And this our life, exempt from public haunt, finds tongues in trees,
books in the running brooks, sermons in the stones,
and good in everything.
~ William Shakespeare
If you are looking for a way to hike up your creativity, then look no further than the dusty trail. For, my friends, it appears that SCIENCE has proven the Billy Bard correct.
Research from the University of Kansas found that the more time a person spends in nature, the more creative he or she becomes.
In the study, one group of backpackers was given a test for creativity before setting out on a long hike. A different troop was given the same test four days into their trek.
Results showed that the second group of hikers — the ones who were well into their “nature journeys” — scored nearly 50% higher in creativity!
The director of the study reported that “Nature is a place where our minds can rest, relax, and let down those threat responses (obviously, she has never been chased by a bear). Therefore, we have resources left over to be creative and problem solve.”
HOWEVER, before we get too over-excited and spend all of our pin money on mess kits and trail mix, I think that we need to address a major confounding variable within this research.
I call it… the bath factor.
As in, one can assume that the first group of backpackers, just setting off with high hopes on the high trail, was most likely clean and fresh. While group two — not so much.
This issue is further complicated by today’s quote-meister, William Shakespeare, who just so happened to live out a large part of his life in the 1500’s.
Do you know how often the people of England bathed in the 1500’s?
ONCE. A. YEAR.
What if it’s really crud that causes all that creative thinking?
Could it be that the REAL reason for writer’s block is…
Inquiring minds want to know.
PROMPT: Cleanliness may be next to Godliness, but filth apparently makes one hell of a writer. So hit the trails instead of the showers and see what it does for that creative mind of yours. Who knows — you may even find a tongue in a tree or, better yet, a book in a babbling brook.