Health - How to be more mindful as a creative (and why you need it)
Health from the inside out
Linda Roos is a copywriter, translator and entrepreneur. She is fascinated with the stories behind entrepreneurs and regularly blogs on her website www.lindaroosenmedia.nl (in Dutch). She also writes for deondernemer.nl and is a regular visitor of CWC's events.
Follow Linda @lindaroosenmedia on Instagram!
As a creative entrepreneur, you put a lot of pressure on yourself: you need to be successful, you need to develop a unique concept, you have to reach certain creative goals before the end of the year.
It’s great to be ambitious. To not only have dreams, but to take fearless action as well. However, being in a constant state of busyness can cause a lot of stress.
Busy, busy, busy
In this day-to-day chaos, your creative mind is all over the place. Even when you sit or lie down, your mind is still buzzing. Countless thoughts are running through your mind, which makes it even harder to actually focus or sleep when necessary. Your mind is busy overanalyzing earlier performances and worrying about what comes next on your to do list.
Being busy and having a busy schedule is okay if it's temporary. But if this is your daily situation, you’d might like to learn how you can quiet your mind and be more mindful as a creative. Because in the end, having a calmer mind leads to more creative ideas. How? One way to accomplish this is through mindfulness.
I know what you’re thinking: mindfulness is hip and happening. The world is full of freshly educated meditation experts and self-proclaimed mindfulness gurus. If you’re allergic to terms such as mindfulness or the ‘here and now’; I hear you.
You might be skeptical, because it sounds too vague or too ‘New Agey’. Or it might even sound way too easy. I mean, sitting down and closing your eyes, is that really all there is to it?! Vague or not, you’ll benefit greatly from it. It’s just a way calm down your mind, even when it is incredibly restless.
But where do you start? This practical mini-guide is a great first step towards a more mindful (and therefore creative) life.
#1 Start small
If you’d like to give meditation a try, there is no need to meditate for 20 minutes. Just start with 1, 2 or 3 minutes. While having your eyes closed, you can start counting your breaths or focus on how each and every part of your body feels. Finding it difficult to do this all on your own? Guided meditation can be helpful, as it gives you a step-by-step idea of what mindfulness is all about and what it could do for your body and mind. You can use an app, such as Calm or Headspace. Or how about Bedrock’s online meditation archive?
#2 Be consistent
Did you start meditating? Great! The key is to be consistent. Try to meditate every morning or evening. Or at a moment during the day when you know you are usually stressed; right before an important meeting or when you’re dealing with a tight deadline. Try to find one moment everyday. And, if it’s at all possible, try to do it at the same time every day. However, if you can’t find the time to meditate, don’t be too hard on yourself. Which leads us to the next tip…
#3 Be kind
Being kind to yourself is also an important part of having a calmer mind. If meditating doesn’t go well, or if you still feel very stressed and restless: acknowledge it and don’t beat yourself up. Instead, praise yourself for trying and focus on how far you’ve come. Do you realize that the way you talk to yourself is not very kind? Simply notice it and try to change it. For example, by acknowledging the things that are going well or by turning negative self-talk into positive notes (instead of thinking ‘I’m disappointed that I didn’t meet that important deadline’, try saying: ‘I’m happy that I tried my best to meet that important deadline’).
#4 Set goals
If meditation seems a bit aimless to you, set simple goals. Those goals are not there to turn your meditation into a competition, but to help you realize why you do it. Namely: why do you meditate? Why is it important to you? How could it help you (or those around you) right now? Maybe you want to sleep better, to be able to handle difficult discussions or to be more present during important conversations with loved ones.
Don't (over)think it. Just start.