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Good Housekeeping
Jennifer Chan, Contributor
April 30, 2012

Meditation May Encourage Creative Thinking, Study Shows

Need help brainstorming for new ideas? Try meditating! By Jennifer Chan

Meditation has been known to calm the mind, but according to a study published in Frontiers in Cognition, it may also make you more creative. Cognitive psychologist Lorenza Colzato and her colleagues came to this conclusion after testing two different meditation techniques, Open Monitoring and Focused Attention, on their study participants.

The researchers wanted to find out which of these techniques could help individuals improve their divergent thinking (their ability to come up with new ideas) or their convergent thinking (their ability to find solutions to problems). 

Participants assigned to use Open Monitoring were encouraged to be receptive to everything that was going on around them without focusing on anything specific. Individuals who used this technique showed signs of improvement in divergent thinking. Meanwhile, those who used Focused Attention were asked to concentrate on a single thought or object. However, this meditation technique didn’t seem to have any effect at all. 

As evidenced by the study, not all meditation techniques produce the same results.  However, it is still helpful to know that, aside from helping you relax, you can also rely on some forms of meditation when preparing for a brainstorming session. 

(Photo by lululemon athletica via Flickr Creative Commons

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Jennifer Chan
Jennifer Chan was a contributing writer for Female Network for two years before formally joining the team as a staff writer in July 2012... Read more...
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