10 minutes a day that will enhance your creativity
Since Sigmund Freud developed his theories about the unconscious, much has been written about the psychological processes that operate in the back of our mind and that, without us noticing, influence our way of thinking and feeling.
But while the father of psychoanalysis believed that the function of the unconscious is to protect us from ideas that can destroy us if they are not well managed, recently the psychologist Benjamin P. Hardy has proposed the idea that By paying attention to that hidden part of our mind we can make the most of our creative potential .
And how could we get to "communicate" properly with our unconscious to benefit from that source of creativity? For it, Hardy proposes to spend 10 minutes a day contacting the hidden processes of our brain . It is not an activity that has to do with esotericism, although when talking about ways to influence the invisible part of the human mind, sometimes it forces us to refer to mysterious aspects of ourselves. In fact, the idea of this psychologist is based on a very specific routine and whose effectiveness can be scientifically tested.
Start the day with a blank canvas
The idea behind Benjamin P. Hardy's strategy is, in fact, very simple. This psychologist starts from the assumption that most mental processes occur unconsciously. And it does not refer only to those that have to do with the regulation of the state of mind, the realization of fast movements before possible dangers or the maintenance of our vital signs, all of which depend on evolutionarily ancient structures of our nervous system, such as example the brainstem.
No, it refers to all those tasks that do not require too much concentration : move along the path that leads to our workplace, make the necessary movements to pronounce a word we know well, make a simple decision whose consequences are unimportant ... Our conscience only materializes in those processes that really require our interest , concentration or improvisation. For everything else, the brain structures responsible for performing repetitive and automatic tasks can serve and act efficiently, without wasting time on seemingly useless reflections.
Our conscious mind is, according to this idea, the top of a pyramid of decisions that unconscious processes have already taken for us .. the idea is to "restart the system", get control of those decisions that the unconscious usually makes and rethink schemes of routine thoughts.
10 minutes a day to break schemes
In order to gain the power to choose among many more options than we are given in a normal situation, what we must do, according to Hardy, is to take advantage of the power of rest: when we sleep, our mind is isolated from the environmental stimuli that it usually receives and can reorganize ideas in new and innovative ways, "oxygenating" our habitual ways of thinking.
Which are the steps to follow?
First, just before going to sleep, we spend a few minutes thinking about the problems (everyday or not) that we would like to solve , and then we write down these topics on a sheet of paper. In this way, these will be the ideas that we will have in the head just before sleeping and that will be worked on automatically while we sleep. If we enter the dream stage having reflected on a series of ideas, these neural connections will be fresh the moment we sleep, and will tend to become active again. This will make it more likely that they will be modified while our consciousness stops acting.
The next day, just after waking up, the first thing we will do is pick up the sheet on which we had written down the problems and write there everything that comes to mind on the subject , without stopping to think about whether it is appropriate or not. In those first 10 minutes of the day we will be at the peak of our creative potential and we will be able to address those issues with a clear mind after having let our unconscious side reformulate our thinking patterns.
Areas of application
This strategy, strongly reminiscent of Dalí's routine to come up with the ideas with which to create his paintings, It can be very interesting for all those people whose work has an obvious connection with creativity : writers, designers, advertising creatives, etc. But it can also be useful for all those people who simply want to make their minds a little more open and prone to change.
If we make this routine a constant habit, we put a paper and a pen next to the bed and we preserve a good hygiene of the dream, the ideas of Hardy can transform the way in which we construct our reality. And we do not even have to concentrate to look for solutions combining strange ideas: our unconscious mind does it for us.