双语阅读 | 为什么我们在洗澡时会灵感乍现?

双语阅读 | 为什么我们在洗澡时会灵感乍现?
标准 3392

Why Do We Have Our Best Ideas in the Shower?


Why Do We Have Our Best Ideas in the Shower?


王淑怡 供稿


You are in the shower. The water sounds like a gentle, rainy static. Suddenly, you're hit with a flash of brilliance. Maybe it's the answer to a vexing problem at work, the location of your lost USB drive, or perhaps it's just a random, inconsequential (yet totally satisfying) insight.



But, by the time you towel off, the idea already has spiraled away down the drain. We all get these kinds of thoughts, and they don't just happen in the shower. Long drives, short walks, even something like pulling weeds, all seem to have the right mix of monotony and engagement to trigger a revelation. They also happen to be activities where it's difficult to take notes. Once you realize them, introducing a pen and paper can sterilize the effort.



Why do we get these random insights? Psychologists have a theory that describes a mental state that seems to foment these kinds of thoughts. It's called the default mode network. "You become less aware of your environment and more aware of your internal thoughts,” said John Kounios, a psychologist at Drexel University in Philadelphia.



Kounios explains that our brains typically catalog things by their context: Windows are parts of buildings, and the stars belong in the night sky. When we’re focused on a specific task our thinking tends to be linear. He uses the example of a railway. You walk by them every day with hardly a second thought. But when your brain starts to roam, your thoughts will go off the rails. As ideas become untethered, they are free to bump up against other ideas they've never had the chance to encounter, increasing the likelihood of creative webs.



Not having an explicit task is the main ingredient for random insights,” Kounios said. “Once you have a pen and paper there, it’s not really your mind wandering.”



That doesn’t mean your eureka moments are doomed to be flushed away. Kounios says if you keep your recording method out of sight (yet within reach), your mind won’t be waylaid by external pressure on its way to free association. This could be a water-proof notepad for your shower, or a voice-activated recording app for the car.





1. vexing adj. 令人烦恼的

2. inconsequential adj. 不重要的,微不足道的

3. towel off 擦干,揩干

4. spiral v. 螺旋式移动

5. monotony n. 单调乏味,千篇一律

6. revelation n. 令人惊喜的发现;被揭示的真相

7. sterilize v. 使…不起作用

8. foment v. 引发;煽动

9. untethered adj. 不被绳索捆缚的

10. bump up against

11. eureka int. (因找到某物,尤指问题的答案而高兴)我发现了,我找到了

12. waylay v. 拦截;伏击




  • 字数:432个
  • 易读度:标准
  • 来源:王淑怡 2021-11-08