Have you ever felt like your best thinking happens while you're in the shower? It may seem like a relatively unusual place for brainstorming and introspection, but scientist and proponent of mindfulness Jon Kabat-Zinn says the location for these revelations actually makes perfect sense.
What happens during these moments of deep thought, he explains in the above video from OWN's "Super Soul Sunday," is that you are practicing mindfulness -- in other words, awareness -- which can actually be considered a form of meditation.
"It's very important to keep in mind that mindfulness is not a concept; it's a practice," Kabat-Zinn says. "You have to really exercise a certain kind of muscle."
The shower, he continues, is the perfect place to flex that muscle, and he encourages everyone to try a little mindfulness exercise to help you be more present and unlock a lifetime of small pleasures.
"The next time you're in the shower, check and see if you're in the shower. Because you may not be in the shower. Or you may have your whole Monday morning 9 o'clock meeting in the shower with you, but you're not actually there under the water feeling the water on your skin," Kabat-Zinn says. "You're off in the future. Or off in the past."
As with any exercise, the benefits increase the more you practice -- and it actually impacts many different areas of your life.
"The more you do that, the more you realize, 'When I'm in the shower, I'm in the shower.' 'When I'm brushing my teeth, I'm brushing my teeth.' 'When I'm saying goodbye to my family, I'm saying goodbye to my family,'" Kabat-Zinn explains. "It only takes a fraction of a second longer to do it with awareness."
This mindful check-in is quick, but so empowering.
"As soon as you check, you're back. And you have something you can do about it," he says. "If you are obsessed with some kind of thing, worried about how things are going to go that day... that's all fine. Your awareness is big to hold it all."
Not only is this awareness good for helping you stay present, but it can also help open your mind and act as the gateway for other thoughts and possibilities to come through.
"That's intimately associated with mindfulness -- the creativity and imagination," Kabat-Zinn says. "When we get quiet, when we get still... our natural impulse to see connections that we didn't see the moment before is unimpeded. We can actually make these connections and realize them in ways that we might not have been able to do the moment before."