Some of our most constructive and creative ideas strike us when we least anticipate them or when we’re simply trying to divert our attention away from our current problems, even if only for a moment.
Is it true that simply putting one foot in front of the other can generate ideas that would otherwise go unnoticed if it weren’t for the walk?
It does for me. When I’m out walking, I frequently find myself devising answers to problems I didn’t realize I had. It also allows me to think about something that has been upsetting me or that I need to work on. A decent stroll has helped me make key decisions or come up with inventive solutions to difficult problems numerous times over the years. The best therapy is movement and a little time to let thoughts come and go.
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Aside from the obvious physical benefits, walking induces a state of “flow” that is difficult to match with any other exercise. I enjoy walking alone, but when I walk with a companion, my brainstorming goes into overdrive, and ideas seem to flow constantly. The majority of my suggestions aren’t feasible or practical, but that’s fine.
What I like about walking is that, aside from having a good pair of walking shoes, the only obstacle is your commitment to walk every day, no matter what.
1. Walking has been shown to increase creativity.
When participants walked, their creative production increased by 60 percent, according to a landmark Stanford University study.
I founded Walkitate, a platform that celebrates the role of walking in the creative process, as a result of my own walking trip. I know that when I’m walking and in the minutes afterward, I’m a better “idea person.” It’s almost as if the steps clear my mind of competing and conflicting notions, allowing me to think clearly and compassionately. I try to tap into it as much as possible, knowing that it will fade as the rest of the day piles on demands, difficulties, and commitments.
2. Some of history’s greatest philosophers walked.
You’re not alone if you stroll for inspiration. Charles Dickens claimed to walk 30 miles every day while thinking about his writing; Charles Darwin, Steve Jobs, and Winston Churchill were also frequent walkers. Walking’s allure may be traced all the way back to Aristotle’s founding of the Walking School in ancient Greece (Peripatetic School). “All truly profound concepts are conceived while walking,” says Friedrich Nietzsche, a well-known philosopher.
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3. Walking reduces the number of distractions.
Getting into a creative mindset for work or company is one of the most difficult aspects of being creative. Walking improves our physical well-being and allows us to view our ideas more clearly. To get the most out of the walk, turn off all of your devices. Stress and worry begin to disappear once external distractions are removed, and our minds can rest. It’s in this calm condition that the magic happens.
We spend the majority of our time on electronics, whether it’s a computer or laptop for business or a smartphone for “free time.” But, if we jump on to another device after spending the entire day on one, are we ever actually relaxing or unplugging?
We must spend time considering our thoughts, comprehending our emotions and motivations, and connecting ourselves with our genuine, true selves in order to access the brilliance within ourselves. Walking aids this process, and the consequences will be visible in our work. Take a few moments at the end of your stroll to reflect on your creative thoughts and how far you’ve come from when you started to when you finished.
That time spent alone or with a fellow walker can be priceless, life-changing, and extremely beneficial to you, your ideas, and everyone in your life. I honestly can’t picture a world where I don’t put on my walking shoes and let my creative juices flow.