Have you ever cleared your head by going for a long walk? Or been out for a jog and come up with a fantastic idea? Exercise will do that.
But did you know there’s a physiological reason for it?
As a graphic designer, I regularly go for a run if I hit a creative block. By the time I’ve clocked a few miles, I’ve usually had a breakthrough and a new idea. Yet I had never really given much thought to how or why this happens.
Running and walking can be extremely beneficial to your brain and your creativity because:
The repetitive “reciprocal” stepping stimulates the blood flow to both sides of the body and consequently the right and left brain. This helps us to think clearer, and more creatively.
Steve Jobs regularly went for long walks during his life, and he’d frequently bring colleagues and business partners along. They worked through complex issues and generated amazing ideas while walking the streets of Palo Alto.
As entrepreneurs, we need to create on a daily basis – whether it is a new product or service, a marketing strategy, or a business plan. And preparing our minds for this process is important.
Walking or running is a great starting point – and it’s particularly enhanced if you take it outdoors.
Why is this best for your creativity?
- Stimulates your senses. You smell different scents, hear new sounds, feel the sun on your face, and can take time to see the beauty of nature around you.
- Relaxes you. The fresh air encourages you to take deeper breaths, which has calming effects. Ever had creative block right before a deadline? Or had the kids whining while you tried to finish writing a blog post? Stress kills creativity!
- Gives you a break. Outside the confines of our homes and offices, we can clear space in our minds for new ideas. Taking a break every 50 minutes or so during the work day improves productivity, too.
- Gets you inspired. Changing the scenery can give you a new perspective, and the beauty of nature is simply boundless.
The next time you have a mental block, a problem to solve or just need a break:
- Try going for a walk or run.
- And get outside if you possibly can.
You may be surprised at how good you’ll feel – and at how creative you can be!
What steps have you taken to boost your creativity?
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