What are the key areas that enhance both our brain health and its capacity to be creative ?
There’s growing consensus from science that an effective brain–body connection is integral to our higher order cognitive function and essential to maintaining our ability to problem solve, stay motivated and explore more creative ways of being.
There are many business coaches who now advocate for introducing simple yet effective routines into our mornings to help energise us, with many being shown to enhance our creative abilities.
Get morning sunlight
Getting access to morning sunlight not only assists with the production of cortisol, it also helps to regulate your sleep as it can increase the hormone serotonin. Both these are essential to assist to regulate your sleep cycle through there influence on our circadian rhythm.
Get enough sleep
And then there's the importance of sleep with clear evidence that for the majority of us, we need 7-9 hours of sleep each night to maintain our mental acuity.
Dr William Dement, Director of the Stanford University Sleep Research Centre reinforces the need for sleep as an important precursor to creativity because It's dependent on learning and memory, and these capacities are strongly affected by our sleep patterns.
Move every 90 minutes at least
While we all known exercise makes us feel better, there's very strong evidence that regular movement is associated with better brain function, improved memory and increased learning capacity. This mind body connection not only has helped our understanding of reducing neurodegenerative diseases, it’s now also linked to enhanced creativity. Dr Wendy Suzuki , author of Healthy Brain, Happy Life, believes that walking can improve our mood and provide a creative burst with longer term regular exercise assisting to maintain our creativity.
It's essential to build breaks into very 90 minutes of your working day, so stand up, stretch and go outside for some sunlight.
Get into nature, or at least outdoors
Neuroscientist Professor David Strayer’s work examines how our fatigued brains feel restored and our mental performance can improve through being in nature. The digital 24/7 world has meant we spend less time in nature and our constant multitasking places great strain on our brains’ ability to think critically or creativity . His studies showed that exposure to natural settings increases creativity and problem solving, with fifteen -minute walk in a natural setting (like a park) contributing to measurable changes in physiology, showing a 16% decrease in the stress hormone cortisol, a 2% drop in blood pressure, and a 4% drop in heart rate.
And while you’re at it, check your breathing, not just surface breathing but deep and regular breathing. This has been shown to quiet down the sympathetic nervous system (or the fight or flight response) and strengthen the parasympathetic nervous system (or the rest and digest response) to help to us relax. One study found that 58% of insomniac participants showed significant improvements in sleep quality with regular meditation.