Ever heard that right-brains are more creative? FALSE. The truth is that creativity requires multiple brain regions, including both hemispheres of the cortex as well as deeper brain structures, to function at its optimal potential.
The ideal is not to be right-brained or left-brained dominant, but to be whole-brained and to have healthy interconnectivity and communication happening between the various brain regions.
Fortunately, neuroscientists have also discovered that the brain is subject to remolding throughout life due to something they call neuroplasticity. This opportunity to remold the brain is an important aspect of our ability to further develop our creative capacity and become more whole-brained. Training the mind and rewiring the brain to be able to access more creativity is an essential step we must take to amp up our performance and innovative abilities.
Here are 3 simple steps to rewire your brain for more creativity:
1. Stimulate: In order to rewire, we must stimulate the brain with novel patterns, experiences, and concepts. When you commit to seeing things with fresh eyes or engaging in new activities each day, even when they are small things, this supports healthy neural activity and new connections.
2. Repeat. Neurons wire more strongly according to repeated patterns. When it gets to the point where you no longer have to think about each step, or apply much will power to undertake a task, and instead things just flow, that is when you know you have successfully wired in the new pattern.
3. Rest. Finally, it is important to balance out activity and novelty with sufficient rest and downtime. Most creative breakthroughs happen not while in intense concentration, but rather during downtimes, when we allow the mind to wander or rest.
By cultivating a lifestyle that balances activity with rest time, you will be well on your way to thriving in life and feeling like you have plenty of energy and creative juice for the tasks at hand, rather than feeling stressed or overwhelmed.
This step is where the practice of meditation or even some simple controlled breathing and closing your eyes, can really pay off to accelerate your rewiring process. Not only does it reduce stress, it helps put your brain into a deeper brain wave state that then gives it a chance to re-wire.
Just 20 min a day can do wonders for you. Even if you were to just take 5 minute breathers a couple times through your workday, this too would lead to greater reduction of stress and enhanced creative flow.
You might wonder how long it takes to successfully re-wire and anchor in a new, supportive behavior or skill? This depends on two key factors:
2. The level of complexity or simplicity of the new behavior
When equipped with the right tools and a clear pattern of what to do, this rewiring of the brain can and will happen with optimal efficiency and accelerated learning.
Anytime you identify some habit you have in life that gets in your way or has sabotaged your success, or anytime you run into a block or obstacle you can use this strategy to support you in rewiring the old pattern and breaking through the resistance.
Write down the pattern or obstacle on a piece of paper, then draw an upright triangle around it.
Now use your imagination to visualize fire inside the triangle, consuming and breaking down the obstacle or old pattern, and continue seeing it burn until the energy shifts.
As the thoughts, words, and feelings associated with the old pattern burn away, this creates a disconnect in your neural associations with that old pattern, giving you opportunity to now rewire. The sooner you do this, upon recognizing a block or old pattern coming up, the more effective you will be at stopping the old neural pattern from being reinforced, and will instead bring in new energy for a shift to help you rewire.
Remember, when we rewire, that is when the shifts we make become sustainable, rather than short-lived. Training the mind and rewiring the brain to be able to access more creativity is an essential step we take that amps up our performance and innovative abilities.