I recently read about a Purdue University study that found creative men live longer. For every 1.5 point increase in a manâ€™s score on a 9-point creativity scale, his chance of dying in the next 18 years fell by 12 percent. Thank you Menâ€™s Health magazine! They are always full of these wacky studies that (sorry but its true) seem to contradict themselves.
What about women? Well, I think its safe to say that everyone knows women live longer than men anywayâ€¦and they tend to be more creativeâ€¦so let us have this one little stat from our friends at Purdue! Ha!
Checkout some tips to jumpstart your creativityâ€¦yes, from our friends at Menâ€™s Healthâ€¦what can I say,Â Iâ€™mÂ actually reading the darn thing this weekâ€¦and yes ladies, these are applicable to you too:
Ambient noise can be a great inspiration, says Jonah Lehrer, author ofÂ Imagine: How Creativity Works. The sounds of New York City were the inspiration behind the game-changing music of The Talking Heads, for example. It's all about the right level of noise. According to a recent study in theÂ Journal of Consumer Research, people working in a level of noise equal to what you'd hear in a coffee shop came up with more innovative solutions to tough problems.
When facing a difficult problem, the left side of the brain goes to work looking for the most logical answer. When one isn't readily apparent, you'll reach the frustration phase, according to a study inÂ Psychological Science.Â That's when you'll want to quit. Don'tâ€”the frustration signals it's time to switch to the right side of the brain and consider the problem from a creative perspective. The switch from left to right is what causes a "eureka" moment.
Studies show the color blue calls to mind peace, tranquility, and open space. You don't have to repaint, but a blue picture could help you think more creatively. The worst color for creativity: Red. According to a study from the University of British Colombia, red rooms make people think about danger, mistakes, and caution. (Maybe this is why blue is my favorite color?? I need to find some blue for my office!!)
Talk to Someone NewÂ
Pixar offers improv classes to all employees from security guard to executive, has centralized bathrooms, and makes it a point to have animators working on technical scenes sit near actual computer scientists, Lehrer writes. Why? Diverse groups spark creativity. Start by brainstorming on your own run your ideas past someone who isn't involved and can give you a fresh perspective, like your girlfriend or a friend in a different field.
Think Like Your Kid
As parts of your brain mature, you stop thinking about creating things and start thinking about what people will say about your creation. According to a study cited inÂ Imagine,Â people came up with twice as many creative solutions to problems when instructed to pretend they were 7 years old and write an essay about what they would do with a day off from school. Instead of planning your dream day, take a piece of paper, cut it in half and focus on bringing the two halves together on your desk. Sounds silly? Sure. But it works. Research shows the literal act of "putting two and two together" promotes creative problem-solving.
Take a Hike, Literally
If you're in a positive moodâ€”not stomping around your office in cranky rageâ€”your brain is more likely to think creatively, according to a study inPsychological Science. If you're stuck in your cube, try listening to a peppy Mozart pieceâ€”researchers found this was the most effective mood lifter.
Tell usâ€¦what do you DO to jumpstart your creativity??