The Top 10 Brainjuicers to Enhance Your Creativity
by Linda Naiman

In order to enhance your creativity, your body and mind should be operating at peak efficiency. Try these brainjuicers to boost your brain power.

1. Make sure you exercise.

Exercise juices up the brain with nutrients in the form of glucose. The more glucose it uses, the more active the brain. It increases oxygen in the bloodstream that is delivered to the brain, releases endorphins into the bloodstream (the runner's high) and increases nerve connections to the brain.

2. Use rhythmic activities to give your brain a chance to incubate.

Any rhythmic activity such as running, walking, swimming, scrubbing, chopping quiets mindful chatter, allowing your imagination to flow. Einstein got so many ideas while showering he installed waterproof material to record his ideas.

3. Listen to music, especially music from Mozart's era.

Music forges new neural pathways that stimulate your creativity. Research shows that music trains the brain for higher forms of thinking. In a study at U.C. Irvine, researchers studied two groups of three year olds. One group studied piano and sang daily in chorus. The other group did not. In eight months the musical three year olds were adept puzzle masters. They scored 80% higher in spatial intelligence than the non musical group. (Newsweek Feb.19, 1996)

4. Try Aroma Therapy to activate your brain.

One day, as I was falling asleep, while listening to endless speeches at a conference, my brain suddenly perked up when I caught a whiff of lemon from someone's cologne. I immediately felt alert and found it much easier to pay attention to the presenter. I discovered aroma therapy really is useful and I have used it ever since to revitalize or to relax. Energizers include peppermint, cypress and lemon. Relaxants: ylang ylang, geranium and rose. A few drops of essential oils in your bath or in a diffuser will do the trick. You can also put a drop or two in a cotton ball or hanky and inhale. One caveat for the workplace; make sure no-one is allergic to the oils before you use them.

5. Eat foods high in Vitamin B.

Vitamin B is essential for brain power. Sources include peas, beans, liver, kidney, chicken and eggs.

6. Get your minerals.

Boron is essential for memory and attention. Sources include apples, pears and green leafy vegetables.

7. Instead of coffee breaks try gingko biloba and gotu kola herbal teas.

Gingko biloba and gotu kola increase blood flow to the brain. (Check with your doctor first before taking these herbs.)

8. Capture your daydreams.

Daydreaming is a way to incubate the components of a problem and uncover solutions. How can you apply the images and thoughts of your daydream to the project you are working on? How could the image be a metaphor? Can your daydream show you a new perspective?

9. Play with passion!

You can't do great work without personal fulfillment. When people are growing through learning and creativity, they are much more fulfilled and give 127% more to their work. Delight yourself and you delight the world. Remember what you loved to do as a child and bring the essence of that activity into your work. This is a clue to your genius; to your natural gifts and talents. da Vinci, Edison, Einstein and Picasso all loved to play and they loved to explore.

10. Build a brain trust.

Surround yourself with inspiring people from a wide variety of fields who encourage you and stimulate your creativity. Read magazines from a wide variety of fields. Make connections between people, places and things, to discover new business opportunities, and to find solutions to your problems. There is a famous story about the inventor of Velcro, who happened to have an interest in botany. One day he was walking through a field, when he noticed burrs sticking to his socks. He wondered what made them stick and picked one up to examine its structure. Well you know what happened ...

Linda Naiman BFA, is founder of Linda Naiman & Associates; a Vancouver BC consulting and training group at the forefront of transformational change in organizations. Linda works with organizations to awaken genius level thinking through the art and science of applying creativity, innovation, and visionary thinking to business strategy. She is currently writing "Arts at Work" with Arthur VanGundy on using the arts in business to teach leadership and management skills. It will be published by Pfeiffer/Jossey-Bass/Wiley early 2003.

Linda Naiman may be reached at .

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