How to keep your creative brain wild: Get outside 🌌
Humans have only spent 1% of our existence 'outside' of nature - let's get back to it.
DD HQ here. Weird question, but do you think creativity is an inside activity?
It sounds specific, but ponder on it for a moment. When you imagine yourself being creative, where is it? If we took a wild guess, it’s probably indoors - maybe on a rainy day, maybe late at night. You probably have all of your supplies at arm’s reach, whether that’s a creative tool or a piece of technology.
But, it wasn’t always this way. Our creative brains are wild. They thrive in nature. It’s only in our modern world that creativity has become synonymous with machines - or a robotic way of life.
Study after study shows that nature and creativity are at the root of mental rejuvenation. So much so that being outside gives us mental + physical energy, helps us feel a sense of awe and even starts a virtuous cycle with our creative inspiration.
So, in honor of Earth Day, we’re peeling back the layers behind the relationship between nature, creativity and our sense of feeling alive from a scientific POV. Because that indescribable ‘void’ we talk about so often here at Daydreamers isn’t a mystery; it’s because we’re disconnected…from it all.
But, there’s hope: Our wild, creative brains have only been locked in modern society for 1% of our human existence - and when we return to viewing everywhere as our creative playground, it can not only shift how we feel, but change the status quo for the better.
craving a reason to reconnect with your wild, natural creative brain more often? get your spot to DD Early Access while it’s available - we’re the only platform to exercise, track + learn about your creative brain every day.
This might 🤯 your mind: Since the 1950s, natural elements have disappeared from our ‘collective imagination’ by as much as 60%.
After analyzing millions of songs, storylines, paintings and and movies, researchers at Berkeley’s Greater Good Science Center found that there has been a steady decline in nature-related creations over the past 50 years.
Now, this finding isn’t just a cool piece of information to share at a party; it’s deeply insightful look at what we value and pay attention to as a society. Creativity is often seen as the lifeblood of culture - and right now, the focus is on machines.
This shift from finding inspiration in nature to human-made environments isn’t a coincidence. The study found that around 50 years ago we started changing the way we spend our leisure time as a society - detaching ourselves from playing outside and instead watching TV. Let’s be clear: the reason for this wasn’t our societal move from rural environments to cities, but how we allow ourselves to have fun.
And this new form of ‘fun’? It’s leading to something psychologists call ‘nature deficit disorder’ 😅
The name is slightly facetious, but the impact nature has on our own personal creativity, mental well-being and sense of feeling alive is not. The research here is strong; being in nature - even for as short as five minutes - reduces cortisol levels, increases openness and helps us think more creatively.
Even more, nature helps us activates all of our senses - the easiest starting point for practicing Mini-c creativity (the type we’re big fans of here at Daydreamers). It’s all connected - when we’re both fully present and aware of the natural beauty it can lead major, positive impacts on our longevity, such as a decreased likelihood of cardiovascular disease, depression, and autoimmune disease.
How powerful is that? But, this isn’t just about our own well-being; it’s about the Earth, too. If we want to save the planet we have to go explore it, enjoy it, and create in it. Listen to how the researchers put it:
“Modern [artists] have the opportunity to send the message that nature is worth paying attention to and to help awaken curiosity, appreciation, and respect for nature, as some did back in the ‘60s and ‘70s. [Artistic] creations that help us connect with nature are crucial at a time like this, when nature needs our attention and care more than ever.”
So, this Earth Day - for your own sake and to push the status-quo forward - bring your creative brain outside. It can be as simple as a five-minute ‘awe walk’ or taking your creative expression out in fresh air. When you enjoy nature, it inspires others to do it, too.
And, if this idea sounds energizing to you, the DD team is embarking on an exciting way to bring creativity into the wild this summer. Want to join us? Make sure you’re part of Daydreamers Early Access to get first dibs.
No matter what, here’s to feeling more human, less robot - for ourselves, the Earth + beyond 🛸
Katina + Dupi
and the entire team @ DD HQ
At Daydreamers, we’re all for doing things differently. Get access to exercising your naturally creative brain with our early believers + support our mission of making creativity more accessible for all. If you’re into this content, you’ll be into what we’re building 🤓
An idea to noodle on 💭
Our creative brains are wild at the core
THINK ON THIS: Walking in nature is a creative act to us at DD HQ. We’re all for spending leisure time off of technology - and expanding the creative spectrum. Research has shown that walking outside is the optimal starting point for activating your creative brain, because it increases openness, engagement and even dopamine. Talk amount mental restoration 💭
…MAYBE NOT THAT: Nature doesn’t have to be outside, really (we won’t tell). Some interesting studies have shown that even just the sight of nature can change our physical and mental well-being. For example, just seeing the color green can reduce heart rate and increase creative output. So, even if you’ve got the triple-screen set up going, you can still create a natural, creative environment.
Inside our brains at DD HQ 🧠
It’s true: everyday creativity helps you feel more focused and creative (brain scans tell us so - s/o to DD member Matt for sharing this link!). On that note, new research shows daily doodling is good for your health; can we say we told you so?! There’s complexity behind Frank Ocean’s performance last week + this take sums it up. How fascinating - this new tool helps us see cities through the eyes of a 3-year-old in order to design them better.
Plus, speaking of hobbies, look who was mentioned in this piece in TIME Magazine 👀
What’s new in the DD World this wk 🛸
Stuck in your office and can’t get outside? Five minutes of watching nature videos activates your Default Mode Network.
Check out this reco from DD Early Access member, James, who shared this in our live community chat yesterday. Tell us what you think!