We PR people like to think of ourselves as wildly creative melting pots, brimming over with new ideas guaranteed to stand out and make their mark. Unfortunately, there are always days when the brain feels less like a melting pot and more like a stagnant pothole – hardly great for business.
Rather than slamming your forehead into the keyboard, staring glassily at a blank document until your eyes ache, or mindlessly clicking ‘refresh’ on twitter, why not take control of the issue?
Brains need exercising in order to stay in tip top condition. Just saying “Go brain!” and hoping that it will work at full capacity is not good enough. A vigorous workout routine, combined with some specific toning techniques is just what the (PR!) doctor orders!!
Here are five of our flabby brain busters:
1. Regular Mental Cardio
A fit brain is a constantly engaged brain, and therefore keeping it running at all times is the key to true creativity. Read, view, learn, consume, absorb – any media, any art, any literature, any learning, shove it all into your brain. Feed your mind – it can’t produce something out of nothing! The more you put in, the more you get out. Learn as much as you can, and don’t ever stop! I keep banging on about this, so it must be really important!
2. A Fit Body Leads To A Fit Mind
Any kind of exercise is good for waking up your brain, but taking a walk outdoors comes particularly recommended. For centuries, creative types have gone walkabout, wandering in the wide outdoors when inspiration runs low. They usually return not only with a healthy glow, but with a new perspective on things. Science backs this up – numerous studies prove that going outside for a walk can give your brain a boost. The takeaway is that going for a stroll can kick-start your creative processes and bring ideas you did not know you had up to the surface.
At Desk Fitness
Want to boost your creativity and startle your colleagues at the same time? Try flicking your eyes from side to side while gesticulating wildly with both hands. No, we’re not just trying to make you look like an idiot (although that is a bonus) – science says that doing this can help the hemispheres of your brain to communicate with each other. Each hand is controlled by a different side of your brain, so using them both in conjunction wakes up both hemispheres and forces them to work together. The same is true of horizontal eye movements. If you’re lucky, doing this might also make you laugh – which causes your prefrontal cortex to come alive. Basically, science says that looking like a giggling, flailing idiot makes you more creative. That, or the scientists are trolling us expertly.
Zoning In On The Issue
‘Image Streaming’ basically involves taking a piece of paper and transcribing whatever comes into your head. You’re not trying to create anything wonderful (in fact, given what goes through most of our heads at any given time, you should probably shred the paper afterwards!). You’re simply writing or drawing whatever runs through your mind. Theoretically, this encourages the flow of new thoughts and creatively breaks you out of an inactive spell.
Have A Nap*
Go on. You deserve it after all that.
*Seriously, though, a quick nap is a great way to reboot your brain. It stops you from getting stuck in thought-ruts, and gives your deeper processing powers a chance to do their stuff. Don’t over or under do it, though, or you’ll wake up groggy and sluggish. Our brains go through twenty minute cycles as we sleep – so try to set your alarm clock for the end of one complete twenty minute cycle (allowing time for you to get to sleep, of course!).