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Switch up your sauna to banish mental roadblocks and unleash your creativity.

 

BY JESSICA COLLINS FOR HEAT HEALER

 

Historically many cultures have made use of heat therapy - and sauna - to relieve stress, promote creative thought and attain spiritual enlightenment (think traditional Finnish saunas and sweat lodges).

 

There is much talk about creativity requiring a connection between mind and body, or becoming an ‘open vessel for creative flow’ - but howexactlydo we make this connection, or open the vessel?!

 

 

Today science tells us that many of thebrain-boosting benefits of sauna come from its effect on our autonomic nervous system, including the release of dopamine, serotonin and the suppression of the stress hormone, cortisol. 

 

According toresearchers, this lines up with the perfect brain chemistry to enable creative work - that is, high serotonin and dopamine, low cortisol. This combination is experienced as a sense of calm, whilst also feeling energized and focused. 

 

When we combine an ideal inner environment with othertried and tested methods to foster creativity (Daydreaming! Journaling! Observing the world around us!) then we greatly increase our chances of experiencing that flash of creative insight, the solution to a pesky problem, or a new awareness of a profound connection between two things that wasn’t previously understood. Boom!

 

 

With this in mind, here are our tips for using sauna to help get those creative juices flowing:

  • The early bird:serotonin is naturally higher in the mornings, so whip out your sauna blanket for an early AM session to amplify your brain’s natural rhythms. Try journaling immediately after to capture any flashes of creative inspiration. 
  • The mind’s eye: use your sauna session as an opportunity to focus on brainstorming solutions for a particular challenge, undertake a thought experiment (Einstein-style!) or just have a good old daydream and see what comes to mind.
  • Switch things up:our brains can slip into auto-pilot when we do the same things every day. Mix up your routine by swapping the time or place that you practice sauna, or stacking on a new practice - perhaps aguided breathwork or meditation? Or try layering on a surprising new scent, such as Concrete After Lightning fromDS & Durga, to jolt your brain awake.
  • Silence is golden: to give your brain the ultimate time and space to be creative, relax in your sauna in total silence with no distractions (that’s right, nothing!). Go on, try it, we dare you…