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Your Creativity Lab

Moon Map
Moon Map from U.S. Geological Survey

Imagine that the brain is like a sponge, soaking up everything in its environment and mixing it all together within the neurons (brain cells), dendrites (fibers branching between neurons), and synapses (gaps between dendrites where impulses pass), and forming the patterns, and images of creative ideas. It's logical then that to enhance creativity you would need a rich environment.

A rich environment should be full of inspiring, stimulating, and thought provoking things. Some things you might find in a rich environment are pictures and posters on the walls, lots of tools, lots of toys, and lots of books. Not just any books, but books with lots of pictures.

A rich environment needs chairs and work tables, and good lighting. Some people claim they create better when the lighting is incandescent, not fluorescent. Some say they need a private place with no interruptions. Others say lots of noisy kids and pets gets their creative juices flowing. Some people say they need a cot in their creativity lab so they can lay down, day dream, and let their imagination drift.

Other things you might consider for your creativity lab is a large white board, the type that might be used by a theoretical physicist or other scientist. You might have a cork board on which you can post pictures, papers and notes. Some people like to hang a world map on the wall, some hang a picture of earth from space, some even hang a picture of the moon.

Since the brain works on the basis of neurotransmitters, it's logical that to be more creative you might want to have neurotransmitter enhancers available in your creativity lab. When I say neurotransmitter enhancers, I'm referring to coffee and caffeinated beverages.

Some creative artists claim that the use of alcohol or drugs increases creativity. I don't recommend these types of neurotransmitter enhancers because repeated use of alcohol or drugs results in brain damage, addiction, and substance abuse, after which creativity or intelligent thought of any kind becomes reduced.

The operation of the brain is very sensitive to the blood sugar (glucose) level. The brain is more sensitive to the blood sugar level than muscles because unlike the muscles, the brain does not store fuel. Therefore, it must have a continuous supply. Symptoms of low brain blood sugar are sleepiness, slow thinking, confusion, irritability. It has been described as "brain fog".

Eating a sugary snack will relieve the symptoms of low brain blood sugar in seconds. Unfortunately the relief is only temporarily, you'll need another sugary pick-up within 15 to 30 minutes. Then your brain blood sugar will drop again. Many people experience brain blood sugar swings all day.

The secret to keeping your brain blood sugar at optimum level for creativity is to avoid sugary snacks and instead stock your creativity lab with foods that have a less radical affect on blood sugar levels, like beans, nuts, and ingredients for salad.

The exact things you might include in your creativity lab depends upon the type of creativity that you're involved in and on your preferences. There are some people (like me) who require a stark environment with no pictures on the walls, as few things around as possible, and absolutely no noise or interruptions. You need to design a creativity lab that works best for you.

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