by sonja thorsvik

A Method To Create More Income: Hint It’s Exercise

Ever go for a long walk and suddenly get hit with a majorly exciting new idea? You’re not alone. Studies have shown that exercise can actually boost your creativity and that regular exercisers test better on creative assessments than their more sedentary peers.

“Specifically, researchers noted that regular exercise seems to be associated with improved divergent and convergent thinking, which are considered the two components of creative thinking,” an article from HuffPost shared. “The former involves thinking of multiple solutions for one problem, while the latter involves thinking of one solution for a problem.”

So, that’s really good news for even those who don’t consider themselves “creative,” because when you need inspiration for a new project or piece of content, a little activity can go a long way. Here are a few tips to practice being more active in order to stretch that creativity muscle.

Treat Exercise Like A Moving Meditation

Okay, it *may* sound a little woo-woo, but treating a few of your weekly exercise sessions like a “moving meditation” isn’t as far-fetched as it seems. What I mean is this: Rather than taking a bustling and noisy workout class or cranking up the T. Swift in your AirPods on your runs, prioritize quiet, solo exercise once or twice a week instead.

This could look like a long walk alone in nature (my favorite). Maybe it’s jogging on the treadmill or taking a spin on the elliptical without your device planted in front of you, and instead appreciating the view out the window. Essentially, it’s embracing distraction-less exercise every so often. While you’re partaking in these “moving meditations,” try focusing on a mantra, affirmation, or goal that’s on the top of your mind. Repeat ten times in a row to train your brain on our new reality.

Here are a few examples:

“I am creative, intuitive, innovative, and can find excellent solutions to roadblocks in my business.”

“The answers are already within me.”

“I am strong, powerful, and successful on my own terms.”

“I am open to giving and receiving love.”

Repeating these as mantras while exercising will instill a positive reinforcement in your mind that allows creative ideas and inspiration to come bounding in. You’ll likely be hit with a great idea or two (if not flooded with several) during these movement sessions because of the presence and groundedness they take.

Not to mention, without distractions, your mind and body are able to connect in the movement in a way not possible when you’re sitting at your desk with three screens, an overwhelmingly full inbox, and multiple beverages in front of you.

Exercise Stimulates Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor (BDNF)

Plus, exercise stimulates BDNF in our brains or Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factors. Studies show that BDNF supports learning, mental health, and memory, which are key components of creativity.

Fitness expert Darin Hulslander says, “[BDNF] helps keep our brains perky, fresh, and young. It targets the hippocampus, which is the part of our brain that helps us with forward-thinking, learning, and… creative thoughts. The more we exercise, the more new cell growth we receive there, and thus the more BDNF we produce.” Do you hear that? You literally ooze creativity when you exercise! Twenty more squats? Coming right up!

So, how does it work? When we’re exercising, our brains are focusing on physical exertion and activity, giving the more cerebral activities in our brains somewhat of a break. It’s sort of like when you stop looking for your keys, you finally find them in a super obvious spot… When you stop trying and working to be creative or get inspired, focusing on something else (physical activity) allows the brain to relax and almost welcome in new ideas easier.

Pretty rad, right?

Keep A Log Of Your Creative Ideas Inspired By Exercise

Even if you’re not a master yogi or a long-time marathoner, you can still absolutely experience the creative benefits of movement. A half-hour walk or a 20-minute jog can be enough to awaken your inspiration via activity. Sometimes even the act of standing while you work (like at a stand-up desk) or sitting on a yoga ball at your desk (which activates your core) can engage that physically stimulated BDNF in your brain.

No matter how you pursue creativity through exercise, I’d urge you to keep a journal or note on your phone to remember the ideas that strike while you’re movin’ and groovin’. I’ve found it can be a lot like dreaming: You get so excited and caught up in a fresh and new idea right when it strikes, but a few hours later you’ll likely be scratching your head and wondering, What the heck was that brilliant breakthrough I had on my run earlier?

Whether you keep a running tab in your phone notes or remember to sit down and jot them in a notebook once you’re home, just make sure it gets recorded somewhere. Whether or not you pursue it right away, you’ll at least have a catalog of great ideas for future projects, content, or opportunities that you can return to when you’re feeling a little stale creatively.

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I don’t know about you, but the more I learn about our brains, the more blown away I am. They have so much power and capacity that we only barely know how to utilize fully—and so, tapping into them in the ways we DO know-how, like using exercise to spark creativity, is really a gift. Try some moving meditations this week, focus on a creative mantra, and just see what happens. I have a feeling you’ll be pleasantly surprised.

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Meet YOUR HOST

SONJA THORSVIK



I started my own entrepreneurial career in 2012 scaling up from $0 a year to over $100,000 each and every year. I firmly and wholeheartedly believe there are ways for all of us self-employed entrepreneurs to reach six-figures and beyond and I'm unapologetically here to show you how I do it so you can make your next best move. Let's go.

foUNDER of gigging for gold
i like my coffee black
@sonjathorsvik

Obsessed With Increasing Your Odds of success