By Corinne K.
We’re often taught that having our nose to the grindstone is the best route to productivity. And while a strong work ethic is certainly an important factor in achieving success, sometimes the best thing we can do is move away from our work. New ideas and fresh perspectives will come easier when we can walk away and take a look at things from another angle.
Some of the world’s greatest minds understood the power of movement in getting their creative juices flowing. Rather than sit around, banging their heads against the wall when they got stuck on an idea, they knew that getting into their bodies was the best way to invoke their muse.
Steve Jobs was known for conducting his most important business meetings while walking with collaborators, crediting his greatest a-ha moments to these moving meetings. Darwin, Nietzsche, Dickens and Beethoven also found that their most creative moments came during their regular walks.
Getting into our bodies has been scientifically proven to increase creativity. A 2014 study published by the Journal of Experimental Psychology explored the level of creative thinking sparked by participants observed while sitting versus walking on a treadmill. The study concluded that walking increased creativity for 81% of participants while also increasing their creative output by an average of 60%. They also found that the thoughts that were generated by walking weren’t far-fetched or random but instead, were innovative and practical.
So what is it about walking that triggers our creativity? It all begins with the change to our chemistry as we begin to move. As we walk, our heart rate increases, circulating more blood and oxygen to the muscles and organs including the brain. Many experiments have shown that during and after exercise (even mild exertion) people will perform better on tests of memory and attention. Walking regularly also promotes new connections in the brain and helps slow the inevitable decline in brain tissue as we age.
When we’re stuck at our desks staring at a computer screen, hoping that inspiration strikes, we’re likely to find more of the same stagnation that we’re hoping to overcome.
Have you ever had the experience of desperately searching for something where you turn everything upside down? You search high and low only to find that what you’ve been looking for was right in front of you the whole time. It was staring right back at you but somehow you just didn’t see it. Typically we only see what we’re looking for right when we’re about to give up. When we’ve resigned ourselves that it’s lost forever – there it is. This is the point where we let go of the fixation of finding something.
This hindering fixation happens in other instances as well. It happens when we’re forcing an issue, trying desperately to fit it into a box of our understanding of something, even when it’s clear that we need to find another solution. This happens when we’re blocked creatively and stare at a blank page, canvas or computer screen and are trying to force a spark of inspiration.
The more we can get moving and walk away from these situations, the more we’ll find ease in our pursuits. So the next time you get stuck on something – stretch those legs and go for a walk instead! Allow the answers to come to you in a natural flow.
Soul Healer. Change Catalyst.
Corinne works with stressed out, busy and driven women. She helps them slow down and feel better physically and emotionally. She guides them to get real about what they need to feel more free, inspired and empowered. Check out her website for more details and her June 2015 promotion.