A healthy spirit in a healthy body. Have you heard it before, don’t you? Let’s adjust it a little. In a healthy body, fresh mind. And since the mind is creating, it can be said that the creative mind also dwells in the creative mind.
It sounds nice. But is that true? Really more movement can increase your ability to form?
Imagine yes. And you just need to go for a common walk more often. This activity, which writers and many geniuses did not allow, confirmed science.
The geniuses they helped to walk
The day’s walk was so inspiring for Soren Kierkegaard that he often ran back to his desk, still writing his thoughts with his hat on his head. Charles Dickens walked for 3-4 hours every afternoon and reflected his impressions in writing his magnificent works.
Also, Beethoven used to go for long journeys with a notebook and a pencil in his hand if inspiration struck him. Tchaikovsky himself said that most of his ideas were made during his daily walks. And Nietzsche said, “All the great thoughts come in walking.”
But it was once. Nobody is doing it today, because walking is not fashionable. Next to. Contemporary geniuses also know and use the power of walking.
Before Walter Isaacson wrote a biography about Steve Jobs, he needed to collect the necessary information. Do you think he was sitting with Steve Jobs? He insisted that their first meeting and conversation be walked. Walter Isaacson then said, “It seemed a little strange to me. At that time I had no idea that going for long walks was his preferred way of conducting important talks. ”
Mark Zuckerberg is famous for his walking interviews, where he took selected candidates for a walk through the wooded area of Palo Alta. Twitter co-founder and founder of the Square, Jack Dorsey, said that a walk is the best way to relax.
If we look at it from the perspective of ordinary people, we get unflattering findings. In America alone, according to surveys, people spend an average of an incredible 9.3 hours a day. What is more than 7.7 hours of average sleep.
It can be assumed that this is no better in UK, as the workload of many people is sitting behind a desk and a computer, and you can add sitting at home, in the car, in a bus, at cafes…
Maybe it doesn’t work. But besides creativity, as you will soon discover, you are also losing your health.
Shocking consequences of excessive sitting
Dr. James Levine, author of Get Up! Why Your Chair Is Killing You and What You Can Do About It, has been researching the impact of sitting on our health for years. You would not believe what is happening to our body at the molecular level just when standing after a long session.
His research has shown that a sequence of several processes is triggered at the same time within 90 seconds of positioning. You activate the muscle system and cells that process blood sugar, triglycerides (fats in tissues) and cholesterol.
As this gives you energy in your body and is not being stored, you are less likely to have diabetes and overweight. As long as you don’t do anything and just sit down, these processes will take a nap too.
Blood flows slower and the muscles burn less fat, which then clogs the heart. Research in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology has shown that women who sit 10 or more hours a day are more likely to have heart disease than women who are less than 5 hours old.
And this is just a small list of what the over-sitting can do with health. You can find more details here.
Negative effects of sitting even take seriously at NASA. In space, they can’t leave astronaut health at risk. To avoid backache problems for a sedentary position, Dr. Joan Vernikos created a method to prevent them. In simplicity, beauty is enough and it is enough to interrupt the session at regular intervals and stand up for a while.
Okay, so you already know that you should stand up and wave the excessive backseat. But how is it related to creativity and how can something as primitive as walking increase it?
Research says clearly. Give your thoughts legs and they will be more creative
Because walking is natural to us as breathing, we don’t have to pay attention to it. That is why our mind is able to calm down and roam freely down its various coves. A 2006 survey has shown that this is a situation that helps us to come up with better solutions for complex problems than conscious consideration.
They called their theory the consideration without attention, which works on the principle that better decisions come when you do not constantly spend your conscious attention.
And just 8 years later, there was also a direct proof of the link between walking and creativity. Until then, most experiments examined only the positive effects of exercise on health, cognitive abilities, and brain functions.
When Marily Oppezzo and Daniel Schwartz of Stanford University published a series of 4 experiments that proved what great artists and thinkers had suspected.
In the experiments, 167 volunteers from the college students asked to fulfill the tasks that psychologists normally measure creative skills. The participants were then divided into different groups with different conditions.
