2 Simple Steps to Improve the Quality of Your Ideas
We know how important it is to keep constantly coming up with valuable ideas and how it can sometimes turn into a real anxiety-inducing struggle, draining you from energy, willpower and any mental resources. So here are a few very easy things to keep in mind for the year to come. By few we mean just two. No unnecessary clutter or catchy lists. Two steps and good results.
1. Breathe, but not too much.
This is by far the most important step. Your ability to focus and generate killer ideas is just one tiny piece in an endless cycle of behaviors, thoughts, feelings and emotions that are all backed up by processes on the most important level - physiology. Getting a control over that makes you a winner.
One of the key factors is breathing. Breathing properly helps you reduce your blood pressure, stabilize your heart rate and enhance levels of oxygen available to your organs, all of which alter your brain function and calm your nervous system.
It is a wide-spread belief that more air equals more oxygen. While your lungs may feel filled up, it doesn’t necessarily give more oxygen that is actually available to your tissues.
Deep and frequent breathing causes a rapid reduction in carbon dioxide in the body. Too large volumes of air force us breathe out carbon dioxide too soon, interrupting the optimal balance. As a result a chemical reaction appears that makes it difficult for oxygen to be released from the bloodstream. So the blood may be rich in oxygen, however, the tissues suffer from lack of it. Too low carbon dioxide levels also lead to narrowing of the blood vessels that supply blood to the brain.
But now, how to do it properly then? Just check your breathing. Breath through your nose using your abdominal area, slowly rather than fast, less rather than more. And don’t push it too much.
2. Get bored.
Being bored and productive idea-wise doesn’t seem to fit into one sentence, does it? But the more you think about it, the more it actually makes sense. Boredom gives room for deep reflection that enables us to come up with a genuine and creative response instead of a mere reaction. We live in an age of information, rich in distractions and fast info decreasing our attention span. We suffer from all kinds of anxieties that reduce our ability to be mindfully present and produce something that truly matters to ourselves, above all.
The real challenge doesn’t reside in keeping your schedule crammed all day long, every single day. The challenge resides in being with yourself, by yourself and just yourself, getting rid of the clutter, paying attention and not feeling guilty about it.
So yes, in our opinion it is a good idea to stop escaping boredom by looking refuge from the ever-fruitless hedonic treadmill. Just stare into space. However scary and hard it may seem at first. And don't forget to breathe your way through being bored!