Monday, May 30, 2022

A Link between Moving and Creativity

Do we get our most creative ideas when walking? Some scientists think so. Since the time of the ancient Greek poets, people have known that moving helps us to think creatively. Which begs the question: why do I tend to sit at my desk to do my writing?

The fact is, I come up with some wonderfully creative ideas when I’m walking. But is it the movement or the change of scenery around me that stimulates my mind? And it’s not just walking. I have come up with some of my best ideas while turning the compost pile, planting seeds, spading my garden beds, and raking leaves. Sometimes it’s a matter of just having time away from a project, and letting my mind go into neutral while I do something physical. 

Recently, Barbara Händel, a neuroscientist at the University of Würzburg, wanted to know more about how movement is connected to creativity. What happens in our brain when we walk? she wondered. And are people who don’t move less creative?

What she learned is that movement isn’t necessarily the thing that helps us think more flexibly. Rather, she says, it’s the freedom to make movements without having those movements forced into regular patterns…  which is too often what happens when you focus on a small screen for long periods of time.

She’s not the only one who has looked into this in a scientific way. A few years ago a Stanford study showed that creative thinking improves while a person is walking – and even afterwards.

I'd love to elaborate, but I'm heading outside for a walk!

1 comment:

  1. Enjoy your walk and may creativity join you. This makes perfect sense to me. Thanks for the post.