Your new best friend in times of creative trouble
It may not be much of a surprise that drinking beer doesn't just get you to do mildly embarrassing things, it can also get your creative juices flowing.
Mental blocks can be a real pain to deal with. They delay work, and they can also cause undue stress. Luckily, having a nice cold glass of beer can help you relax and get back in the groove of things.
A lot of great creative minds had a—shall we say—close relationship with alcohol. Ernest Hemingway, for one, was quite the drinker. He also had no lack of creativity, given his body of work. Fortunately, however, you wouldn't need to be going on benders just so you can hammer out a few pages or churn out a few brush strokes. Apparently, just about a glass of beer—550 milliliters for men and 350 milliliters for women—is enough to kick that mental block right to the curb.
Who would have thought that a glass of beer can do wonders for your creativity?
Researchers at the University of Gaz in Austria say that even just mild intoxication can already help us relax enough to be able to think more clearly. A group of over 80 volunteers aged 19 to 32 took part in the study, which showed how mild intoxication can affect creativity. The researchers split the participants up and randomly placed them in two separate groups. One group was given beer that had 5.2% alcohol, while the other group was given non-alcoholic beer. The researchers chose a brand of beer that had a non-alcoholic counterpart that didn't look or taste any different. They also aimed to get the blood alcohol concentration of people in the beer-drinking group to 0.03
The participants then had to take a series of tests to get those creative juices flowing. In one test, for example, the participants had to think up a word that would connect three completely unrelated words. Accomplishing this task certainly takes a lot of problem-solving skills.
Participants in the beer-drinking group performed better at the tasks than the participants in the non-alcoholic group. It seems that mild intoxication can work wonders when you're stuck in a rut and you're looking for a way out.
Creativity doesn't increase by the amount of alcohol you consume.
Dr. Mathias Bendek, lead author of the study, has two possible explanations for why mild intoxication has this effect on us. He says that when we're trying to solve a problem, our mind tends to get stuck in just one way of trying to find a solution. A glass of beer, however, can enable us to tackle the problem from a different point of view.
It's surprising that alcohol, which can make us get easily distracted, can be effective at making us solve problems. According to Dr. Bendek, this may be because the alcohol “allows you to tap into your unconscious mind and find alternative solutions.”
However, it's important to note that more alcohol doesn't mean more creativity. Mild intoxication gets creative juices flowing, but heavy intoxication can reduce them to a trickle. So, if you're going to be partaking in some alcohol to get some work done, make sure to drink in moderation.
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