Walking to Improve Creativity, The Breakout Principle and The Relaxation Response
I started to just reblog this article on PsychCentral.com. It’s about studies that were done to try to understand the link between walking (as opposed to being pushed in a wheelchair) and creativity. But I want to point out that all of this was discussed in and perhaps even generated by “The Breakout Principle,” a 2003 book by Dr. Herbert Benson, founder of Harvard’s Mind/Body Medical Institute, and author of the groundbreaking bestseller “The Relaxation Response.”
In his book, Dr. Benson describes the chemical response to high levels of physical or mental stress. He has developed a process which applies a well practiced relaxation response, which he calls the “breakout trigger” (such as taking a leisurely walk,) to release body chemicals including nitric oxide that counter stress hormones and clear the path for peak creativity or physical productivity.
No athlete should be without the information in that book. But the breakout principle can be used by anyone needing to hit a refresh button. In fact, Dr. Benson’s works are what I consider after market human body instructions in case you misplaced the ones you were born with.
Below is the article, and following that, more information about Dr. Benson, The Breakout Principle, and The Relaxation Response.
By Rick Nauert PhD Senior News Editor Reviewed by John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on April 25, 2014
New research discovers that when challenged by a task, getting out to take a walk leads to more creativity than staring at a keyboard or sitting behind a desk.
“Many people anecdotally claim they do their best thinking when walking,” said Marily Oppezzo, Ph.D., of Santa Clara University.
“With this study, we finally may be taking a step or two toward discovering why.”
From the Amazon description of The Breakout Prinicple
Would it surprise you to learn that to solve a seemingly unsolvable problem, you need to get up and leave the room? A walk in the woods will help you finish your novel? Humming can make you a better tennis player? Or completely giving up is the way to succeed? In The Breakout Principle, the bestselling author of The Relaxation Response delivers the ultimate self-help principle — simple instructions to activate a powerful biological trigger that converts conflict and confusion into clarity and extraordinary performance, a state athletes refer to as “the zone.” More than three decades ago, Dr. Herbert Benson of the Harvard Medical School began research into why some people are devastated by stress while others thrive, turning it into brilliant achievement. Now The Breakout Principle reports the discovery of an easy-to-access inner switch that increases mental function, enhances creativity and productivity, maximizes athletic performance, and enriches spiritual life. The same internal mechanism that improves a tennis serve or golf putt strengthens your speaking skills, makes you a better negotiator, and fosters inner peace and belief.