A quick peek at the science behind shower thoughts



Do you ever find yourself in the shower and suddenly an idea pops into your head? Millions of people have experienced a phenomenon called “shower thoughts”, which is quite literally having a thought during a nice rinse. 

According to Experts, You're Showering All Wrong

Psychologists explain that showers provide a comfortable and non-distracting place for the mind to wander. “The relaxing, solitary, and non-judgmental shower environment may afford creative thinking by allowing the mind to wander freely, and causing people to be more open to their inner stream of consciousness and daydreams,” said Scott Barry Kaufman, a cognitive researcher. His study determined that roughly 72% of people have experienced a shower thought and that the ideas they received were more creative than in other environments. 

Similarly, John Kounios, a professor of psychology at Drexel University, says, “You become less aware of your environment and more aware of your internal thoughts.”  

During a shower, our brains release dopamine, and the comfort, solitude, and pleasant sound of the water from above give a little leeway for activity anywhere other than our own consciousness. This doesn’t often happen elsewhere because there are few places that offer all of the features essential to stimulate that specific part of the mind. In fact, you would be hard-pressed to name a better place than a shower.

What this research shows us is that an outlet for stress is incredibly important for people to maintain their sense of control and individuality in a hectic world. Another interesting point to take away from this research study is the effect of exhaustion and tension on the creative process. Many people take showers near the end of the day when they have accumulated a sizable amount of physical, emotional, and mental burdens. These burdens are a detriment to our ability to think creatively beyond what is considered basic thoughts and memorization. So it comes to no surprise that a peaceful shower could wash all of that away, even if it is just for that moment.

So the next time you’re looking for an idea, the shower might be the perfect place to go.