Tag Archives: Creativity

Problems are Solved by Sleeping

Sleeping on a problem really can help solve it, say scientists who found a dreamy nap boosts creative powers.

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They tested whether “incubating” a problem allowed a flash of insight, and found it did, especially when people entered a phase of sleep known as REM.

Volunteers who had entered REM or rapid eye movement sleep – when most dreams occur – were then better able to solve a new problem with lateral thinking.

Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences has published the US work.

We propose that REM sleep is important for assimilating new information into past experience to create a richer network of associations for future use
The study authors

In the morning of the test day, 77 volunteers were given a series of creative problems to solve and were told to mull over the problem until the afternoon either by resting but staying awake or by taking a nap monitored by the scientists.

Compared with quiet rest and non-REM sleep, REM sleep increased the chances of success on the problem-solving task.

The study at the University of California San Diego showed that the volunteers who entered REM during sleep improved their creative problem solving ability by almost 40%.

The findings suggest it is not merely sleep itself, or the passage of time, that is important for the problem solving, but the quality of sleep.

Lead researcher Professor Sara Mednick said: “We found that, for creative problems you’ve already been working on, the passage of time is enough to find solutions.

“However for new problems, only REM sleep enhances creativity.”

The researchers believe REM sleep allows the brain to form new nerve connections without the interference of other thought pathways that occur when we are awake or in non-dream-state sleep.

“We propose that REM sleep is important for assimilating new information into past experience to create a richer network of associations for future use,”…… they told PNAS.

Dr Malcolm von Schantz of the Surrey Sleep Research Centre at the University of Surrey said: “Whatever the importance of the dreams themselves are, this paper confirms the importance of REM sleep, the sleep stage when most of our dreaming takes place.”

Source:BBC NEWS, 9Th. June’09

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Fanning The Creative Flames

Boredom
The human
mind thrives on novelty. What was once a source of pleasure can become tedious after a time. Though our lives are full, boredom lurks around every corner because we innately long for new experiences. Yet boredom by its very nature is passive. In this idle state of mind, we may feel frustrated at our inability to channel our mental energy into productive or engaging tasks. We may even attempt to lose ourselves in purposeless or self-destructive pursuits. While this can be a sign of depression, it can also be an invitation issued from your mind, asking you to challenge yourself. Boredom can become the motivation that drives you to learn, explore the exotic, experiment, and harness the boundless creative energy within.

In Hindu and Buddhist traditions, boredom is perceived as a pathway to self-awareness. Boredom itself is not detrimental to the soul it is the manner in which we respond to it that determines whether it becomes a positive or a negative influence in our lives. When you respond by actively filling the emptiness you feel lurking in yourself, you cultivate creativity and innovation. If, when in the grip of boredom, you have difficulty acknowledging the merits of any activities you might otherwise enjoy, generate your own inspiration. Before you find yourself beset by boredom, create a list of tasks you can consult when it feels like there is simply nothing to do. Referring to a list of topics you want to learn more about, projects you’ve yet to begin, or even pending chores can spark your creative energy and reawaken your zest for life.

When we are troubled by boredom, it is not that there is nothing to do but rather that we are not stimulated by the options before us. A bored mind can be the canvas upon which innovation is painted and the womb in which novelty is nourished. When you identify boredom as a signal that you need to test your boundaries, it can be the force that presses you to strive for opportunities you thought were beyond your reach and to indulge your desire for adventure.

Sources: Daily Om

Becoming A Better Person

At some point in our lives, many of us find ourselves overcome with the desire to become better people. While we are all uniquely capable of navigating this world, we may nonetheless feel driven to grow, expand, and change. This innate need for personal expansion can lead us down many paths as we develop within the context of our individual lives. Yet the initial steps that can put us on the road to evolution are not always clear. We understand that we want to be better but have no clear definition of “better.” To ease this often frustrating uncertainty, we can take small steps, keeping our own concept of growth in mind rather than allowing others to direct the course of our journey. And we should accept that change won’t happen overnight  ”we may not recognize the transformations taking place within us at first.

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Becoming a better person in your own eyes is a whole-life project, and thus you should focus your step-by-step efforts on multiple areas of your existence. Since you likely know innately which qualities you consider good, growing as an individual is simply a matter of making an effort to do good whenever possible. Respect should be a key element of your efforts. When you acknowledge that all people are deserving of compassion, consideration, and dignity, you are naturally more apt to treat them in the manner you yourself wish to be treated. You will intuitively become a more active listener, universally helpful, and truthful. Going the extra mile in all you do can also facilitate evolution. Approaching your everyday duties with an upbeat attitude and positive expectations can help you make the world a brighter, more cheerful place. Finally, coming to terms with your values and then abiding by them will enable you to introduce a new degree of integrity and dignity into your l! ife.

As you endeavor to develop yourself further, you can take pride not only in your successes, but also in the fact that you are cultivating consciousness within yourself through your choices, actions, and behaviors. While you may never feel you have reached the pinnacles of awareness you hope to achieve, you can make the most of this creative process of transformation. Becoming a better person is your choice and is a natural progression in your journey of self-awareness.

Source:Daily Om