This morning I was thinking of the importance of being relaxed in enhancing our creativity and our capacity for creative problem solving. The sense of letting go and allowing for things to flow and ideas to come to you. I had in mind doing something like meditation or deep breathing and consciously relaxing your body or taking a walk in nature.
I was intrigued when later in the day I came across an article titled “Drunk People Are Better at Creative Problem Solving.” Research done at Mississippi State University found that tipsy subjects solved 13% to 20% more problems than sober subjects did. Mildly intoxicated subjects had more “Aha!” moments than their sober counterparts.
The key awareness around the use of a bit of alcohol is that it allows our minds to lose focus letting them wander. This leads to what neuroscientists call “spreading activation” where subconsciously the mind is searching more of brain for answers.
A glass of wine isn’t the only option. In China research showed that drinking tea versus just a cup of hot water enhanced creativity, possibly because of the relaxation triggered by the ritual of making the tea.
Relaxing is important because at the heart of creativity is a willingness to be open to new ideas and possibilities. When we take a break from the busyness of our lives and our habitual ways of doing things we open to more of our capacities for creative problem solving. We are more receptive to ideas coming from our subconscious, more aware of synchronicities that can provide insight and inspiration and giving space for expanded ideas to pop in.
A hot shower can work, so can staring out the window, sitting in a garden or walking by water. What works for you? Try it with the intention to allow more creativity to flow. The beauty of practicing relaxation is not only is it good for our creativity, it’s great for our over all health and well being as well.