Creative inspiration often comes to us in waves. Sometimes quite literally when we head to the sand for some beach time.
Creative inspiration can be found within the relaxing sound of waves … formed along with footprints in the soft sand beneath your feet.
Creativity prompts are scattered everywhere across the sand. Creative inspiration lies amongst the lost items washed ashore.
A walk along the beach is just what all of us needs to clear our heads of daily tasks, relax us, and release our imagination and ideas.
Many studies have shown that a walk on the beach lowers stress and blood pressure, boosts mood, and has many positive effects on mental health. All things that can also boost creativity.
For me, it has always been the ocean. The comforting rhythm of waves as they slowly, patiently shape continents. The excitement of hearing water in motion. The moist air on my cheek as a thousand grains of sand give way ever so slightly beneath my feet. All my senses are awakened and fully engaged when I walk the beach. The vastness and wholeness of the experience encourages ideas and stories to flow. I literally swim in waves of inspiration.
I believe creativity is like working out – the more you do it, the stronger you get. Expanding that analogy, drawing inspiration from other art forms is akin to cross-training. You’ll challenge muscles that are used less often and avoid falling into a rut.
The beach itself has always been a major source of inspiration for me. I am very much a water spirit. I cannot really think creatively when I am away from water.
Just looking at the sand, the water, the waves and the horizon where the sky melds into the sea feeds every fibre of my creativity.
In our everyday lives, we’re constantly bombarded with sensory stimuli, whether from our devices, busy homes and offices, or hectic city streets. Our brains need downtime, but they rarely get enough of it.
Being around water gives our brains and our senses a rest from overstimulation.
Research has found that the sound around us, from an auditory perspective, is simplified. It’s not quiet, but the sound of water is far more simple than the sound of voices, the sound of music, or the sound of a city.
When you stand at the edge of water and look out on the horizon, it’s visually simplified relative to the room you’re sitting in right now, or a city you’re walking through, where you’re taking in millions of pieces of information every second.
When we’re near, on, in, or under water, we get a cognitive break because there’s simply less information coming in. Our brains don’t shut down — they keep working, but in a different way,
Many of us love to sit near the ocean, a lake, or a river and gaze out at the water – often, we can sit for long periods simply observing the gentle movements of the water. Why? Though we may not be conscious of it, the water could be inducing a mildly meditative state of calm focus and gentle awareness.
Being in a mindful state – in which the brain is relaxed but focused – benefits the mind and body on a number of different levels. A growing body of research has found a myriad of benefits associated with mindfulness, including lower stress levels, relief from mild anxiety, pain and depression, improved mental clarity and focus, and better sleep quality.
Water can inspire us to be more compassionate and connected.
While in the restful, contemplative state associated with observing or interacting with water, it’s also common to experience feelings of awe.
The emotion of awe invokes feelings of a connection to something beyond oneself, a sense of the vastness of nature and an attempt to make sense of the experience.
That switches you from a ‘me’ orientation to a ‘we’ orientation.
And while the brain is in a more restful state, suddenly you’re able to make those wonderful new connections!