The Creativity of 3

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I’m not sure where I even found this – but I love it. 3 seems to play a significant role in humankind. It happens that three is the first number to which the meaning “all” was given.

3 signifies a beginning, a middle, and an end. Just like my brothers and I. Me, the first born – the beginning, and my brothers, the middle and the end.

Time, too. When describing time, we categorize it into past, present, and future.

3 seems to signify harmony, completion, or perfection. In the Bible, the number is repeated and used as such. God, the son, and the holy spirit. God’s attributes: omniscience, omnipresence, and omnipotence. And let’s not forget: On the third day, he rose again. 

So was this number born out of creativity or necessity? And where does this creativity come from – are we born with it? Is it something we’re taught? Why are some people more creative than others?

In this article by David Cox in the Guardian explores the question: Are people born creative? He goes on to explain that researchers have discovered that the corpus callosum, or band of nerve fibers joining the two sides of the brain, is smaller in creatives like writers, musicians, and artists, “which may augment their creativity by allowing each side of their brain to develop its own specialization.” Cool, right?

He goes on to express that other studies have shown that people with certain mental disorders tend to be more creative. Example 1 was bipolar disorder. If experiencing bipolar mania, the individual is, “experiencing excessive fast and divergent thinking, increased self-esteem, and never ending energy and motivation often to create.”

A creative myself, I find things like this so interesting. I’m on that never-ending and never satisfying quest to find out why I am the way that I am – and why others are the way that they are. Maybe I should have picked up a psychology minor!

I’m always interested in the creative process of others, too. Myself, I carry around a journal that I fill with lists and ideas that drive my creation and inspires me to learn more in order to create more. But of course, there’s creative block. I’ve been pretty lucky with my journal – normally I can find something I find interesting enough to write about just from day-to-day inspo. However, if you’re really creatively gummed up, an article that helped me was this one by Canva’s blog. Sometimes I read stuff like this when I’m not struggling to create content, and it still helps. Check it out.

While we may never know why the number three was created, we can at least admit that it was born out of a necessity of the human mind to imagine. We’ve got science to back that one up. As for the magic-ness of certain triads, keep them in mind. They may just be your ticket to imaginative harmony.

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Improve Your Mood with a Simple Sniff

Believe it or not, working at Little Trees CAR-FRESHNER this summer has piqued my interest in fragrance! We do so much with fragrance at work (and I’ve smelled some of the best and the absolute WORST aka malodor) that I’ve decided to do a little research of my own on fragrance.

Obviously if you’re smelling something nasty, you’re going to feel nasty, too. Bad smells alert your brain to danger. Is your milk expired? Give it a quick sniff. You’ll know.

What I really want to focus on are the good smells out there and what they can really do to improve one’s mood – and why.

As babies, our olfactory senses are the first to develop and although we aren’t as gifted as dogs are in the smell department, we have a highly developed sense of smell (some more than others). Our body’s limbic system (see below) is directly connected to our olfactory bulbs – so what we smell plays a bigger role in our moods than we might think.

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Recently businesses like hotels and clothing stores have begun to use scent as a marketing tactic. While clothing stores like Abercrombie & Fitch and Hollister, Inc. douse their product in their signature scent, they’re really training your brain to identify with the brand in a positive way. If you don’t like the scent, however, this tactic may have the opposite effect.

Studies have been done, like this one where participants were exposed to certain fragrances and asked to identify which mood they elicited. This method is called Mood Mapping and has been trademarked by Stephen Warrenburg at Oxford. While studies like this one have been done, lots of others (most likely less qualified than Mr. Warrenburg) have gathered evidence of specific natural fragrances being useful for a variety of stress-relieving outcomes.

Here’s what I found:

Ah, Vanilla. 

You know the smell. I’m sure I don’t have to do much explaining to convince you that the warm and sweet scent of vanilla makes you feel nurtured and content – and gives you a sense of nostalgia, too. P.S. Hot tip: the scent of vanilla wards off pesky flies.

Grapefruit

This sweetly sour citrus scent spikes energy and clears the mind giving you the extra boost you need to get through the day. Eat half a grapefruit a day, or even once a week, and you’ll reap the benefits of the combination of fiber, potassium, lycopene, Vitamin C, and cholene which all contribute to a healthy heart. It also helps regulate blood pressure.

Turmeric

The pungent and bitter root spice has an encouraging benefit: the release of serotonin. Low levels of serotonin signal depression, so turmeric plays an adverse role on the mental disorder.

Bergamot

Feeling irritable or angry? Take the edge off with a fragrance that includes bergamot. Bergamot scent is derived from the bergamot orange. It’s a fragrant yellow/green citrus fruit roughly the size of a Florida orange. Bergamot is supposed to be mood balancing.

Jasmine

Personally, I’m not fond of the scent, but it has some pretty great qualities. Jasmine is supposed to be deeply sedating to the body’s nervous system. It’s perfect to use after a long day – just try to stay away from stressors and take a few deep breaths after applying.

Lilly of the Valley

One of the cutest and most fragile flowering plants, Lily of the Valley, is known to help with sadness or grief by inducing a sense of security and comfort. Keep an eye out for those little white bells!

Rosemary

Rosemary improves memory retention and fights headaches, mental fatigue, and physical burnout. It’s also delicious and has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties that prevent brain aging and improves digestion.

 Coffee

The magical scent of coffee. Mmm. I feel more relaxed just thinking about my morning cup. A study was done by Han-Seouk Seo of Seoul National University in which rats were stressed out because they were being deprived of sleep, but once exposed to the fragrance of Colombian coffee beans, brain protein levels changed and had a calming/antioxidant effect on them.

Try these out. You never know, a better day might be a sniff away.