Have you ever noticed that you think more creatively while walking? Maybe you’ve spent hours thinking over a problem or a project, only to go out for a walk and come up with the solution.
Walking can have a profound impact on our brain function and creativity, stimulating cognitive processes, boosting our mood, and enhancing creative thinking. As an NLP coach, I’ll often lead in-person coaching sessions while walking. The change of scenery can be a great way to help clients access new ways of thinking about a topic, change their state, or get around mental blocks.
The effects of walking on cognitive performance
Studies have shown that walking promotes the production of neurochemicals such as serotonin and dopamine, which are responsible for regulating mood, reducing stress, and enhancing cognitive function. Walking has been shown to increase blood flow to the brain, leading to improved cognitive performance and enhanced problem-solving abilities.
Walking can also improve our ability to think creatively. A study published in the Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Cognition found that individuals who walked while performing a creative thinking task produced more creative ideas compared to those who were seated. The study suggests that walking may enhance the ability to generate novel ideas by increasing the flow of ideas and associations in the brain.
Walking has been found to enhance the connectivity of brain regions involved in creative thinking. In a study published in the Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience, researchers found that walking improved connectivity between brain regions associated with the default mode network, which is involved in creative thinking and imagination.
The benefits of walking coaching sessions
Walking coaching sessions are an excellent way to leverage the benefits of walking for cognitive and creative enhancement. NLP walking coaching sessions involve a coach guiding a client through a session while walking – ideally, somewhere with a great view, which we’ve got in spades here in Cornwall! Just like in a regular coaching session, the goal isn’t to instruct the client, but to facilitate their own creative or problem-solving process.
During a walking coaching session, we’ll use various NLP techniques such as visualisation, anchors, and language patterns to help the client towards their desired outcome. Each session is different, tailored specifically to an individual’s needs and goals.
Walking coaching sessions may also include elements of goal-setting and personal development. By combining the physical activity of walking with the mental focus of NLP techniques, clients can improve their ability to achieve their goals, overcome barriers and work towards their desired outcomes.
Feeling stuck? Try walking it off
While often overlooked as it’s something we do every day, walking is a powerful tool for enhancing brain function and creativity, enhancing cognitive processes, accessing new ideas, and improving creative thinking. Walking coaching sessions are an excellent way to leverage the benefits of walking and NLP techniques for cognitive and creative enhancement. So, next time you’re feeling stuck or need to come up with some creative ideas, take a walk and see what it does for your brain!