Shower Thoughts And How You Can Improve Your Creative Ideas
This is an article “Shower Thoughts And How You Can Improve Your Creative Ideas” by Marc Primo
It's hard to believe it when some people say that they don't have an ounce of creative juice in them. Anybody can create something, or at least come up with a unique idea for various things. What's for certain, though, is that some are better at creative thinking than others.
However, in Allen Gannet's book The Creative Curve: How to Develop the Right Idea at the Right Time, he postulates a predictable science that helps us understand how we can become more creative. We can produce more original ideas by understanding the 'creative curve', or pinpointing the optimal tension between novel and familiar things.
It is a fact of life that some people are innately creative, while others are more inclined to be technical. But why not excel in both for business? As long as you have the initiative to develop your creativity, there's no reason you won't be able to come up with something original and valuable.
Based on research and the science behind what makes people creative, here are some insights that can help you churn out those light bulb moments, even in the shower:
Tapping the inactive part of the brain for unique thoughts
Our brains are all parts lovely. We use different areas to process things and tap one place when improvising creativity—one good example of how this area of the brain works is freestyle rapping.
In one study, scientists tracked the brain activities of freestyle rappers and found that some parts of the brain shut off while the medial prefrontal cortex lights up like a switchboard. This means that being creative calls for total concentration so that the daily processors in our brain deactivate and give way to other areas that we don't use every day.
We use our frontal lobes every day, especially for movement or when we want to express ourselves. It's the more technical side of our brain where we organize, initiate, track, and control what we do and say.
On the other hand, our medial prefrontal cortex deals with our attention, habit-forming activities, and long-term memory. During freestyle rapping, artists free their minds from conventional and controlled thoughts, then articulate their emotions to fuel spontaneous creativity that transforms ideas into contextual language.
You can try activating your medial prefrontal cortex by rapping on the fly when you are doing something creative. You'll be surprised at the unique thoughts you'll come up with, considering you'll be using another part of your brain (which, incidentally, is also the part you use when you are dreaming).
Dopamine is your good kind of dope
Indulging in occasional fun and keeping healthy can also lead you to more of those mind-blowing shower epiphanies, allowing you to produce more Dopamine. This neurotransmitter is responsible for reward, motivation, memory, and attention, which are all important to your creative process.
Many studies show that creative thoughts can flood our brains when we are having fun, chilling out, or simply being in the pink of health–thanks to dopamine. That's probably why some of our brightest ideas light up in the shower.
It's important to stay stress-free when you want your creative thoughts to come out. While helping you stir up your imagination, Dopamine also activates during other routine activities like driving or cooking. However, combining dopamine production with certain disruptions can lead your brain toward a more creative path.
Let's say you have been thinking about something at work all day. Try going out of the office for a few minutes to see what's outside. This incubation period for thoughts will help you generate more 'out-of-the-box' ideas you can merge with your conscious mind for more creative output. The truth is that distraction isn't always a bad thing, especially if you suddenly find your thoughts trapped in a corner.
Television writers hate it when they are enclosed in a room without a view because it doesn't stir up their imagination. Give them some coffee and donuts, a large window to the scenic outdoors, then spark an interesting conversation about anything under the sun. Now, sit back, relax, and watch the magic of creativity flow.
Empowering your creative spirit
'Bringing work home shouldn't apply to morticians.'
'Birdhouses are made out of birds' houses.'
'Too much thinking in the shower can make you forget to bring in a towel.'
These common shower thoughts are funny, but also encourage us to think when we have time to spare, don't they? That's because it's easier to ponder the unique when you are relaxed. After all, you free the roads to introspection rather than confine yourself with external associations.
To develop your creative thinking, write actual notes or even just doodles. This practice is also common among creative writers as it helps them revisit initial ideas, which most of us usually find nonsensical but, in retrospect, can open new thought portals.
Another thing you can do is to spend some time disengaging from your routine. Put down that mobile phone and do some reading or outdoor walking. Unique insights are born from the right hemisphere of our brains, where remote associations live. Thinking inward instead of outward is how you can activate it.
You can also challenge yourself to think about things you normally wouldn’t during your spare time. It might seem like a waste of time, but when nurturing creativity, it's pretty much a must.
Overwhelming your mind with solving tasks or puzzles can help train it to be more creative. Programmers are best at this practice when they want to enable something special through code. Writers take the extra mile by stepping out of their comfort zones and creating something way out of their usual topics.
Challenging yourself to think about the hard stuff activates not just the left side of your brain but also multiple areas. These areas are needed if you want to amplify creativity as both imagination and logic need to be fused to create something original and coherent.
The best advice to keep your creative juices flowing is to maintain a healthy lifestyle, seek good distractions that can help you develop your train of thought, and practice coming up with your own shower ideas before proceeding with the day.