Walking Increases Creativity

Many writers are well known to have been avid walkers – Lake poets like William walking-feet-onlyWordsworth and Samuel Coleridge come to mind. Charles Dickens and Virginia Woolf were both keen city walkers. More recently, poet Simon Armitage has also written about his long treks on the Pennine Way and in the South West of England. Are walking and creativity linked? The answer is yes!

Research at Stanford University shows that people who go for a walk have 50% more creative ieas than people who do their thinking sitting down. What is more, this high creativity continues after you have finished your walk. Surprisingly, the study showed that it doesn’t matter whether you walk outdoors or on a treadmill indoors – ideas flow more freely in either case. While it may be true that beautiful scenery is inspiring, the mere act of walking will stimulate creativity no matter where it happens.

So the next time you are stuck for some new ideas – get up from that desk and take a hike!

Writing in Groups is Therapeutic

Reading in groups has special therapeutic effects, according to The Reader Organization. This doesn’t just mean a book group where you read alone at home and come together to discuss it – it is about shared reading. That’s people coming together to read aloud poems and stories. Social connections are made, thoughts may be discussed, and works of literature are shared by all.

Writing in groups has a similar therapeutic effect, as I have seen in my Writing for Wellbeing workshops. At a recent workshop at Merchant City Yoga in Glasgow themed to Change and Growth, we were grounding ourselves with the activity of writing about our personal achievements. In the discussion afterwards, one participant commented thatmcy-2 she could never normally write about her own achievements. But it was easy to do in the workshop because she had been given ‘permission’ to do so, and what is more everyone else in the room was also writing about their achievements at the same time. She found it very liberating and enlightening.

Others have commented that having dedicated time to write in a group makes it easier to leave outside stresses and concerns behind, and just focus on personal expression and exploration of self. It’s a little time to achieve some clarity and calm, facilitated by the fact that everyone there is doing the same thing, too.

That’s the beauty of Writing for Wellbeing workshops — it’s the chance to come together with like-minded people using their creativity to expand their100_3117 personal awareness, increase feelings of positivity, and find paths forward by means of their own inner wisdom. Keeping in mind that we never have to read aloud anything we have written, the very act of writing together in a group creates an atmosphere where it feels okay to write whatever you need to write on that day.