Want to Be More Creative? Take a Hike!

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Want to Be More Creative? Take a Hike!How do you recharge?

Do you take walks with your dog, meet with friends, or visit the coast?

Lately, I’ve been hiking on Wednesdays. Ah. My body relaxes as I just think about the hikes.

I used to take short hikes on Saturdays. But recently I joined a new hiking group and walk about 6.5 miles with new and old friends.

creativity - hike

Here I am hiking in Sugarloaf in Kenwood.

I’m having trouble expressing what these mid-week hikes have done for me.

Sure, I need to work ahead on Mondays and Tuesdays to make it work. And I still work before and after the hikes. But the mad dash to make the time to hike on Wednesdays is so worth it.

I find myself refreshed. Wonderfully tired. And inspired by the wildflowers and ocean vistas.

And I can feel myself be more creative.

I also find myself recharged for work. Who minds working if you can spare some time to get out into the outdoors and experience a slice of nature?

Also, I feel more creative in my work. I can more easily think of topics for blog posts and strategies for my clients after taking some time away from the computer.

creativity - hike

I saw my first Diogenes Lantern in Sugarloaf in May.

A study published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences found that spending time in nature decreases these obsessive ruminations and negative thoughts by a “significant margin.”

According to Collective Evolution:

“A study conducted by psychologists Ruth Ann Atchley and David L. Strayer found that creative problem solving can be drastically improved by both disconnecting from technology and reconnecting with nature. Participants in this study went backpacking through nature for about four days, during which time they were not allowed to use any technology whatsoever. They were asked to perform tasks requiring creative thinking and complex problem solving, and researchers found that performance on problem-solving tasks improved by 50% for those who took part in this tech-free hiking excursion.”

And according to Lindsay Holmes, writing for the Huffington Post,

“Not only is hiking a great way to notch some physical activity, it’s quite possibly one of the best forms of fitness when it comes to your mind. There’s just something about the combination of exercise and fresh air that transforms your outlook.”

creativity - hike

Hoping to boost your creativity? A 2012 study found that “participants who embarked on a hike before taking a creativity assessment scored better than peers who took the test without having been on a hike.”

So, if you want to boost your creativity while looking at wildflowers, redwood groves, cedar groves, and if you live near the coast, expanses of sea, take a hike. And take a break from social media.

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Frances CaballoAuthor of this blogFrances Caballo is an author and social media strategist and manager for writers. She’s a regular speaker at the San Francisco Writers Conference and a contributing writer at TheBookDesigner.com. Frances wrote several social media books including Social Media Just for Writers and The Author’s Guide to Goodreads. Her focus is on helping authors surmount the barriers that keep them from flourishing online, building their platform, and finding new readers. Her clients have included authors of every genre and writers’ conferences. Not sure how you’re doing online? Sign up for her free email course.

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