Skip to comments.Why we have our best ideas in the shower: The science of creativity
Posted on 03/02/2013 5:44:49 AM PST by Sir Napsalot
Im not really a creative person, always struck me as an odd sentence. Could it really be that some of us are born to be more creatively gifted than others?
If so, I thought at first, thats definitely a downer. In school, what was considered being creative, like writing or drawing nice pictures was never my strength.
(snip) Why do we have great ideas in the shower then?
Alice Flaherty, one of the most renowned neuroscientists researching creativity has an answer for us. Another ingredient, thats very important for us to be creative is dopamine: The more dopamine that is released, the more creative we are, she says:
People vary in terms of their level of creative drive according to the activity of the dopamine pathways of the limbic system.
(snip) Typical triggers for events, that make us feel great and relaxed and therefore give us an increased dopamine flow are taking a warm shower, exercising, driving home, etc. The chances of having great ideas then are a lot higher.
Still, thats not all there is to it. Dopamine alone, which gets triggered in hundreds of events, where we arent very creative, cant be the only reason. Another crucial factor is a distraction, says Harvard researcher Carson:
In other words, a distraction may provide the break you need to disengage from a fixation on the ineffective solution.
Especially if you have thought long and hard all day about a problem, jumping into the shower can turn into what scientist call the incubation period for your ideas. The subconscious mind has been working extremely hard to solve the problems you face and now that you let your mind wander, it can surface and plant those ideas into your conscious mind.
(Excerpt) Read more at blog.bufferapp.com ...
(2) "...the magic combination: If you are in a relaxed state of mind, easy to distract and full of dopamine, your brain is most likely to give you your best, most creative ideas."
"A relaxed state of mind" is absolutely important to be creative.
I believe it. I come up with great ideas when I’m showering, or right after, when I’m laying down to go to sleep, or after a good run or walk.
It also makes sense with potheads. I knew my share of pothead artists, and it’s no lie. They are incredibly creative after a stoke. Of course, some of it doesn’t make a lick of sense, but the work looked pretty cool.
I have my best ideas fooling around.
Messing around in the backyard. I was nine.
I stumbled onto the secret of Anti-Gravity.
It’s such a simple trick, I said to myself, I hope I can remember.
Instinctively I knew that trouble was bound to come.
That’s the story.
That’s the story.
That’s the story of my life.
Any publication which has “can bes” and “may bes” is not scientific and means nothing. This reads like something from Omni magazine.
I thought the author did a very good job on his research material and presented an interesting read.
You can recognize real science specifically because it *is* written that way.
As a working scientist, I can spend my whole career researching a topic. I have certain ideas (hypotheses) about it that I try to test, and I try every way that I can think of to show that my ideas are wrong. But I cannot know that I have done everything possible to disprove my ideas, so when I write about my work, I sprinkle my writing with "maybe" "possibly" "suggests" and a lot of other words meant to convey that my interpretation of the data is not necessarily correct, but it's the best interpretation I have.
It is a real possibility that after I have published my results, someone else will come along and say, "Dr. exDemMom did not consider this particular line of evidence; therefore, we think that her data supports *this* alternative idea." And so on.
Quacks (usually trying to sell you something) offer a level of certainty that does not exist. Scientists cannot prove anything with absolute certainty, and are honest about it.
At my age the only “ideas” I get in the shower are ways to avoid falling and landing on my head.
But you are creative about it, no?
Bflr.....thanks for sharing.
Bflr.....thanks for sharing.
I don’t tell my clients this. But I said over the solution to most legal problems in the shower.
Often times I get right out of the shower and call the prosecutor and its game over.
The other best times for me are when I lay down on my couch at the office and close my eyes and just quietly pray.
Excuse me for my ignorance, what is “Bflr”?
I get what I termed Brilliant Flashes of Insight or “BFIs.”
Keep a notebook next to my bed and in the car. Hardly any BFIs appear to me at work. When I was a runner, I could get in the zone after about 4-5 miles.....nowagays, praying and meditation can bring them on....most are ridiculae and unobtainium.
I don’t have ideas in the shower. I get ideas while driving, then forget them before completing the trip.
I have that same vague sense that I should have been a lot smarter (or have more creative ideas) too. ;-)
When I am in the shower, I sometimes fantasize about having an affair with somebody in the workplace. Is that a bad thing? Should I stop taking showers?
>>> Is that a bad thing?
If you stop taking showers, pretty much fantasizing is all you are left with.