So you have a mental block, it happens to all of us. Sometimes it happens for a moment and sometimes it feel like it sucks up huge stretches of time. You stand there like your tongue is stuck in glue. You know somewhere deep down you knew what the heck you wanted to say. You knew you walked into that room for a reason but what the heck was it. Writers suffer from writers block, we hear about it all the time. However anyone of us engaged in a creative thought process can fall victim to this. Here are some tips to help you free yourself from mental blocks and unleash your creativity.
1. Stop Trying Nothing hinders creativity more than the stress that comes with forcing yourself to "TRY" to be creative. It is absolutely counterproductive. The more you try to force the process the more stress you put on your mind and body. The stress causes your limbic system (the same system that tells you when to fight or when to get the heck out of there) to freak out. It jumps into survival mode, meaning how creative do you think you would be running away from a Lion? Not so much. The key is to find a way to relax.
‘‘Creativity is just connecting things. When you ask creative people how they did something, they feel a little guilty because they didn’t really do it, they just saw something. It seemed obvious to them after a while. That’s because they were able to connect experiences they’ve had and synthesize new things.”
2. Get outside- Get some fresh air, take a walk on your lunch break, take a hike walk in the park or ride your bike. Whatever your pleasure, getting outside is not only good for your body it is the perfect way to give your mind a break. You can fill your eyes and imagination with your surroundings. Let yourself take in the skies, the flowers, the tress or an awesome building. If you see a flower stop to smell it, REALLY.
3. Carry a notebook- I carry a notebook everywhere I always have. It lets you capture a creative moment when it arrives naturally, when you let yourself relax and make a habit of actually carrying a notebook (it can be tiny.) You can jot down a thought, doodle a picture or idea without pulling out your phone and trying to type it out or miss the idea all together. There is something special about writing with a paper and pen that let's your creativity flow. It fires up your brain in a different way and lets engage in the creative process on physical level. You can write and draw, make arrows, smiley faces, or thought clouds. You can't do that on a computer or cell phone quickly and freely. Haven't you ever had an amazing idea or thought in the middle of the night? Stick one in your car, bag and near your bed. Once you get in the habit of carrying a notebook you will be hooked.
4. Make Something- Do an arts and craft project, cook or create something in the garden. These are sure fires ways to allow yourself to get lost in something enjoyable. I find cooking to be like a meditation, I get lost in the aromas and ingredients and things just fall away. I can feel like an amateur Picasso and it allows my mind the openness for new ideas and feelings.
5. Meditate- I have said it in articles before and I will say it again. Finding the calm within has so many health benefits for the mind and body. Once thought of as a practice that was "far out" there. Meditation has been embraced by politicians, artists, top level CEOs, actors, athletes, stay at home moms and the list goes on. Meditation is for everyone, give it a chance and take out some of the mental garbage.
The main theme here is to be kind to yourself. Your creativity will flourish when you have a happy healthy garden to let it grow. Flowers grow in their own time as do creative ideas. Use the tips above as ways you can tend to your garden with love.
For a silly dose of creative play check out why you need a pirates hat.
If you have any great tips, please add them to the comments below.