Boosting Your Imagination

Where do you usually find yourself when you suddenly have those bursts of creative ideas, those sudden brilliant solutions to problems, or when those lost memories seem to return spontaneously?

Most people say: "In the bath... the shower... in bed... while driving... listening to music."

What is common to all these states is that the individual is relaxed and solitary.

It is in this fruitful state that the human brain allows its most powerful weapon - its imagination - to express itself.

When your creative imagination is in full flow, all your senses become more alert, your circulation freer, your body more relaxed and stress-free, and your motivation and concentration enhanced.

Unfortunately, many of us have had our imagination imprisoned by being told not to use our senses, not to ask stupid questions, and certainly not to daydream. The good news, however, is that you can train yourself to use your imagination, thus making yourself more creative.

Research has shown that your imagination, in the right side of your cortex, not only can be trained but needs to be trained. You can train your brain by playing these two imagination and creative games:

1.  Find the similarities

Find as many similarities as you can between two seemingly-unrelated things. For instance, an elephant and an apple.

To give you a head-start, here are a couple of similarities which made me smile. First, both apples and elephants have gravity in common; the apple inspired Newton and elephants are the heaviest land mammals. Secondly, when it comes to spelling, the word elephant contains all the letters of the word apple. In this game, the average total of similarities found is ten. But you could well go on to 100 if you really use your imagination.

2.  Find the uses

Find as many uses as you can for something - say a butterfly. My top three are: as an inspiration to fashion designers, as a plant fertilizer and as an airplane for microscopic insects. You will find when you do this exercise that every answer will give you a small creativity boost, and that brilliant ones will often make you laugh out loud. The average number of uses discovered in this game is 24. Leonardo da Vinci, who some rank as the greatest genius ever, said he kept his brain fertile by realising that everything is connected to everything else, and then actively seeking such connections.

When you train your brain and your imagination, your whole life (including your sex life - research confirms it) will improve.