There are two types of attention, perceptual attention, which is given to your physical experiences, and conceptual attention, which is allotted to your mental processes. The two are linked, if one slows down so does the other. Likewise if you increase your spectrum of perceptual attention, by opening your eyes really wide for example, you should be able to kick start your brain into broadening its scope as well.
This can be really useful when you need to get creative and look at a problem innovatively.
A study published in the Creativity Research Journal tested this theory by using two groups, one was asked to raise their eyebrows while the other was told to keep their brows furrowed. The groups were then asked to caption an image of a dog lying on a bed with a bagel in its mouth.
The group with raised eyebrows suggested clever and creative captions such as ‘Betty the Beagle Beds a Bagel’, while the opposite group came up with lazy captions like ‘Dog who breaks rules’.
The idea behind this is that the group whose members had their eyebrows raised were receiving a greater amount of perceptual attention that they were subsequently able to translate into a greater amount of conceptual attention, increasing their non-linear thinking.
So next time you need to be more creative, open and non-linear in your thinking try raising your eyebrows first.