The brain is physically divided into two hemispheres, and while both hemispheres work together to perform cognitive tasks, it is generally thought that the left part of the brain processes information in more of a verbal, analytical manner, while the right part of the brain is more visual and intuitive.
There is debate as to how this all works, with more studies indicating that people don’t really “use” one side of their brain more than the other side, and that “right brained” or “left brained” may be more of a figure of speech to describe personality traits and preferences.
Three Exercises to Boost Creativity
Nevertheless, there are things you can do to enhance your intuitive, creative side. Here are three exercises you may want to try:
Exercise #1: Connect the Dots
Identify something on the left side of your field of vision, and something on the right, and move your eyes back and forth between the two. Moving the eyes back and forth is believed to integrate both sides of the brain because it engages both right and left hemisphere.
Exercise #2: Breathe Through Your Left Nostril
A 1994 study showed that when you are breathing through your left nostril, the right side of your brain is more active and dominant. The same is true when you reverse the process and breathe through your right nostril: the left side of the brain becomes more active. The nasal cycle—the fact that most people only breathe out of one nostril at a time and the body tends to switch the dominant nostril every four hours or so—was first noticed by a German nose specialist in 1895. Since then, studies have shown that different things occur in the body and brain depending on which nostril is being used. Will this make you more creative? It’s worth a try!
Exercise #3: Tickle Your Funny Bone
According to some studies, positive thoughts and laughter may boost creativity because it stimulates activity in the prefrontal cortex and other areas of the brain linked with decision-making and emotions).
Use Brain Training to Exercise Core Cognitive Skills
Another way to boost any kind of mental process—including creativity—is to strengthen the core cognitive skills the brain uses to think, learn, read, remember, reason, pay attention, and solve problems.
The brain uses a foundational set of skills, called cognitive skills, in order to tackle and accomplish these tasks. In fact, these are the same skills we use to succeed and thrive in school and work, and are also the skills that determine IQ.
Here’s a brief description of each of the cognitive skills:
- Attention/Sustained enables you to stay focused and on task for an extended period of time.
- Attention/Selective enables you to ignore distractions and stay focused on what you are doing.
- Attention/Divided enables you to remember information while doing two things at once.
- Auditory Processing enables you to analyze, blend, and segment sounds, and is a critical skill for successful reading.
- Visual Processing enables you to think in visual images.
- Memory/Working enables you to hang on to information while you are in the process of using it.
- Memory/Long-Term enables you to hang on to, and access, stored information that was learned in the past.
- Logic & Reasoning enables you to reason, form ideas, and solve problems.
- Processing Speed enables you to perform tasks quickly and accurately
LearningRx is a provider of one-on-one brain training consisting of fun, challenging exercises that target and strength all the core brain skills. Programs are especially geared to children and adults who are struggling with some form of mental performance (attention, reading, learning, memory, etc) in school, work, or life.
Watch this short animated video to learn more:
If you would like to learn more about the brain training programs offered through LearningRx, click on the links below to find a center near you and speak to someone at that center, or to stay in touch by email.
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