A great read from The New York Times recently “The Self-Reflecting Pool” shares , among others, the thoughts of Diana Nyad, the marathon swimmer who attempted to swim from Cuba to Florida without a shark cage.
Swimming helps to give the swimmer the opportunity to be left alone with their thoughts – to be totally introspective and oblivious from what is taking place outside of the water. It is a rare feeling that few, if any other, sports activities can do to the extent that swimming accomplishes.
It makes sense from a different perspective that this can take place. After all, just the sound of water sloshing or undulating is soothing and can quickly set the mind at solitude.
A lot of creative thinking happens when we’re not actively aware of it. When swimming, the mind wanders and this is actually a good thing – according to researchers at Carnegie Mellon. To make good decisions, the study said, our brains need every bit of that room to meander. Other research agrees and notes that our success at solving problems is more frequent when the mind is unfocused – and while we’re exercising. So that solitude that swimming inspires, that ability to zone out and go wherever our minds take us, is important to our healthy thought process and to our problem-solving and creative-thinking capabilities.
Read the article! It is very interesting. Hopefully it will help you to take advantage of this solitude before technology and innovation figure out how to harness the power that comes from such introspection. And as article author Bonnie Tsui says as she closes the article; “Quickly now: everybody in the pool. It won’t be long before Google Goggles.”