the left nostril for at least 10-12 minutes before any creative task. This will activate your right brain. 

So learn to harness your brain power for better and quicker results



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