I know that for a time, you’ve thought to yourself “I should shower all the time because that’s when I have my deepest thoughts.” Almost everyone encountered this question at least once in their lifetime and it’s actually legitimate.
It’s not just random, in fact, Science has solid proof on why this happens. On the flip side, they never made a mention on whether this occurrence can actually concoct a world-changing idea.
What happens when we’re in the shower?
If you’re part of the population who take a shower in less than ten (10) minutes, then you better take more time because it actually has mental benefits to you.
In fact, research shows that creativity is more likely to manifest when you are under a monotonous act like exercising, driving, fishing, and yes—showering.
Because of the fact that doing these things don’t actually require our minds to exert too much effort, your whole being automatically switches to autopilot—freeing up your unconscious mind to work and have a go on a different thing. This sets off something in our minds that we can never imagine.
Is this daydreaming?
Technically, yes, this specific situation can be considered as an occurrence of daydreaming and it seemingly relaxes the prefrontal cortex. This prefrontal cortex is the command center of the brain for a lot of things like behavior, goals, and decisions.
More so, it’s the part of the brain which is responsible in switching the rest of the brain to the default mode network. This clears the thoroughfare that usually connects the regions of the “noggin.”
The effects of our thinking in the shower
Many people notice that when they’re under pressure, their minds and bodies behave differently than how they normally would. They’re correct, though because you are close-minded at work or when you’re under pressure—this is why our friends and family members tell us to relax when there’s a situation that needs to be addressed.
Thinking so hard about a specific problem actually makes it more difficult for your brain to solve it; it deactivates the default network of your brain, leaving the way you think considering the factors that are just given to you—you don’t wonder, you don’t think of other options.
Boosting the control of the prefrontal cortex
It literally helps us have deeper and a tighter focus on what we are doing. By having a relaxed mind, we are kind of opening the power of our brains to do what it has to do—to think of ways on how to make everything better and easier.
Our brains are less focused when we are more focused
I know, it sounds a bit eerie when in fact it’s legitimate. Our brains, just like our bodies, have reflexes. Our brains actually has a decreased effectivity rate when we are too focused on any given task. It’s a lot more active when you stop thinking about a certain deadline and when you keep your cool, apparently.
Since it’s relaxing, it’s a lot better
Our brains are like us—all they want to do is relax. Being in a meeting is also an event that makes our mind steer to a different direction too, right? But unlike taking a hot shower, it’s relaxing and releases all of the tension that our bodies have.
It’s relaxing, it’s some thing we love, and last but most definitely not the least—we’re alone. Most of the time, being alone is enough for our minds to be able to function more and that’s why a shower is the best thing to do if you need to think about something.
What happens Scientifically?
I know that you’re waiting for this; to back it all up, researchers were able to determine that real thing that happens when we shower in accordance to why our brains are so powerful during this time.
When you shower, you feel comfortable, alone, and stress-free. Every time you’re relaxed, your brain releases the happy chemical neurotransmitter—dopamine.
Dopamine is such a powerful chemical that a single flush of it drastically improves your creativity and critical thinking abilities. This is why they keep on telling us “don’t make big decisions when we’re happy.”
In addition to the wonderful neurotransmitter, alpha waves transmit and travel through our brains—these waves are the same waves that actually radiate when we are spacing out or whenever we do yoga or meditation.
Leo Widrich, one of the main content creators of the Buffer blog, explains and shares how they understand the reason why we’re the most creative during shower sessions.
- We’re distracted—essentially, distraction provides our brains the break it needs so our subconscious takes over to work on a given scenario or problem—in the most creative manner possible.
- Listening to music, singing, having a sigh of relief, exercising—and a warm shower can essentially contribute to increase dopamine flow and release.
- Always being relaxed is actually not a bad thing. In fact, being in the most relaxed state of mind is best for decision-making and critical thinking—more for creativity. This is why a lot of sleepy and d***k people come up with wonderful ideas.
Here’s one good example, August Kekulé, a German Chemist is worrying about how the atoms in Benzene are arranged. One day, he began daydreaming of the atoms dancing and took the form of a snake. Then, the snake turned and bit its tail.
The image of the snake with its tail in its mouth continued to dance. When Kekulé woke up, the realized and found that his dream was actually telling him something—that the structure of the molecules are made up of carbon atom rings. Therefore, a new understanding of Chemistry has been unearthed and it is the Aromatic Chemistry.
Is there a best time to shower?
As per the Journal Thinking and Reasoning, the creative peak hours of our days would be the morning and the night. By taking a shower in these times, it allows the censors of our brains to block irrelevant thoughts which actually work to make a great idea come into play.
So, always remember that whenever you’re feeling lazy, tired, and bored, something in our brains are happening and it enables us to be more creative and to have better decision-making capabilities.