3 Exercises to Boost A Content Creator's Creativity-- Not the kind you think
Feel like you've lost your creative edge? You may need to spend less time at the "drafting table" and more time in the gym -- or the dojo or yoga studio or street.
Content creation has a lot more to do with what you do outside the art studio or office than you might think.
According to research published in the Journal of Frontiers in Neuroscience, exercise impacts our convergent and divergent thinking processes. In other words, it helps us pull different elements together to create something new -- convergent. And helps us think beyond what is, to what could be -- divergent.
Yes, like the book/movie.
This is only one of many studies. But perhaps it is the most conclusive yet. The study was composed of a large group of regular exercisers and those who did not regularly exercise.
The more athletic individuals did notably better on various creative tasks than those who did not regularly engage in physical activity -- even the "artists" in the bunch. Research shows that exercise improves all cognitive function and our creativity is perhaps the highest cognitive function we have.
Whether you are a "starving artist" or a well-paid creative marketing campaign exec, you need to keep your creative skills sharp.
And based on research, this may mean spending less time trying to "find inspiration" and more time doing what's right for your body.
This can seem very counter-intuitive to us as artists, since we are so driven to create and often have a deadline breathing down our necks. So in this piece I want to look at some quick activities to help get your creative juices flowing.
They're great to do alone or with a friend.
So before you add another update to your business blog, give these a try.
Hand Stands (modified)
You probably aren't doing actual hand stands. But if you can, go for it. Getting the heart up above the head and feet above the heart can do wonders for improving your circulation and getting blood to the brain.
Blood carries nutrients and O2 that your brain needs to be its best. Just like the picture above, brace yourself on one leg & two hands. Start at your comfort level and continue to push yourself.
Stretch your body out as much as you can to ease muscles that are sore from spending too much time hunched over your Macbook. Feel the tension in your muscles (abs, back, arms and legs) as you curl your leg up and to the side.
But don't fall.
Bring your knee in and under your torso. Extend it back out. If your arms get tired, stand for a few seconds and them do it again. Try for 5-10 minutes. If you fall over a couple times, don't give up. In addition to "brain-toning", this will improve muscle tone and balance.
Side Lunges (with a twist)
Perhaps nothing gets my heart rate up faster than some side lunges. Here's a great video from Live Strong. If you're like me, you need to keep exercise interesting to stay motivated.
Have fun with it.
Add a kettle bel or weightsl. Work on the depth of your stance. Add a cross over when you rise. Pretend you're an ice skater. Or throw your hands up into a fighting stance. Pretend your a super hero or Bruce Lee. Add a kick or punch. Put some rhythm into it and make it a dance. Be creative.
If your not an athlete, use this technique to improve your lung capacity and cardio endurance. Do an activity as fast as you can for a length of time (1-2 min) and then do it really slow for 30 seconds to a minute, focusing on the form of the activity.
You can do knee raises, lateral knee raises, squats, squat kicks, run in place or whatever gets your heart pumping. Alternatively, you can do two different activities, one fast and then one slow that use different muscles.
Continue to work on the length of time you can remain in "hyperdrive" and the number of intervals you can do. Boost your Oxygen to your brain while building up endorphins(feel good chemicals) in your system, the safe alternative to expanding your mind and creativity with dangerous drugs.
Now that you feel amazing, get back to that creating. Next time that you hit a brick wall in your project, jump up and down and get the blood flowing to your brain. Do some pushups or a hand stand. Connect with your body and expand your creativity center by nurturing your brain with exercise.
What do you think about this link?
Would you like to add any fun exercises to boost creativity? I give attributions.