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Why we have our best ideas in the shower: The science of creativity
Buffer ^ | 2-28-2013 | Leo Widrich

Posted on 03/02/2013 5:44:49 AM PST by Sir Napsalot

“I’m 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, that’s 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, that’s 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, that’s not all there is to it. Dopamine alone, which gets triggered in hundreds of events, where we aren’t very creative, can’t 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 ...


TOPICS: Science
KEYWORDS: creativity; dopamine; showers
(1) Any and everybody IS creative

(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.

1 posted on 03/02/2013 5:44:56 AM PST by Sir Napsalot
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To: Sir Napsalot

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.


2 posted on 03/02/2013 5:54:30 AM PST by Thorliveshere (Tais deau sá taghdedaul!)
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To: Sir Napsalot

I have my best ideas fooling around.

One day....
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.


3 posted on 03/02/2013 6:21:10 AM PST by mylife (The Roar Of The Masses Could Be Farts)
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To: Sir Napsalot

Any publication which has “can bes” and “may bes” is not scientific and means nothing. This reads like something from Omni magazine.


4 posted on 03/02/2013 6:26:40 AM PST by 1raider1
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To: 1raider1

I thought the author did a very good job on his research material and presented an interesting read.


5 posted on 03/02/2013 6:33:52 AM PST by Sir Napsalot (Pravda + Useful Idiots = CCCP; JournOList + Useful Idiots = DopeyChangey!)
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To: 1raider1
Any publication which has “can bes” and “may bes” is not scientific and means nothing

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.

6 posted on 03/02/2013 6:40:24 AM PST by exDemMom (Now that I've finally accepted that I'm living a bad hair life, I'm more at peace with the world.)
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To: Sir Napsalot
"A relaxed state of mind" is absolutely important to be creative.

I have gotten some good ideas that way, BUT I've also thought of some really good ideas during times of extreme stress - another type of distraction?


7 posted on 03/02/2013 7:02:59 AM PST by canuck_conservative
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To: Sir Napsalot

At my age the only “ideas” I get in the shower are ways to avoid falling and landing on my head.


8 posted on 03/02/2013 7:04:03 AM PST by Gay State Conservative ("Progressives" toss the word "racist" around like chimps toss their feces)
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To: Gay State Conservative

:-)

But you are creative about it, no?


9 posted on 03/02/2013 7:20:06 AM PST by Sir Napsalot (Pravda + Useful Idiots = CCCP; JournOList + Useful Idiots = DopeyChangey!)
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To: Sir Napsalot
I get my best ideas when I have nothing handy to write it down. Then they are gone.

10 posted on 03/02/2013 7:22:50 AM PST by BitWielder1 (Corporate Profits are better than Government Waste)
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To: Sir Napsalot

Bflr.....thanks for sharing.


11 posted on 03/02/2013 8:08:54 AM PST by colinhester
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To: Sir Napsalot

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XAnNvnViJpo


12 posted on 03/02/2013 8:09:14 AM PST by hosepipe (This propaganda has been edited to include some fully orbed hyperbole..)
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To: Sir Napsalot

Bflr.....thanks for sharing.


13 posted on 03/02/2013 8:09:49 AM PST by colinhester
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To: Sir Napsalot

Yep.
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.


14 posted on 03/02/2013 9:12:51 AM PST by Clump ( the tree of liberty is withering like a stricken fig tree)
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To: colinhester

Excuse me for my ignorance, what is “Bflr”?


15 posted on 03/02/2013 10:23:49 AM PST by Sir Napsalot (Pravda + Useful Idiots = CCCP; JournOList + Useful Idiots = DopeyChangey!)
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To: Sir Napsalot

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.


16 posted on 03/02/2013 10:29:54 AM PST by wxgesr (I want to be the first person to surf on another planet.)
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To: Sir Napsalot

I don’t have ideas in the shower. I get ideas while driving, then forget them before completing the trip.


17 posted on 03/02/2013 10:34:02 AM PST by discostu (Not just another moon faced assassin of joy.)
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To: discostu

I have that same vague sense that I should have been a lot smarter (or have more creative ideas) too. ;-)


18 posted on 03/02/2013 12:07:02 PM PST by Sir Napsalot (Pravda + Useful Idiots = CCCP; JournOList + Useful Idiots = DopeyChangey!)
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To: Sir Napsalot

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?


19 posted on 03/02/2013 12:10:21 PM PST by SamAdams76
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To: SamAdams76

>>> Is that a bad thing?

If you stop taking showers, pretty much fantasizing is all you are left with.


20 posted on 03/02/2013 12:17:27 PM PST by Sir Napsalot (Pravda + Useful Idiots = CCCP; JournOList + Useful Idiots = DopeyChangey!)
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To: Sir Napsalot

OK, I will continue showering and might introduce Irish Spring soap into the equation. Perhaps it will achieve favorable results.


21 posted on 03/02/2013 12:20:14 PM PST by SamAdams76
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