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Have you ever wished you were more creative in your thinking? If turns out, that watching funny YouTube clips or listening to upbeat music could be the answer.
A new study has shown we can use music or video to help put us into a good mood and this enables us to think more innovatively. Similarly, if you have a problem, which requires careful thought and consideration, being in a good mood is great for creative thinking.
In this study the participants were manipulated into different moods using music and video clips. It was then determined which ones made people the happiest or the saddest, or had no effect on mood.
Dividing the group into three, one group listened and watched the happy inducing music and videos. A second group used the sad mood enhancing clips and music and the third group used the neutral mood ones. Afterwards, all the participants were given a task learning to classify sets of pictures with visually complex patterns.

Those in the best moods were found to learn the task the most easily. So rather than being just a time waster, watching YouTube clips could be a subconscious way to put yourself into a good mood. Listening to music is a very easy way to lift your mood as well. Just take your pick of what you enjoy the best.

Ref: Ruby T. Nadler, Rahel Rabi, John Paul Minda. Better Mood and Better Performance: Learning Rule Described Categories Is Enhanced by Positive Mood. Psychological Science, 2010; 21: 1770-1776 DOI: 10.1177/0956797610387441

Dr Jenny Brockis

Dr Jenny Brockis is a medical practitioner and internationally board-certified lifestyle medicine physician, workplace health and wellbeing consultant, podcaster, keynote speaker and best-selling author. Her new book 'Thriving Mind: How to Cultivate a Good Life' (Wiley) is available online and at all good bookstores.

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