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Over the past few years, from business innovation to routine improvements, the world has become more receptive to the need for creativity. The world would have never transitioned on from CD players to MP3 players, or from the “little box” cell phones to the sleek smartphones of today if it weren’t for humans thinking differently.
The creative, intuitive and imaginative aspects of our thinking originate from the right side of the brain, and the Zentangle methodology is known to be quite effective in unlocking that potential.
What is the Right Brain?
Through continuous research, scientists have discovered that the human brain is divided into two distinctive hemispheres. The research began as early as 1861 by the French physician Pierre Broca, and today extends to extremely advanced and combined investigative effort by neurological and psychological experts.
In the late 1960s, American psycho-biologist Roger Sperry spearheaded further research into this concept. He furthered the initial theories that the human brain has two very different ways of thinking. The right brain is visual and processes information in an intuitive manner, going from the bigger picture to the smaller details. The left hemisphere is responsible for the more “straightforward” processes such as logical thinking, analogical deduction, sequencing, mathematical processing etc.
Why Improve the Right Brain?
Well, who would not want to think more holistically and come up with the next big idea? And the right brain is where it all happens. Only a few of us are born with the innate ability to come up with brand new ideas without much help, and provide alternative solutions to problems. Most people have to hone these basic skills as they go through life. The more we practice and sharpen our right brain skillsets, the more apt we are to be successful in our walks of life.
How Zentangle Helps Encourage Right Brain Utilization
Different aspects of the Zentangle methodology are in congruence with the principles that scientists have suggested as pathways to strengthening right brain processes. From psychologists to engineers, and entrepreneurs to people in recovery, everyone has benefited from Zentangle to regain or enhance their cognitive processing. Some of these characteristics are as follows:
Repetition Helps Memory & Cognition
Jackie Andrade of the University of Plymouth, School of Psychology, conducted a very interesting experiment. She got 2 groups of participants to listen to a mock phone message. One group was asked to write down the names of people in the message while filling in little squares and circles on a piece of paper. The other half just listened to the messages and only wrote down names.
Afterwards participants were given a surprise memory test, after being told they wouldn’t have to remember anything. The group that also drew patterns alongside the names performed better in memory retention than those who simply wrote down the names. Zentangle is all about repeating beautiful patterns until you complete the drawing to your heart’s fill. The result is not just art, but also a sharper memory and cognitive processing.
Meditation Spurs Neurotic Activity
One of the key characteristics of the Zentangle method is that it soothes the person who is creating the art. This meditative nature of the art-form is critical to achieving a state where the brain’s creative potential is unlocked.
Sometimes the mind gets entangled when thinking too much about the same problem. A lot of writers & creative heads use the technique of simply moving away from the scenario to clear their mind and letting go of the issue or stop thinking about it. Only when their minds are cleared are they able to think broadly and holistically again. This is exactly what Zentangle does. It clears your mind so that it can be freed from the pressure of too many thoughts or ideas. The clarity helps the right brain produce more creative ideas eventually.
Owning Mistakes is a Big Motivator
One of the most amusing things about the Zentangle methodology is that it does encourage the use of an eraser. Rather, if you made a mistake, you can simply create a new pattern from it, and actually use that error to your benefit!
This is exactly what creativity needs to survive. What do all the greatest entrepreneurs, athletes and visionaries have in common? They all came up with the best ideas after making their worst mistakes. But they owned those mistakes and vowed to never repeat them again. Learning from errors is one of the most critical elements of sharpening your right brain and unlocking a new treasure of ideas & thoughts.
So it’s clear. Your brightest days are only ahead of you. Get your Zentangle on and get some activity in your right hemisphere! Check out my Zentangle class here.