Life can be full of stressful situations and challenges that prevent us from achieving the state of mind necessary to do what we love: write. Between demanding home and work lives as well as family and friends, it’s understandable that your mind has a difficult time switching from your outside world to your creative world. However, there are ways to calm your mind and put yourself in a state where you can access that creative energy and leave the rest behind.
1. Create a space
Writing is a solitary activity however it doesn’t mean you need to be isolated in order to do it, but it does work best if you have a designated place that works for you. Some people work best in coffee shops where the hum of activity pushes them deeper into their own imagination, others need a room with a lock on the door and do not disturb sign outside, while others function best somewhere in between. If you struggle settling your mind into writing, try different places to see what can trigger you into the writing zone quicker. Everyone is different but one thing we all share is a need to find that perfect space that will inspire us to write.
2. 10 minute meditation
Find a comfortable place to sit. For some that could be on the floor in a cross-legged position while others prefer to sit in a chair. If you choose a chair, pick one with a straight back that will force you to sit up. Once you’ve settled into a position try not to shift or change it as this will only serve as a distraction. It’s a good idea to have a little timer set for the 10 minutes so you aren’t constantly looking at the time. Close your eyes and imagine one thing that you find represents peaceful calm. This could be waves coming up on a beach, a tree swaying in the warm summer breeze, watching an eagle circle high in the sky, etc. Once you focus your entire attention on that one subject your mind settles down and begins to relax. If you find your mind wandering, just gently bring it back to the one subject you started with. Try not to include people in your images as this can become very distracting. Start with 10 minutes and if you wish you can slowly increase the time by one minute when you feel you’re ready.
3. Lay down
There has been some interesting brain research around how the mind and body relax and one theory that is emerging is that the mind naturally starts to reduce stress levels when you lay flat on your back. For this to be beneficial and not turn into a nap, I’d suggest laying down on the floor and staring at the ceiling. Don’t close your eyes and if you feel the need to bend your legs to make your lower back more comfortable go ahead and do so. If you can put a pillow under your head without falling asleep, this might add to your comfort. Stay on the floor until you feel your stress start to ease away.
4. Walk it out
For many just stepping outside into the fresh air can reduce your stress right away, however I would suggest going for a fifteen minute walk at a speed you’re comfortable with to reset your thoughts. Walking can provide fresh air into your lungs, the sun is beneficial to your health and seeing something other than your home or computer can be very recharging.
When all else fails, pick up a book. Unlike TV, reading allows you to use your imagination to delve into other characters and worlds and could be just what you need to inspire you to start writing yourself.
Trying different methods to discover what works best for you can take your writing from something you can only do on the weekends or holidays to everyday.