Happiness and Creative Thinking Are Only A Walk Away

Have you ever wondered what happiness literally looks like in your brain? This video is "a myosin protein dragging an endorphin along a filament to the inner part of the brain's parietal cortex which creates happiness." This cellular process literally looks like taking a walk!

Is it ironic that cells in your brain take a walk in order to create happiness? We don't think so.

Taking a walk gives you a chance to take time out for yourself to think and reflect. It allows you to connect with your body promoting deeper breathing for relaxation and stress-reduction.

It also triggers a number of other processes which can contribute to your sense of happiness and wellbeing, including:

Promoting the release of endorphins - “happy” hormones
Releasing adrenaline – the body’s own “mood-lifting” chemical
Producing hormones to improve sleep
Releasing muscle tension.

Walking really can make you happier, even the cells in your brain know this. It's scientific inspiration! And, getting out of your head and into your body is a form of mindfulness. Energizing your body allows your brain to focus. It's unfortunate that often times, we neglect the body, in favor of the mind, without recognizing their interdependencies. We can easily remain stuck in our heads, but when we do, we are not fully experiencing life, and life is where ideas live. 

My ideas usually come not at my desk writing but in the midst of living.
— Anaïs Nin

Active mindfulness is a powerful way to spark creativity, and by active mindfulness I mean being physically active and mentally tuned-in. This way your body and your mind are energized and your awareness-level is at it's peak. Now you are primed to reap the ultimate benefit from your mindfulness practice, guidance from your sub-conscious. Hopefully you are really listening at this point because creativity thrives in the sub-conscious.  

A research report from Stanford University, titled Give Your Ideas Some Legs: The Positive Effect of Walking on Creative Thinking , states that "walking opens up the free flow of ideas, and it is a simple and robust solution to the goals of increasing creativity".

Creativity and happiness are inarguably linked to each other, and the promising truth is that they are accessible to anyone who are willing to take a walk. 

Let's Work Happy!

You can listen to the HumanCurrent podcast here and don't forget to subscribe in iTunes. Be sure to listen to our most recent episode with Professor Dave Snowden, who is an avid walker and complexity thinker.