Five Minute Creativity Boost

What is creativity? By definition it is: “the ability to transcend traditional ideas, rules, patterns…and create [bring into being] meaningful new ideas, forms, methods, interpretations”. We humans love to create…and recreate; to bring forth and nurture originality as if it were our precious child; to push the boundaries of “Why?” and ask, “Why not?”.

Have you tasted the stroke of midnight? Heard fruit ripening on the vine? Ever held a shooting star in the palm of your hand? Smelled tomorrow? Seen the fragrance of a rose?

The logical part of our brain says: “Not possible”; “Doesn’t exist”; “Can’t do it”; “Human senses don’t work that way.”. But the creative part of our brain rises to the challenge and attempts the seemingly impossible: “Stroke of midnight? Hmm, rich, decadent, tangy…delicious!”

Five Minutes, Five Senses!

A simple 5-minute exercise may boost your creativity, bring clarity to your thoughts, open your imagination, and yes, aid memory. The exercise is done in 4 steps. Focus your attention on each individual sense (taste, sight, touch, smell, hearing) one at a time, and fully engage in that particular sense before moving on to the next. (Eyes may be open or closed.)

Step 1: Experience familiar sensations.

Taste–

  • Taste cold, juicy watermelon
  • Chocolate melting in your mouth
  • Bite into a sour lemon

Sight–

  • Watch a beautiful sunset
  • See the smiling face of a happy child
  • Watch a bird fly across the sky

Touch–

  • Pet the soft fur of a kitten
  • Walk barefoot along a sandy beach
  • Make a snowball with your bare hands

Smell–

  • Inhale the aroma of freshly brewed coffee
  • Smell a pine forest
  • Smell an ocean breeze

Hear–

  • Listen as a distant train whistle grows louder, then fades away
  • Hear a clock strike five o’clock
  • Hear the sound of raindrops on a tin roof

Step 2: Apply all five senses to a single experience; such as baking bread.

  • Knead the dough with your hands
  • Smell the bread baking in the oven
  • See the golden color of the freshly baked loaf
  • Hear the crunch of the crust as you bite into it
  • Taste the flavors as you savor a slice spread with melting butter

Step 3: Experience each sense through obscure and unusual combinations. This allows the creative side of the brain to join in, trying to answer a riddle. (Don’t get hung up or struggle; just go with whatever comes and move on. With practice, your creative brain will know what to do.) For example:

  • Taste the air inside a bubble
  • Walk along the red stripe of a rainbow
  • Hear wax shine
  • Smell square
  • See an echo in a canyon

Step 4: Mix up your bread baking senses. For example:

  • See the crunch of the crust
  • Smell the ingredients into forming a dough
  • Taste the color of the finished loaf
  • Hear the flavor of melting butter spread on a warm slice
  • Touch the aroma of the baking loaf

A gifted storyteller moves an audience through all senses: hearing, sight, touch, smell, and taste to create a truly satisfying and magical experience. Heightening the senses gives the brain more avenues for memory recall; no longer relying solely on rote data filing, but recalling feelings, sensations and associations.

From once upon a time to happily ever after is just five senses away.

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