I continue to review the Dalai Lama’s book “The Art Of Happiness In A Troubled World” From the discussions in the book I can infer that positive emotions can be beneficial to creative thinking. When we feel happy and have other positive emotions we tend to make more associations, we see the bigger picture better and we tend to be more flexible in our points of view. All those characteristics help creativity.
Making associations is a fundamental element in creative thinking.
There are several ways to change our emotions from negative to positive, such as listening to music, meditation, and physical exercise. It has been shown that brain fitness is improved during and immediately after physical exercise. One of the mechanisms could be the generation of positive emotions; the production of endorphins is often quoted in the media.
Because more associations happen in this mental state, it is possible that new neuronal connections could happen as well.
It has also been shown that positive emotions are contagious. The neuronal mechanism that can explain this is based on the presence of “mirror neurones” Basically these neurones let us feel what other people are feeling. If positive emotions are beneficial, and also contagious, it follows that they can help build a more healthy and successful society.
Summarizing my latest blog entries I can say that confidence, mental flexibility, a state of positive emotions, and playfulness can all be beneficial in the act of creativity.
Adolfo Cotter, MD