Why Walking Helps Us Think | Stanford Study Finds Walking Improves Creativity

Have you been stuck lately? Writer’s block? Difficulty making a decision?

It’s been found that walking can actually help you improve brain function and allow you to come to more effective and novel solutions. The precise physiology is not known, but professors, therapists and creatives are turning what was once an unquestioned instinct into a certainty: Walking influences our thinking, and somehow improves creativity.

Steve Jobs didn’t come by his success accidentally — anytime he was up against something stubborn or needed to think through things more thoroughly, he’d take a walk.

If you find yourself struggling regularly, carve out a block of time every day to take a refreshing stroll. Here are some tips for getting the most out of this time, whether it’s on your lunch hour, when you rise in the morning or after work.

1. Make sure you have comfortable shoes. If your feet are uncomfortable, you won’t be able to focus on your thoughts very easily.

2. Create a solid block of time in your day to go out and walk around. Whether it’s during your lunch hour or in your off time, it’s important to have time reserved,

3. Choose a route that won’t have you crossing too many busy streets or having to think too much about your surroundings. Obviously, you need to maintain a certain level of awareness of your surroundings, but the less you have to think about external factors, the more you’ll get from your walk.

4. Carry a small pocket notebook or a recording device so that you can capture fleeting thoughts that may be an integral part of the solution you’re seeking.

5. Be mindful of what you’re trying to achieve. Don’t force the thoughts, but try to not worry about what you’re going to cook for supper or whether or not you remembered to pay the water bill.

Once you get used to using this time for developing thoughts and ideas, you’ll wonder how you ever lived without it!