Here’s scientific proof that going back to basics is good for you-- a recent study featured on has shown that spending a significant amount of time without electronics increases creativity.

30 men and 26 women participated in a four- to six-day backpacking trip organized by the Outward Bound Expedition School in Alaska, Colorado, Maine and Washington State. For the hike, no electronic devices were permitted to be carried. Of the participants, 24 took a 10-item creativity test before starting out while the rest took the same test on the morning of the fourth day of the trip.

"This is a way of showing that interacting with nature has real, measurable benefits to creative problem-solving that really hadn't been formally demonstrated before," says David Strayer, co-author of the study and professor of psychology at the University of Utah.

Researchers found that the people who took the creativity test after four days of hiking scored considerably higher than those who took the test before the trip.

Today, emphasis on multitasking takes a considerable toll on what the researchers call “executive attention,” which is the ability to tune out distractions, to move from one task to another, and to stay focused on one task. Spending time with nature allows people to recharge this ability.

Although heading to a faraway shoreline is probably the best way to recharge, there are many places within and near the metro where you can also go back to basics. The La Mesa Eco Park provides a serene venue to replenish your creativity, and it’s within the confines of the city. There are also many public parks where you can just relax and take a break from all those emails and phone calls.

The key here is to leave technology behind, even just for a while. This way, you can breathe easy, and find time to get back in touch with yourself.

(Photo by Rhys Asplundh via Flickr Creative Commons)

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