We've all heard the stories about great ideas springing forth in the shower, but what is it about those few steamy morning minutes that are so inspiring?
According to renowned neuroscientist Alice Flaherty who performs research on creativity, it's dopamine. Warm showers make us feel good and relaxed, and when combined with a habitual activity like cleansing, it's the perfect recipe for triggering an influx of dopamine into the primitive part of our brain, the limbic system.
So lather up and let go. It's the best way to start each day awakened to the immense field of creativity and problem solving that can be so elusive during the rest of the day.
Here are three simple ways to get the most out of your morning shower routine and set yourself up for a more creative daily experience.
1. Feel the power of water.
Water has a profound influence on our senses and a growing body of research suggests that its powerful effects can summon important hormonal and chemical responses that promote a sense of well-being and good health.
Next time you step into the shower, close your eyes, quiet your mind and experience the beautiful sensation of water. It's an easy investment in mindfulness that could mean the difference between a sluggish day and one brimming with creative possibility.
2. Create a new morning ritual.
Throughout history and in every culture, people have created rituals in response to some of life's bigger moments and to enhance the experience of a seemingly mundane task. Bring the power of ritual into the start of your every day by focusing your attention in the same way.
Mindful morning rituals impart a sense of doing something good for yourself, and you'll find that feeling will carry over to other parts of your life throughout the day.
By bringing awareness to small, ordinary tasks like showering or moisturizing, you're awakening your creative reasoning — and who couldn't use a little more creativity in work, love and life?
3. Tap into the creative power of beauty.
In the time that it takes for you to read this article, your body will have performed millions of tasks per second with beautiful precision — creating new cells, connecting cells, and course-correcting the development of cells — with no direct or conscious input from you.
I see this as proof that beauty dwells within and it is your birthright, not a concept created by the cosmetics industry. Get in touch with your own natural beauty by creating new ways to honor it and by applying your skin care products with purpose.
You'll get the maximum benefit by choosing quality washes, lotions and oils that make you feel pampered and enliven your senses. Instead of the typical quick slather, apply your moisturizer with focused attention and with gratitude for all the amazing daily functions your body performs on your behalf, with zero conscious input on your part.
Adding these mindful twists to your daily morning duties is a small effort that will lift your spirits and start your day on an enlightened note. And who knows? Your next brilliant idea may be just a shower away.