- either they walked inside on the treadmill
- or sat inside
- or they went outside
- or they were sitting in a wheelchair while pushing them
To make matters worse, various combinations, such as 2 consecutive series of walks or walking followed by seating, have been tested.
Three experiments measured divergent thinking, which is the ability to devise multiple solutions and alternatives to one problem. Participants in the experiment received various items, such as a button or hoop, and had to devise as many uses as possible in 4 minutes. So, for example, a hoop could be a ring.
Here are some of the results. On average, walking students invented 4-6 more uses compared to sitting students, and on average walking students had 60% better results.
The Fourth Experiment evaluated creative thinking based on the ability to devise an analogy to prepared phrases robbed safe, hatching from an egg and bursting a bulb.
For example, a robbery safe means they’ve taken something precious to you that has been protected. Therefore, a blank wallet will not help you very much, because you can have it empty even if no one has stolen you. But the answer to the tomb robbers looted the pyramid would give you creative points because the graves are protected by pitfalls and also protect something precious.
Of those who walked, up to 95% invented at least one very good analogy. It was only half when sitting.
But it also depends on where you go for walks
In a study conducted by Marc Bernman of the Univesity of Sourh Carolina, students walking around the arboretum, they had better results in memory tests than students walking down the street.
Nature and quiet spaces do not stress the mind and do not force its attention. On the contrary, in a street full of cars, people must be still in the middle so that nothing happens to them and they do not bump into someone.
Add ad billboards and flashing lights. A ready-made recipe for faster overloading of mental resources that could otherwise be used for free wandering without distractions.
It does not mean that you have a bad luck if you live in a city. You just need to find a route where things don’t lurk on you that will ask your attention at every corner. To find her, naturally, in nature. Well, if you look well, you will certainly find some nooks in your city.
But nature has better effects. In the words of Jason Silva, one of YouTuber’s most creative, who, through his videos, expands people’s creative horizons:
“I can have all my notes, thoughts and ideas, but then I go for a walk. I’m going to the forest, to the Sea Ranch, California, to the Big Sur coast, going to some park. Walking and disconnecting from everything that distracts your mind gets your mind awake. When you are in this fashion, you start to think more laterally and link this to that one, and this and that and start having inspiration moments. “
Recommended reading: Lateral thinking: a practical strategy to free creativity
Why don’t people go for walks when it’s so easy to use?
To begin with, we can blame the laziness. I don’t think I need to present you because you know her very well. Maybe you see her every day. And why does it overwhelm us so often?
We live in about the best time in human history. There have never been so many ways of traveling, education, work… Everything is almost at hand. But it also created a world in which laziness bursts in seams.
In the past, you had to go to the library through half a city and study. Today, with a few finger gestures, you have the information right in front of you. If you’re looking for in your phone, you have it on your palm as a golden tray. No hard work.
We want everything and right now. I wouldn’t be surprised if we got to such an absurdity that we would already want things that we wanted to do tomorrow, a week or a month.
But grow your laziness in one area and what happens? It easily goes to the next. And then another. And yes, another one. When she gradually goes to walk. Especially if excessive easing becomes your life credo.
Why would children go to school, even though they are a little away from the house? After all, parents take them there on their way to the robot. Why would somebody walk for twelve minutes to the robot when he was there for three. And so it could be continued.
The second is the teaching system. If you don’t have a break, don’t move from the bench. You sit 6 × 45 minutes 5 days a week and the whole idea of learning lies in learning that you have to sit without moving your buttocks.
I don’t even have to quote a wise study (but I’ll be), and yet you know for yourself that active engagement and movement is a more effective method of teaching than passive filling of child mind with unnecessary information.
The third is evolution. We are literally set to do as little as possible. Our predecessors had to devote their energy to lack of food only to the activities that allowed them to survive. In the case of the danger of amygdala in the brain, it takes control and shifts energy into the muscles to be ready to escape or fight the threat.
In addition, there were no refrigerators, clothing stores, cars, or medicines, so they were only thinking for a short time and what immediately satisfied human needs.
