When is the best time to think? When is the best time to be creative? When is the best time to think about the future? Should you be lying or sitting? What about standing? Wet or dry hair? Does having shoes on help?
Following, the 9 best places and actions where your best ideas can flourish
Think while you drink
If you are a freshman in college and about to get involved in a big party, it generally does not pay off to think while you are having alcohol. Every abuse and/or noxious substances it may give you the idea that you are thinking and rightly too, but 9 times out of 10 it is not. The other problem is that most of your thoughts will be forgotten and the only thing left the next morning is the hangover!
Think while you eat
You are always on the run, probably your lunch break is a good time to sit, rest and think while you are having a bite. I find it hard to concentrate on my future while I am trying to figure it out how to manage chopsticks. If you are a master at it or had the decency of asking the waiter for a fork then there are bad news for you too. A research team from Birmingham conducted a systematic review (they scoured a bunch of studies in the medical literature) and they concluded that attentive eating is likely to influence food intake. Which means that if you don’t want to put on weight, you may want to focus your mind on what you eat and how much you eat, full stop.
Think while you commute
If you don’t work from home it is likely you will commute to and from work almost daily. There are plenty of things you can do while you commute even in a crowded train or bus. Thinking is one of those. Please remember to get off at your stop if you don’t want to be late. You may find interesting to know that. J. K. Rowling had her idea for “Harry Potter” while she was on a crowded train heading back from Manchester to London. Although she did not have a pen to write down her thoughts, the delayed train allowed her to sit down and think and all the details of her novel became more and more real to her.
Think while you smoke
The 1836 song titled “An old song, think and smoke tobacco” can make you believe that thinking while smoking is a good and viable option. Many “cool” pictures can be found on the net of businessman smoking their pipe while their elbows rest on a comfortable chair. You may even consider smoking cannabinoid to ignite your thinking and wonder through your consciousness but the harmful effect of smoking for your body and for your mind should make you discard this option.
Think while you shop
If you get easily lost in a shopping mall, wondering between floors and lingerie, well you can use shopping as an excuse for thinking. John Lennon got the idea for the song “Being for the Benefit of Mr. Kite!” from looking at a poster in an antique shop. There is a healthy benefit attached to thinking while shopping, you can get down few more steps to add to your daily count, just make sure you bring a written list of what you actually need to buy.
Think while you walk or run
Walking and running are automatic actions in a sense that your conscious mind doesn’t have to be busy elaborating how to put your right foot in front of the left and so on. This leaves plenty of room for thinking. Nikola Tesla had many great ideas during his lifetime. History tells us that the inventor came up with the idea for alternating electric currents while out on a leisurely stroll. There are several guides and tips that teach you on how to meditate while you run, what to think while you run or what to listen. Personally, I prefer to immerse myself into the beautiful scenarios you see below. It impresses me every single time.
Think while you are having sex
Everybody has something in their mind while having sex. I am pretty sure you tried to think of hot chicks, your grandma funeral for different reasons which I won’t explain here. The main problem with thinking your future or come up with a solution to your problems while you are having sex is to fix the thoughts in your mind, or better on a piece of paper. It would not be wise to suddenly stop the “motion” and say to your partner “hold on honey, I need to grab pen and piece of paper to write something down”.
Think while you sleep
Everybody sleeps. We spend on average 36 percent of our life sleeping. We sleep in bed, couch, at work, on a bus. So is it possible to use the sleeping time to think? You bet you can, but only if you get ready for it. Sleeping during nighttime is the best time to “use” your mind to do the work for you and come up with solutions and ideas. To be mentally prepared before you go to sleep you should run through your mind (better if you write everything down), the things you planning to do the next day, the challenge you are facing, the problems you are trying to solve. Mental rehearse the process and go to sleep. Your mind will do the rest. Science tells us that your brain process the last 15 to 30 minutes of information/stimuli collected before you go to bed. Find out more on sleep.
Think while you shower
One of my best daily routines is showering. I take plenty of time while I do that. The view from my bathroom is amazing and most important my mind starts to get super active as soon I step into the shower. I am not the only one that finds inspiration in the bathroom. Woody Allen said that “in the shower, with the hot water coming down, you’ve left the real world behind, and very frequently things open up for you. It’s the change of venue, the unblocking the attempt to force the ideas that are crippling you when you’re trying to write.”
All the activities listed above have two main things in common. They bring relaxation and distraction. When we are in a relaxed state of mind, we’re more likely to turn our attention “inwards”, we are able to make insightful connections. Distraction gives our conscious brains a break so the subconscious part can work on a problem more creatively.
The science behind is the release of high level of a neurotransmitter called dopamine. This neurotransmitter targets the amygdala (an almond-shape set of neurons located deep in the brain’s medial temporal lobe) which plays a key role in the processing of decision-making, emotional reactions, and memory.
Now you just need to make sure you have a way to capture your ideas whenever and wherever they happen.