If you think you do your best thinking in the shower, think again. Legend – and research – has it that soaking in the tub is a better way to solve some of life’s biggest stumpers.
Take our ol’ friend Archimedes. Perhaps the most famed mathematician in the world, this Grecian super-smarty made such an important discovery while soaking in the public bath house that he leapt out of the water, yelling “Eureka! Eureka!”. His discovery coined a phrase we still use today and inspired International Bath Day (June 14), a day dedicated to thinking deep thoughts and making big time discoveries in the bath.
But WHY does soaking in the tub enable us to do such serious thinking? The answer lies not with Archimedes’ math, but rather with the chemistry of our brains. Dopamine is chemical that transports signals from one brain cell to another. It helps control your pleasure center, regulates emotions, and, according to neuroscientist Alice Flaherty, makes us more creative. The more relaxed you are, the more dopamine your body releases and the more creative your thinking becomes. And where are you more relaxed than in the tub?
Plus, when we’re relaxed we tend to become slightly distracted, setting our problems aside and allowing our subconscious time to gnaw on them and come up with alternative solutions. A study conducted by psychologists at the University of California, Santa Barbara, indicates that spacing out actually fosters creativity.
And, yes, you may have had some serious aha moments in the shower, but the average shower lasts for 9+ minutes, versus many more minutes spent soaking in the tub, providing more time to get and stay relaxed, distracted, and creative.
In addition to inspiring creativity and Eureka moments, soaking in the bath has also been shown to boost the immune system, improve cardiovascular functions, strengthen circulation, and reduce cortisone levels for younger looking skin and acne relief. Baths even helps us sleep better!
So next time you’ve got a big problem to solve, skip the shower and hit the tub instead. You might just find yourself shouting Eureka!