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The Creative Magic of Showering Isn’t All in Your Head
Dr. Patricia A. Farrell -- Psychologist Dr. Patricia A. Farrell -- Psychologist
For Immediate Release:
Dateline: Tenafly, NJ
Wednesday, May 22, 2024


Showering may be your “secret sauce” to opening up your creativity, as research has shown.

Photo by Seth Doyle on Unsplash

Have you ever showered and suddenly had some great ideas come to mind? Or maybe you're not thinking of anything at all, and then something pops into your head. You are not alone. Research supports showering, which engages incredible resources tucked away in your brain and permits their release once you step into that shower.

Should executives have showers in their offices? It sounds strange, but there are executive offices where the CEO has a complete, lovely walk-in shower available to them, possibly not just for personal hygiene but for creativity. It's also a wonderful tension reliever and produces those "aha" moments. However, the shower isn't the only place that can spark your creativity. First, let's take a look at several things that we know about showering from research that has brought it to our attention.

  1. Showering can reduce and lessen stress. When you are in the shower with that warm or cool water gently coming over your body, you are in a totally different environment from your normal one. This lack of usual environmental stimuli or stress allows you the freedom to have that floating mind that is receptive to creativity. Showering brings together divergent ideas and concepts, but we're not exactly sure about the mechanism. That is, of course, we do know that stress reduction is one way it produces this magic. So, it has a positive effect that broadens your attention and promotes problem-solving creativity. It doesn't matter if you are working on a project you want to develop something new, or you're writing articles or short stories. The shower is your friend.
  2. While showering, you have one thing to do: wash. Performing that simple action allows you freedom from other distractions and produces creative mind wandering. Researchers call this the "incubation" process that works in the background as you shower. Novelty is also given free rein during this period, and your mind can assemble things differently. No, you don't have to give yourself a problem to solve before you step into the shower because that might interfere with your normal routine. Free yourself from your environment and immerse yourself in showering. It will happen, and you may be quite surprised.
  3. Neurotransmitters, specifically dopamine, associated with pleasure and motivation, are triggered and released during a shower. In this way, it provides an intangible reward, resulting in creativity. The relationship between dopamine and creativity has been a research subject. It continues to interest scientists, so take advantage of what they are producing and put it to use for you.
  4. Distractions are one of the primary reasons that creativity is inhibited. Showering removes these and allows you to float ideas as the soap floats over your body. Removing external stimuli allows your mind to explore new concepts and ideas.

5. Showering also involves sensory stimulation with a sponge, cloth, or hand, and even the sound of the water can promote a state of mindfulness, which we know is comforting and creative. Research has shown that mindfulness alone can aid creativity, so showering provides multiple methods toward achieving your creative goals.

6. Getting into the shower can also change your mood. Heightened positive moods are also intrinsic to creativity and problem-solving. A good mood also facilitates flexibility in thinking and can produce innovative ideas.

7. The combination of relaxation, freedom from distraction, dopamine release, and sensory stimulation work to your benefit. Think how simple that is and how valuable it can be to you in your life, whether personally or professionally.

The shower may be a creativity incubator, but it isn't the only place where creative breakthroughs may occur. Anytime the combination of relaxation, reduced stress, increased mind wandering, and minimization of distraction is present, you are fertile for creativity.

Where else might that be? You can sit on a park bench, walk in a forest, or even shop for groceries. If you have some distraction and freedom from stress, you can be creative, even doing parochial activities like grocery shopping with a list.

One thing you want to do, and that I have noticed some researchers and authors do, is to have a special waterproof writing tablet in the shower. This allows you to jot down ideas before they slip away. Another thing that people do is to have a small digital tape recorder with them at all times so that they can collect these ideas or even an app on their cell phone.

If you take a bus or a train to work regularly, and it goes over the same route every day, you can easily engage in mind wandering as you sit in your seat and look out the window. These are excellent areas to use, so don't forget to incorporate them into your creativity.

Is showering multitasking? No, it's mindlesstasking. Yes, I know I just invented that word. but the whole idea here is that you're going to shower every day anyway, so why not benefit from all those wonderful things it provides besides smelling good?

Website: www.drfarrell.net

Author's page: http://amzn.to/2rVYB0J

Medium page: https://medium.com/@drpatfarrell

Twitter: @drpatfarrell

Attribution of this material is appreciated.

News Media Interview Contact
Name: Dr. Patricia A. Farrell, Ph.D.
Title: Licensed Psychologist
Group: Dr. Patricia A. Farrell, Ph.D., LLC
Dateline: Tenafly, NJ United States
Cell Phone: 201-417-1827
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