Exercise and shower

Posted by on Jul 14, 2015 in , , | No Comments

Exercise and shower

A little bit of a tangent… We’ve already covered briefing early, which allows the subconscious mind to work. We’ve also covered how taking a time away and returning to your work can break your personal connection to it, allowing an objective critique.

Here we’ll cover how you might best use that time. We all have our ways of distressing, and mentally distancing ourselves from our work but let us dip our toe into some modern science for a moment.

For years it has been suggested that going for a walk or exercising can help with writers’ block and get the creative juices flowing. Now scientists have discovered that taking part in regular exercise such as going for a walk or riding a bike really does improve creative thought.

Cognitive psychologist Professor Lorenza Colzato of Leiden University in The Netherlands, found that those who exercised for four times a week were able to think more creatively than those with a more sedentary lifestyle.

When tested the volunteers who exercised regularly performed better on a series of cognitive tests. “We think that physical movement is good for the ability to think flexibly. Exercising on a regular basis may thus act as a cognitive enhancer promoting creativity in inexpensive and healthy ways.”

“We found that people who are doing exercise on a regular basis outperform those who don’t. We think that physical exercise trains your brain to become more flexible in finding creative solutions.” (Source)

Then, take a shower…

Creativity, while scientifically a very vague activity, is actually a distinct process triggered by a few key factors:

  • When a lot of dopamine is released in our brains. Triggers like exercising, listening to music, and, yes, taking a warm shower, contribute to increased dopamine flow.
  • When we’re relaxed. When we have a relaxed state of mind, we’re more likely to turn attention inwards, able to make insightful connections.
  • When we’re distracted. Distraction gives our brains a break so our subconscious can work on a problem more creatively.

A dopamine high, relaxed state, and distracted mind… No wonder great ideas happen in the shower.


Continue reading the ‘Cultivating Creativity’ series

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