Deep Pondering in the Shower


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I have a distinct memory from middle school in which I prefaced an idea with, "I was thinking in the shower...." My teacher immediately cut me off and said, "Too much information. We don't need to know that." Looking back on it, he may have been right, but was I onto something? Being someone that showers for an extended period of time, my thoughts vary anywhere from shampoo to solving world hunger.  I always find myself thinking deep thoughts. It turns out, this is an actual phenomena, though without much scientific evidence.  In this article we read about possible reasons as to why showers can stimulate such deep thinking. The top two that seem the most plausible to me is first that the shower offers absolutely no distractions, and that the task at hand (showering) is essentially a subconscious act.  The first is relatively self-explanatory,  but the second seems interesting to me. The fact that showering is such a basic act, and people can shower for upwards of 15 or 20 minutes, the mind is allowed to wander and contemplate other things. 

showerhead.jpg

However, in this article we see someone take another point of view. In this article, we see the word "meditation" mentioned. The article states that the idea of excessive heat, breathing in steam, and the feeling of cleansing creates a sort of natural high, which stimulates thinking and a sort of meditation.  The most interesting piece to me is the fact that so many people can relate to this phenomena, but there is no strong scientific support. So what do you think? Could there be a strong scientific reason as to why showering stimulates deep thinking, or does it just vary person to person and science has no correlation?

2 Comments

This theory actually makes a lot of sense to me. I know when I'm working on a paper, taking a shower actually helps to organize my thoughts. According to an article I found on InnovationExcellence.com, there are several other reasons that deep thinking occurs in the shower. It is not necessarily the water that is causing the thinking but the atmosphere. As you are normally alone when you are in the shower, it provides you time to think free of the influence of other people. Another reason the sight mentions is white noise. The site claims that the noise caused by the water promotes better concentration and increased thinking. Though the website I found may not be completely reputable, the reasons I listed made sense to me. Regardless, your blog was very interesting, I never even considered why I think in the shower before.
Here's a link to the site: http://www.innovationexcellence.com/blog/2010/08/09/20-reasons-why-the-best-ideas-come-in-the-shower/

I think that taking a shower is a great way to relieve stress, revitalize, and to refresh yourself. Most commonly, showers are taken in the morning or at night. People who shower in the morning do so to start their day and to wake themselves up. People who shower at night do so to 'wash the day off of them' and destress. Both serve a sort of 'meditative' state, like you said. I think that this is a perfect way to put it because showering is a way to be in deep thought without really realizing it, like meditation. I meditate on my own almost daily and I feel about the same way after meditation as I do after I take a shower. One of my first blogs I wrote was actually on mediation and I think that you'll find that the two do have a lot in common! Here's the link: http://www.personal.psu.edu/afr3/blogs/siowfa12/2012/09/not-just-for-monks.html

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