Why Your Best Ideas Happen in the Shower
Creativity is a fascinating thing and whether you believe it or not, we are all creative. Of course creativity is both subjective and relative – a creative idea to one person or in one arena may not be perceived as such to or in another. But nonetheless, creativity is within each of us and we draw upon it everyday. Even if you don’t consider yourself particularly creative, you may find yourself having bright ideas while showering. Have you ever wondered why your best ideas happen in the shower? We are breaking it down for you:
As much as you may focus on solving a problem or coming up with a really great plan during meetings or formal brainstorming sessions, it’s usually when we are away from the normal confines of “work” that we are most creative. Being our upmost creative selves takes the presence of three important things: relaxation, distraction and the neurotransmitter dopamine. And that’s why your best ideas happen in the shower – it’s the intersection of all of those things.
Now you may experience this creativity burst at other times in your day as well, such as when you’re driving home from work, exercising or getting a massage. Both relaxation and distraction help us identify and connect insights that are part of our subconscious, which we cannot do when we are hyper-focused on the mechanics of solving a problem. Dopamine is a “feel-good” compound that encourages relaxation and is directly linked to creativity. In fact, the more dopamine you release, the more creative you can be. Dopamine is triggered during enjoyable activities, such as exercise and showering.
Statistics show that up to 72% of people claim to have their best ideas in the shower. When you’re alone in a judgment-free zone and feeling refreshed and relaxed you have the space to daydream. Many productivity and creative thinking experts believe you should carry this atmosphere over into other parts of your day to inspire more time for creativity. With more space for innovation, we can connect our inner thoughts with the outside world and can be our most creative.
Interestingly, the parts of the brain responsible for executive function take a back seat when we are being creative. The medial prefrontal cortex of the brain is in hyper-drive during creative times, which helps us make associations and have emotional responses.
To capitalize on your creativity, keep a list of your ideas in a notebook or mobile phone app. Part of what helps you come up with your best solutions is connecting ideas. When you see them listed, you can string them together. Overwhelming your brain can also help you problem solve. This will push your brain to work harder for you out of necessity. And don’t forget to give your brain space away from the tactical issue at hand to work on it subconsciously. You’ll spend less time on the issue overall and end up with a more creative result.
We hope this intriguing info helped you put on your thinking cap. Where do you have your best ideas?
Sources: Buffer App, Business Insider, and LifeHacker