Today, thanks to technological advances, we do not have to struggle with such threats. But the structure and functions of the brain have not changed over the last millennia. So it has not changed its function, which dictates to spend energy only on what is most important or most appealing. It’s no wonder that walking is the least tempting for comfortable transport options.
5 advanced tips on how to develop your creativity by walking
You already know the first thing. Go anywhere you will be detached from everything that distracts you. Ideal beautiful nature. But besides, you can do something else.
Don’t go alone
In meaningful conversations, you often find a look that doesn’t come to you. If you are immersed in your thoughts or problems for too long, you may face functional fixation. It is one of the mistakes in thinking where you can not break away from the usual way of thinking and therefore makes it difficult to discover a solution. As Eisntein said, “You will not solve the problem with the same thought that created it.”
Imagine you should slam the nail into the wall to hang up the wall. If you didn’t have a hammer on hand, you would probably go and look for it and continue even if you didn’t find any longer. In doing so, you could peacefully use a French key that would serve the purpose just as well.
And how to make functional fixation easiest? Walk with someone. What a man, that other education, experience and worldview. It has only one disadvantage. Don’t go with anyone.
Ideal with someone who can open your mind. This is the best for this task. It is one of the eight types of friends that can show you a new perspective and perspectives. With extensive knowledge, he can either guide you in the right direction or link your problem to your experience and wisdom.
If you have more people like this, you will just wonder why you did not do the brainstorms together.
If you go alone …
Go to places where you will be alone. Why? So you can start talking to yourself. That you’re not crazy? Maybe you should be. According to research, talking to oneself improves the ability to think.
In one experiment, people showed 20 pictures of all sorts of objects in which to find a banana. Half of the people were supposed to repeat that they were looking for a banana, the other should remain silent. Researchers found that the first group was able to find a banana between images faster by 50-100 milliseconds.
When you are completely alone, you will not have so many inhibitions to talk to yourself. You will be able to fool around and give your thoughts the freedom they need to create. There would be social barriers and fears of everyone watching you with a strange look on your face.
Make your place a creative haven
Have you ever woken up from a dream, and when you were still lying, you were full of impressions, but when you moved or got up, you couldn’t remember him at all? That’s because your dream has been fixed with the position you were sleeping in. The brain connects not only dreams but also feelings and people. In this way, you also have memories and experiences connected to a good friend. Just when you see it, and it’s much better for you.
It works on the principle of conditional reflex discovered by Russian psychologist Ivan Pavlov. He found that when he regularly rang the bell when the dogs were drooling in the food, he could later make the saliva only by the ringing. He didn’t need meat at all. Dogs joined the ring with food and automatically started to drool.
You can also use the same thing. You ask how? Go to one place regularly. No matter where it is. If you build up a sufficiently strong association over time, ideas will tend to start on their own. It doesn’t always go like an avalanche, but such a walking habit will increase your chances of getting really good ideas.
Don’t let your thoughts pass through your fingers
Do you remember at the beginning of Kierkegaard how quickly he ran home to write down his ideas? Or how did Tchaikovsky carry a pencil pencil?
This is because as soon as ideas come, they will leave quickly. The memory is very unreliable because it can remember 7 plus minus 2 things at a time. If your thoughts flow to you one by one, you should have the notebook on hand. The more you wait, the easier it is to forget it. And how do they capture the thoughts? One option is already mentioned notebook. Other dictaphone or useful mobile phone applications for writing notes such as Evernote or OneNote
It is not important in what order you write them down. Organizing at this stage is not important.
When you are out and full of inspiration, what else?
Only now is organizing important. Once you have your thoughts on paper (in the app), they are evaluated and sorted. Let’s say it straight. A lot of the things you invent will be ballast and not worth it. No one can produce only quality. Nobody. Linus Pauling, the holder of two Nobel Prizes, said that the best way to have good ideas is to have a lot of ideas.
And sorting should also be a priority because looking for something in unorganized notes and scrapbooks is like looking for a needle in a haystack. For each area you create, create a separate block or folder in the application, then just copy anything you think is relevant to your notebook where you just write your stream of thoughts.