Whether you are writing a script, a report for your boss, creating a piece of art or just planning a party theme, you need your A game. Mindfulness techniques have helped me push past both overwhelm and writers block many times. Here are 5 super easy mindfulness hacks to improve your creativity and stop you from disappearing up your own rear end!
Hard though it may be to stop what you are doing when you think you might be close to a break through the best thing to do is stop and change your energy. Mindfulness will bring you back to your best self.
Feel your body from the inside out
- Take a moment out from your thinking and close your eyes
- Imagine your body is a hollow space, filled with energy
- Focus first on your fingers
- Feel the energy inside them and notice it fizzing and buzzing
- Move through your body, up your arms, into your head, down your torso and through your legs to your toes
- You may feel a mild or a strong tingling
Let yourself be fully absorbed in the sensation for as long as you can. When you return to your creative thinking you may find yourself inspired by fresh ideas.
Get out into nature
If you are able to get out into nature of any kind then it’s a great way to shift your energy from perseverance to flow. Grab some of nature’s effortless energy and make use of it in your creative endeavour.
Get out of your seat and go for a walk. When you’re outside get busy:
- Listening to the birds and the distant hum of traffic or planes
- Getting down on the ground and looking at the grass
- Noticing the smells and getting a good lung full of air
- Counting the colours: how many different shades of green can you see?
- Picking some daisies and making a chain (if you still can)
Return to your creative space with fresh energy and allow it to fill the space.
Let go of attachment to the outcome
Before you enter your studio/office or open your notebook/computer, tell yourself that the outcome doesn’t matter. This has been one of the greatest tonics for my work flow, ever. It feels counter-intuitive but it works.
Ask yourself the following:
- If this painting / song / party isn’t completely amazing, what will happen? Will it be the end of the world?
- Does my happiness depend on this success?
- What is the worst thing that can happen if it goes wrong?
- Can I do this activity with pleasure because I love the process?
Genuine detachment from outcomes is actually really difficult. After all, you didn’t embark on your particular career or project, planning to fail. However, your obsession with success could well be the thing that’s stunting the flow of ideas.
Think of your creativity as a child: allow it to express itself freely with no pressure or expectation and it will naturally assert it’s individuality.
Yoga it out
No, yoga isn’t the answer to everything but it’s the answer to A LOT! If you are in a mental funk sometimes you need a physical solution.
Get up out of your seat and stretch. If you are familiar with yoga then I always find the following a lovely break in my day. Not really a full stop, more of a comma.
- Step back to downward dog
- Forward into plank and lower to chaturanga
- Up to cobra and smoothly back to downward dog
If all that means sweet FA to you then just do some star jumps or lunges because most important is to change your energy. It’s a state change with a focus on the body.
Just close your eyes
Do I need to stress that this should not be done while driving or operating heavy machinery?
Assuming you are safe to do so, closing your eyes is a great way to cut out a large percentage of the things that are distracting you. Of course your thoughts will still be there but the action of closing your eyes is a big state change. A bit like flicking a switch on your current place of unrest or indecision and inviting in something completely new.
Take a few deep breaths and put your whole self into looking at the darkness behind your eyes. Do this simple activity for as long as you can and you will reopen your eyes to a little clarity.
And there you have it. 5 ways to switch yourself from,
‘Come on brain, think! THINK!!’
‘AHA!!! I’ve got it!’