Enhance creativity through concentration

Enhance creativity through concentration

By Fiona Burrage

Enhance creativity through concentration

Lockdown changed my life overnight from this busy frantic work with a jam packed schedule to this new slower pace of life. No school run, no commute, no team sports or dinners with friends. Like others I had to adapt, in doing so I began to realise the power in a slower way of life, embracing the everyday and the mental and physical benefits.. 

I am the first person to admit I live an accelerated lifestyle but I've absolutely adopted a slower movement, a slower lifestyle.

Hardly anyone has time to be bored, smartphones access to technology at all. Boredom can give you a time to think clearly. To escape to think. Solitude. Blank space for thinking. Remain focus on the bigger picture.

Play is vital tool for inspiration. Develop novel connections between ideas we wouldn't have seen other wise considered. Antidote to stress and inhibitor in productivity.

Thinking more slowly, something that doesn't come naturally has enabled me to realise some of my best ideas. As humans we have two modes of thought, fast thinking is rational, analytical, logical. Slow thinking is creative and intuitive. 

Unsurprisingly researchers have shown people who more regularly slow think, less stressed and more creative.

How can you nurture slow thinking...

Meditation and I've been religiously using Headspace which helps your mind to relax.

I've discovered that your brain has various gears suited for different activities, these are our brain frequencies. 

Our brain is made up of billions of nerve cells called neurones, they use electric pulses to communicate with each other. Depending on what you are doing they create different frequencies and are measured in Hertz or cycles per second.

Delta – slowest. 04-htz, occurs in deep sleep so incredibly important for growth and regeneration.

Theda 4-7htz, deep relaxation, reached in the moments after we wake up from deep sleep.

Alpha 8-12htz, conscientious and calm state that allows you to regain energy, like reading a magazine book on the sofa.

Beta 12-35htz, bright and attentive, good for focused attention for work.

Gamma 35-70 htz, blissful sense of peace that monks can exist in. 

To relax you mind from a worry or stress state engage your peripheral vision and redirect your mind away from the trigger. Also going for a walk is a bilateral acitvity that engages both sides of your brain. Deliberately shift, you can change your frequency and put you in an alpha (calmer) frequency.

I really found this research interesting because I've had some of my eureka moments when I've been engaging in the everyday. A long hot shower is my preferred vehicle to problem solve. I clearly enter into a different brain frequency and this allows the dots to join, equally brushing my teeth is also a strangely productive time and was when I made the decision to shorten 'Scents of place' to the acronym for Sop. So along with Sir Issac Newton and I'm certainly retaining these opportunities to slow think for not just my own mental health as well as my creativity.

Adapted from the work by Carl Honoré, Carol Kersha, Bill Wade and Greg McKeown.