Some research even suggests that exercise can actually boost creative thinking as well, due to it’s ability to get the heart pumping and put people in a positive mood. ” According to the research surrounding the process of counterfactual thinking, looking at a situation that has already occurred and asking yourself, “What could have happened? According to an analysis by Jeremy Dean: Think about some of the most creative people you know (yourself included! chances are, they would be described as somewhat “weird” when compared to less creative people.It’s similar to how other research shows that thinking about love can produce more creative thoughts; it’s not necessarily the act, it’s the change in mood. According to the research, the cause of this is often that these people have had abnormal things happen to them, or they pursue different experiences outright (maybe those two things are correlated? Researchers have found, for instance, that creative people tend to have had a traumatic event occur in their lives (such as parental loss, as noted in this study).(Subjects in the study read Franz Kafka, but even stories like Alice in Wonderland have been suggested by psychologists) The conclusion was that the mind is always seeking to make sense of the things that it sees, and surreal/absurd art puts the mind in “overdrive” for a short period while it tries to work out just exactly what it is looking at or reading.I like reading interesting short stories like The Last Question or browsing absurdist art at places like r/Heavy Mind when I’m looking for some inspiration. Separate work from consumption Also known as the “absorb state,” this technique has been shown to help with the incubation process (much more on that later) and is far more effective than trying to combine work with creative thinking.
The research at this point seems to indicate that it is more about the weirdness in relation to the person at hand, or that doing things outside of your normal habitual patterns can be enough to stimulate creativity, rather than there being a set of “weird” things to do that work for everyone.
Recently though, a relatively new study (2007) on creativity in the workplace made this bold conclusion: The implication seems to be that while certain negative moods can be creativity killers, they aren’t as universal as positive moods (joy, being excited, love, etc) in that sometimes they may spur creative thinking rather than hinder it.
I don’t want you to put yourself in a bad mood to create something, but next time you’re in a strong emotional state, try to sit down and focus that energy on creating something, the end result could be worthwhile. Get moving Is there any wonder that ‘Exercising more” is one of the most desired good habits in the entire world?
That is, daydreaming and incubation are most effective on a project you’ve already invested a lot of creative effort into.
So before you try to use naps and daydreams as an excuse for not working, be honest with yourself and don’t forget to hustle first! Embrace something absurd While I’ll be covering the case for “weird” experiences in more detail later on, for now you need to know that the research suggests that reading/experiencing something absurd or surreal can help boost pattern recognition and creative thinking.