Posts Tagged ‘DSD = Do Something Different’

“Boost Yourself” – Doc Meek

Today I’m delighted to welcome Erica Francis, who is providing a valuable guest article for us. – Doc Meek

5 Ideas for Boosting Your Creative Side

Photo credit: Unsplash

Getting yourself out of a creative rut can be an exhausting endeavor. Maybe you’re stuck on a design or plan for work and can’t seem to make any progress on it, or maybe you want to start a new project but are struggling to find any inspiration. Don’t force the creativity, but instead, try a few of these tips to get the juices flowing again.

Get moving

Physical exercise is actually very helpful in encouraging creativity. The brain creates new neurons in the brain’s memory center while we’re engaged in physical activity and can stimulate new thought patterns. Simply put, it helps your brain clear out the clutter and get a better perspective. Go for a run, swim, bike ride, or jog to clear your head and burn off some steam. At the very least, take a brisk walk.

Get outside

Many people don’t realize that nature can be incredibly healing—even just being around it can ease stress and increase your overall wellbeing. Find a comfortable, scenic spot somewhere near your home or office that you can escape to when you’re in need of a break. Often the mere change of scenery can give you new perspective. Take a moment to step outside, breathe deeply, and clear your head. Enjoy the simplicity and beauty of nature. If possible, take regular breaks like this as often as you can to get nature boosts throughout your busy week.

Look to the past

Sometimes answers for the present can be found in the past, and you never know when your project could benefit from going a little retro. Try looking at completed projects, favorite pieces of art you’ve completed, or the objects that inspired you to create those works in the first place. Was it a technique you adapted to your own needs? An idea? You can even look back at decades-old works of art, advertisements, or even architectural designs and see what ideas you may discover.

Focus on a fun challenge

It’s more than possible that what your brain really needs is a bit of a break, but you also don’t want to lose momentum. Find the happy medium by playing a quick game of cards or do a puzzle like sudoku, a crossword, or a word search. Taking on a low-pressure challenge can ease your tension, but you’ll still be getting mental exercise that can help you work out the problem. You won’t lose the pace you’ve been working at, and you might not even have to play an entire match or finish the puzzle before you’ve found a new perspective.

Avoid drugs and alcohol

Many legendary writers and artists abused drugs and alcohol. As a result, a lot of people believe that substances like drugs and alcohol can enhance creativity. Don’t give in to this myth. Your best ideas will come to you when you’re well-rested and clear-minded. Abusing drugs and alcohol will only lead to problems down the road that could seriously derail your creative pursuits. If you think you may have an addiction, get help right away.

Try something completely new

It’s been shown that students who study abroad tend to be more creative problem solvers because they get exposure to foreign cultures, customs, and practices. But the truth is, you don’t have to go abroad to reap these kinds of benefits! Throwing yourself out of your comfort zone is the quickest way to get a new perspective, so find an easy way to broaden your horizons. Even going for a walk at the local Korean market or heading to the Italian sandwich shop for lunch can stimulate new sights, smells, and sounds that could generate new ideas. If you can’t travel too far, reflect on an exotic place you’ve been to, or look up photos and videos of locations you hope to visit someday.

Hitting a creative block is frustrating, but it can be easier to overcome if you have a strategy. Figure out which of these ideas works best for you, and adapt them as you need to. Soon you’ll be able to power right past those pesky creative blocks!

Author: Erica Francis

Thank you, Erica!

I’ve often said that one of the best problem-busters is DSD!

DSD = Do Something Different

Doc Meek, South Jordan, Utah,USA, April 26, 2017

DSD and Nutritional Music and Dance

Even though I have advanced degrees, I have continued on the pathway of active learning all my life. This not only provides me with an endless supply of new learning and new knowledge which I can apply to help children and adults overcome learning problems, it keeps my brain active and my thinking sharp.

Isn’t that what we all want?

I am constantly reading new material and engaging new ideas. I just completed reading a book by Dr. R. Douglas Fields (2009), The Other Brain: From Dementia to Schizophrenia, How New Discoveries About the Brain are Revolutionizing Medicine and Science. Engaging! Exciting! New frontiers!

Look to my future posts for more on this entrancing new brain science.

Reading, Thinking and Walking

I am also trying to remember to walk every day. If I take different pathways on my walks, I not only am increasing my blood flow and oxygen uptake throughout my body and brain, I am engaging new learning as I encounter new scenery and different people on each of these excursions. Some days, I walk the same way and still encounter new things to engage my brain, if I remember to stay attentive to my surroundings.

dementia walking

Photo from The New York Times, December 20, 2007, Walking May Lower Dementia Risk,” By TARA PARKER-POPE

Of course, some days, I just walk along oblivious to my surroundings! I am running my brain internally only, grinding on, or playing with, some problem or new idea. It’s probably better to use the brain in a new and different way, than to grind on the same old problem, eh? 😮

Your best refresher from problems pounding you down is DSD.

DSD? Do Something Different

Many of my clients told me it saved the day for them, whether as a student, or as a mother, or as an employee, or as a private person.

The more different ways you can engage your brain in new learning, the better the brain works, and the sharper your thinking remains (or becomes).

I really should take up something  completely different from my “routine” reading and walking and driving and flying. If I could carry a tune, I could take up singing, eh? How about painting, the artistic kind? Winston Churchill did that to keep his brain refreshed.

How about learning to play an instrument? Music engages the brain in novel and inspiring ways, and creates and enhances learning channels in superior ways we don’t fully understand. Even just playing gentle music (say, Baroque, or any music with about 60 beats per minutes) in the background when you are reading or studying helps the brain to learn.

Music lubricates learning, so to speak.

So does learning a second language. Even when we are older. 😮

Square dancing anyone?

I used to go square dancing every week. It was different from my usual desk-work and research habits, and I loved it! Challenging! We had to listen to the caller’s dance instructions while we were in motion. So we were getting a brain triple-play: music, physical motion and rhythm, and and auditory workout to boot.

Photo from “History and Heritage of Modern American Square Dancing”:

It always seemed such an odd thing to me that whenever it came time to go square dancing, I was too  mentally tired and unmotivated to go, even though I knew it would be good for me. So I devised a simple “personal policy”:

“Go anyway.”

The amazing thing was that I would come home from square dancing, exhausted physically, yet I was less tired and more motivated to do whatever showed up, than I was before I plodded to the dance in the first place. Amazing. Talk about seemingly “backwards logic,” eh?

Doc Meek, Active Learning Strategies Specialist

Sherwood Park, Alberta, CANADA

Contact Doc Meek

    January 2021
    S M T W T F S
    Parent and Teacher Choice