Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Shifty Eyes -- A Creativity Warm-Up Exercise

A while back when I was setting up my iGoogle home page, I found a widget called Google For Gardeners, courtesy of Mr Brown Thumb. So I've set up a Creativity Search Engine, and added the widget at the bottom of the page.

While checking it out, I found a link that led to a link that led to a British Psychological Society digest post on how performing horizontal eye movement exercises can boost your creativity. While the effects are short-term and don't work for everyone (what does?), I can assure you of one thing: 30 seconds of this eye exercise can ensure 30 seconds of relief from whatever is cluttering up your head. Or maybe it's just me: This took concentration!

To make this exercise most effective, here are some suggestions:
  1. Have a topic, problem or opportunity in mind before you begin. 
  2. Turn off your phone and reduce other distractions. 
  3. Perform 30 seconds of horizontal eye movements.
  4. For the next 5 to 10 minutes, challenge yourself to see how many different ideas or approaches you can find to your topic.
Who knows: Shifty Eyes might replace "Alternate Nostril Breathing" as the weirdest way to greet fiber friends. Sorry -- maybe you had to be there!


Anonymous said...

compare EMDR therapy -- here's a Wikipedia link to give you a general idea....

Donna Kallner... said...

Thank you for the heads up and for sharing the link -- very interesting how eye movement may help increase cognitive flexibility and even contribute to a physiological relaxation effect.

Reading the Wikipedia entry suggests that, like any kind of exercise, if Shifty Eyes makes you uncomfortable stop. While EMDR can be used to treat trauma-related disorders, the process would best be attempted with a someone trained to help you.

Still, I'll remember this and might try Shifty Eyes for coping with traffic stress related to a collision with a drunk driver. I'm OK when I'm driving but sometimes it's still uncomfortable to be a passenger.