You’re in the shower, soaping up, when suddenly – BAM – you have that eureka moment. You know exactly how you’re going to pitch ‘Summer Fridays’ to your boss. Or maybe you’ve dreamed up the next must-have dessert (watch out cronuts – we’re coming for you.)
While your shampoo brand would probably love to take credit for bottling genius, these ‘ah-hah’ moments have more to do with the perfect haven created by your shower than the suds on your scalp. Here’s a look at why the shower is so productive for complex, creative thought.
Showering boosts alertness
Many of us shower in the morning to wake up and get ready for the day. The exhilarating sensation of hot water and scented body wash can leave you feeling more alert and prepared for creative thinking.
Distractions are minimal
You may not have many sparks of creativity at the office, because distractions and the looming pressure of deadlines surround you. All your shower wants to surround you with is cozy steam and that squeaky-clean feeling. Because it’s a plain space with minimal distractions, there is nothing to stop you from thinking freely. As a bonus, the flowing of the water mimics white noise, which can help you to let go of other thoughts that might block your train of thought.
Relaxation helps ideas flow
There is something special about the shower that allows creative thinking to flourish. Not only is your mind free to wander because you do not have any cognitive tasks at hand, but you are also in a comfortable and relaxing space. The calming effects of showering flushes the brain with dopamine, which triggers an increase in alpha brain waves – a necessary ingredient for creativity.
Mindlessness unlocks creativity
Have you ever noticed that the solutions to tough problems seem to come when you stop thinking about them? High-pressure situations can restrict your thought process and leave you short on ideas. But when you’re in the shower, your mind tends to shift back to autopilot. Subconsciously, you return to thoughts you had earlier, but this time you are more likely to accept creative and unique ideas rather than inhibit what your focused brain might normally see as unconventional solutions.
Where do you do your best thinking? Share your thoughts in the comments section below, and don’t forget to check back with the MeMD blog for future articles about the strange habits of the human body.