Why Ideas Abound In The Shower — And How To Harness Them

Why Ideas Abound In The Shower — And How To Harness Them

There are plenty of things out there that help jumpstart the brain. Maybe all it takes is a cup of coffee to get the ideas flowing, or maybe hopping up from your desk and doing 20 jumping jacks gets your blood pumping and the gears turning. When you have a problem to solve, there are a variety of ways to jog the mind. One of the best ways is actually surprisingly mundane: set everything aside and go take a shower.

Shower Thoughts

Taking a shower is an almost universal way to problem solve and generate new ideas. It is not uncommon to hear someone talk about getting a brilliant idea while shampooing. But it is just a shower; why does something so monotonous frequently spur such great ideas?

The answer is, in large part, because it is a monotonous task. Odds are good you have taken thousands of showers in your lifetime, so the task does not require much in the way of mental attention. All the brain space that is usually occupied with other tasks as you do them gets a break when you start your shower routine. Switching over to autopilot in the shower means the part of your brain that is usually occupied gets a break. The combination of autopilot and low-level distraction strikes just the right balance to give your brain a chance to go walkabout. Our brains are amazing organs and when the subconscious is allowed to roam on its own, it will parse through patterns and ideas and create new connections. Daydreaming in the shower is a way of taking the pressure off and giving your brain free reign to do what it does best.

The other elements of this are a couple of things you may not consider. For most of us, the warmth and lack of distractions in the shower helps to instantly relax the mind and body. Relaxing in any scenario helps the brain make more insightful connections than it does when actively focused on something. Then, on top of the relaxation, the warmth of a shower triggers the release of dopamine in the brain, which furthers that relaxed state of mind. Add in a low-level distraction like bathing and showering creates the perfect combination of cozy, relaxed, and just-barely-distracted to allow the brain to do its thing without hindrance. The only problem is remembering those brilliant ideas once you step out of the shower and get back to real life.

Why Not The Bath?

Have you noticed that you get great ideas in the shower but not the bath? The difference lies in the distraction. A bath may be more relaxing, but it’s often less distracting than a shower — unless you have a book to read while you relax. If you treat your bath as a utilitarian means of getting clean, it may still be a great way to spur ideas, but for most of us, taking a bath means carving out some time to actively relax — which means no distraction to give your brain the chance to wander the way it needs to.

Harnessing Shower-Time Brilliance

If you are like many people out there, you have plenty of sparks of brilliance when in the shower. The harder part is remembering them afterward. There is actually a logical explanation for this, referred to as the “doorway effect.” Essentially, stepping through a doorway (or out of the shower) affects how well we are able to remember things. You can click the link above to get the full scoop on why this happens; the salient point is that when you get those brilliant ideas in the shower, it is important to find a way to jot them down before you step through the “doorway” out of your shower.

This is where TerraSlate waterproof paper steps in to save the day — and maybe help you make that big breakthrough at work! Our waterproof paper is entirely waterproof, tear-proof, and colorfast and it works beautifully with ballpoint pens. It is also heat-resistant up to 350 degrees Fahrenheit, so it will stay strong no matter how hot you like your shower. Choose lined three-hole filler paper if you want to be able to jot down ideas quickly, or opt for waterproof printer paper if you want to be able to print an organizational design before hanging it in your shower. Explore our range of waterproof paper options online and start harnessing your shower brilliance.

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