One of my favorite techniques is to take an object about the size of a ball and then play with it. I’ll flip it back and forth from hand to hand. I’ll toss it in the air. I’ll try grasping it in various ways, or let it roll from finger to finger. Sometimes I just hold it, feel its surface, and let it soothe me. Doing this stimulates a different part of my brain, and gets me into a creative frame of mind.
Indeed, some recent studies have shown that activating your basic motor functions can improve mental performance. I read about a particular one that had two similar groups of people take a mental acuity test. Prior to the test, members of the control group sat quietly in a room for twenty minutes. Members of the target group, however, spent the same time in another room cutting skins off apples with sharp knives. Then both groups took the test. The motor skill-activated group — the apple-parers — performed better. One reason is that a considerable portion of the human brain is dedicated to hand-related functions. So, there’s something about getting people’s hands and eyes working together that gets their neurons firing!
For me, the same thing happens when I handle the Ball of Whacks, which is my newest product. It consists of 30 magnetic design blocks that I can manipulate and turn into many different shapes. If you'd like to know more, Here's a one minute video on the Ball of Whacks.