All truly great thoughts are conceived by walking. - Frederick Nietzsche
Me thinks that the moment my legs being to move, my thoughts begin to flow. - Henry David Thoreau
When you are engaged in a project and feel the creative inspiration has dried up, take a break. Anything that occupies the consciousness mind in a physical way can open you to the flow of fresh ideas and insights. Doing the dishes or taking a shower are good ways. One of my favorites is taking a walk. You could simply stroll around the block or walk deep into nature.
I have not been alone in my awareness that walking opens creative channels. There is a long list of well known creatives who walked to allow ideas and connections to flow . Charles Darwin, Virginia Woolf, William Wordsworth, Nikola Tesla, Aristotle, Sigmund Freud, Thomas Jefferson, Ernest Hemingway, Charles Dickens, Beethoven to name but a few.
Scientific studies have now found that creative problems can indeed be solved by walking, especially in nature. While walking the brain undergoes physiological changes that lower frustration and stress, increase your awareness and engagement with the world, allow for a natural meditative state and improve your mood. All of this helps you to experience more creative connections and flow.
Walking also allows you to balance two states that enhance creativity. Mindfulness, where you are present in the moment, and mind wandering or daydreaming, where you allow ideas, connections, dreams and visions for the future to come to us from the deeper realms of consciousness.
Try it. Next time you are looking for some creative inspiration take a walk. If you aren’t used to walking or don’t have a lot of time, simply start with a walk around the block. Find a park or a trail in nature and see how your muse opens up for you. Your body and health will love it too.