I’ve always noticed that my best ideas come while I’m in the shower. I suspect I’m not the only one. In the shower problems suddenly become simpler to solve, thoughts are clearer, and planning is easier.
It’s not hygiene that makes it happen. It’s the state of relaxation and low levels of stress that frees up our minds.
I guess the most famous case of innovation in a bathtub is the story of Archimedes. He reportedly proclaimed “Eureka!” when he stepped into a bath and noticed that the water level rose—he suddenly understood that the volume of water displaced must be equal to the volume of the part of his body he had submerged. He is said to have been so eager to share his discovery that he leapt out of his bathtub and ran through the streets of Syracuse naked.
Another known legend is that Sir Isaac Newton’s discovery of the force of gravity came while he was resting under an apple tree and observed as an apple fell to the ground.
Whether these are simply great stories or actual historical events is not important. Research has shown that our brains operate best when we relax and our minds are clear of stressful thoughts. This state of relaxation allows our brains to think more clearly. They can wander freely, which leads to more creative thinking.
We can achieve such a state of relaxation in several ways, including yoga, meditation, and being outdoors in nature. Perhaps the easiest way is simply taking a nice long shower or bath.
Hey, if you don’t come up with some creative ideas at least you’ll come out clean. And that’s something too.