If You Could Take a Pill to Improve Your Creativity, Would You?

Sure, who wouldn’t want to be more creative? But what about a pill to improve your self-control, or sociability? What if you enjoy being impulsive, or revel in your alone time? If a pharmacological enhancement changed a defining aspect of your personality, how would it change your perception of that enhancement?

Source: If You Could Take a Pill to Improve Your Creativity, Would You?

The findings were interesting.  I disagree with what the subjects were assessed with wanting to improve only innate abilities.  If I’m already good at something, I want to improve where I’m not.  But the finding is consistent with another study where people were found to generally not want to see others improve.

Study: Not Taking A Lunch Break Is Psychologically Bad For You

Fewer American workers are taking time for lunch. Research shows that only 1 in 5 five people steps away for a midday meal. Most workers are simply eating at their desks.

But studies have also found that the longer you stay at work, the more important it is to get outside of the office, even if it’s just for a few minutes, because creativity can take a hit when you don’t change environments.

Source: We’re Not Taking Enough Lunch Breaks. Why That’s Bad For Business

It’s not the eating that matters, as much as getting up and changing scenery for a little while.  I think most employers would have trouble stomaching the “creativity” angle, but for those who have desk jobs – there’s a documented necessity for our health to walk 5 minutes for every hour at the desk.

Lightning in a Bottle: How Drinking Alcohol Makes You More Creative

Advertising has and forever will be one of the most creative industries out there. In the 1960s, Volkswagen’s “Lemon” advertisement for the beetle, which showed the word big and bold, ushered in the so-called “creative revolution” throughout advertising agencies. Rather than cliché ads, which only showed the product and the reason for its use — a hammer hitting a head for headache medicine — the word “Lemon” captured people’s attention, and then told them something about the product that was completely unrelated to lemons. If you watch Mad Men, then you know how much drinking is portrayed during that time period. But it was very much the same in reality, and that’s because alcohol certainly does make you more creative.

Source: How Drinking Alcohol Makes You More Creative: Drink Up For More ‘Aha!’ Moments

I think the study is missing a key point: Alcohol is a depressant, and there is a link between depression and creativity.

There’d been news recently to suggest that from an evolutionary perspective, depression should have been weeded out.  So it stood to reason that, as miserable as it is to experience depression, there’s a benefit in some manner.  I remember someone saying years back that they believed that “no one wrote poetry while they were happy”.  Maybe there’s some truth to the statement?

Next time I get pulled over, I’ll try telling the law enforcement representative that I was “driving creatively”:

Study: Sharing Dessert Reduces Guilt

Normally, people do not enjoy being forced to do something. People also do not enjoy the guilt that comes with doing something that is bad for them. Surprisingly, these two wrongs seem to make a right: when people are compelled to engage in vices, they feel better than when they freely choose the vice for themselves. According to a new paper in the Journal of Consumer Research, persuading a friend to share a dessert removes the burden of choice from them, reducing their feelings of guilt and making them less conflicted about the decision.

Source: Get ordered to eat a brownie, and you’ll feel good about it

Before you go adopting a more hedonistic lifestyle, consider this webcomic.

Exercise: Non-Physical Benefits

Of course, it totally makes sense that the mind and body are not two distinct entities. Your brain is a physical organ, just like the muscles, lungs, and bones that obviously benefit from regular exercise. A growing body of research has chronicled how exercise triggers a cascade of chemical changes in the brain. Here are some reasons to exercise for your mental health.

Source: The Non-Physical Benefits of Exercise

If you’re not at least walking, you should be