If you’ve read my blog regularly, you know that I started stretching last year, soon followed by doing yoga (this was a post where I showed the inspiration for that). What I have learned is that being flexible is so important to our health. While I’ve been spending so much time on getting flexible, it’s gotten me to thinking. Our physical bodies aren’t the only thing that can benefit from being flexible. Our lives in general can benefit from having a flexible mindset and attitude, too.
A Flexible Mindset Allows Creativity
It’s true some people are more creative than others, but we need to allow ourselves the opportunity to try to be more creative. Don’t just tell yourself, “Oh, I can’t do that xyz thing. I’m not a creative person.” Get flexible with yourself! See, you’ve been thinking so long that you aren’t creative, or that you can’t do that xyz thing, that it’s like there is an INFLEXIBLE thought rolling through your mind. Stretch that thought-puppy out!!
You might think I’m kidding, but you really can do this–and you do so, by doing new things or by doing old things differently. Neuroscientists call this phenomena neuroplasticity–essentially, that “experience can actually change both the brain’s physical structure (anatomy) and functional organization (physiology). Yup–found that on wikipedia (among other places).
Stop for a minute and consider the possibility and opportunity if you DID do that xyz thing. And then dip your toe into those unchartered waters, even just a little bit. You might be surprised, and find all sorts of things that you are good at that you never knew. Whether it is marketing, writing, drawing, crafting, sewing, or whatever, there are a lot of creative things you can be doing.
Creativity is an important outlet, offering stress relief, opportunities to bond with other people, and can be therapeutic, adding to your sense of satisfaction of life.
And I’m not just talking art! Creativity is useful in many aspects of your life. Use your creativity to re-organize your office (or whatever you need organized) in a new way. Use your creativity to market yourself on your blog or LinkedIn page. Think of new ways of doing things—do your research if you can’t think of new ways and see how other people are doing them—and try those things out.
10 Neuroplasticity Exercises to Flex and Stretch Your Mind!
Be flexible in what you do today. And to get you started, I’m going to give you a few things that you can do differently today or this weekend (small things) that might help get that creative muscle stretched out. Because sometimes just doing something differently than our normal routine can break up the fog in our minds. Consider these “exercises” for the mind, that will strengthen the creative muscle.
1. Drive home from work taking a different route.
2. If you walk around your plant/office building/place of work, getting from here to there, take a route that is different than you would normally take.
3. If you normally eat chicken for lunch, switch it up with something else, like tofu!
4. If you normally check your email when you log on to your computer, then don’t check it this time, until you have finished another online task.
5. Drink water instead of your normal drink of choice—just even once!
6. If you normally blog about fitness, blog about something entirely different and tell your audience you are doing a stretching/yoga exercise for your mind.
7. If you normally work out inside, go outside this time!
8. If you normally add sugar to your coffee or tea, don’t add any this time. And consider the taste and aroma as you drink it.
9. If you normally go home and watch TV, instead try reading a book. Or cleaning out your closet. Or something other than TV.
10. If you normally sleep in on Saturdays, try waking up early with a small project in mind to do.
Now go on out there and get your neuroplasticity on!