Eric Maisel Ph.D. (author of Redesign Your Mind) provides helpful tips on how to establish a creative life.
Life is certainly paradoxical. We can darken our mood if, as we are engaged with a creative project, it isn’t going well. If we don’t like what we’ve just written, painted, or composed, that hardly lifts our spirits.
On the other hand, when we’re in a blue mood, doing something light, imaginative and creative can relax us and improve our mood. It’s this second face of creativity, as a way to enhance and uplift our mood, that we look at today. That’s the theme of today’s post, in which creativity coach Liz Verna describes four ways to harness your creativity and uplift your mood.
Life is rough on our logical, take-out-the-garbage-on-Monday minds. Stress, fear and uncertainty dull our senses and weigh down our mood. But any creative endeavor gives our business-minded minds a chance to be off the clock for a while and get some rest. So, feeding your creative spirit is more than important, it’s practical and a great excuse to leave your troubles where they are for a moment.
Here are four ways to give your brain a break from reality, let your creativity lead it to the dance floor and conga you to relaxation and happiness.
Are you someone who doodles along the margin of a page when you are thinking? Perhaps you don’t realize that the kinetic motion of your hand is channeling anxiety and stress out of your body, but it is. The back and forth movement is calming and centering, the momentary dip into your creative mind soothes your brainwaves into a meditative state, and circles and spirals help you focus and feel grounded.
The next time you feel the pull to scribble, lean into it consciously. Turn the paper to view it from a different angle and see if you can draw out an image you see contained within the lines. This change of perspective brings an understanding that there are always different ways to approach thoughts and events and helps shift your mind into a calmer place, refreshed and ready for what comes next.
To really see things differently, try physically walking away from a problem or moment of frustration. Leave your desk and do something enjoyable. Go for a walk, listen to music, wash some dishes, something that feels good or productive but doesn’t require mental bandwidth. This is like taking your brain off the leash and letting it run amok on an empty beach seeking new neural pathways to explore, finding creative solutions to problems that would otherwise stay buried in the sand.
Taking a moment to imagine a scenario all the way to the end is a quick way to de-stress. Immerse yourself in your imagination and picture the worst happening, all the details and feelings and fears. Then ask yourself, “Then what happens?” Imagine each step, each unpleasant moment, but go all the way to the end. “Then what happens?” Can you withstand disappointment or upset? Our minds go wild in the hypothetical and looking at the hard facts lets us know that if we ride out the bumps, eventually the sailing will be smooth again.
Making note of what we’re grateful for is the easiest and most powerful way to lighten your mood and give your outlook a halo of sunshine. Listing just three things that you are grateful for, every day, big or small, grounds you in the reality that life is good, right now. Not after you get a better job or find a partner or lose weight, but right now. The more adept you become at noticing the wonderful things, the more you will begin to see wonderful things everywhere, and the more you will attract wonderful things to be wonderful in your life. Isn’t that wonderful?
You can visit Liz Verna at www.GuidingWrite.com
You can visit Eric Maisel at www.ericmaisel.com
The Breakthrough Program for Real Cognitive Change
Your mind is yours to redesign, redecorate and create! The idea that you are what you think has concerned philosophers from Marcus Aurelius to the Buddha. Today, this age-old message is delivered via cognitive-behavioral therapy and CBT techniques. Dr. Maisel moves cognitive change a giant step forward by describing the room that is your mind and how human consciousness is experienced there. Packed with visualization exercises, this accessible guide makes redesigning your mind and changing what you think easy and simple, an upgrade to the CBT method.
Visualization exercises for easy assembly. That room that is your mind is a space that you can decorate, air out, furnish, and turn into a truly congenial place. By practicing these easy-to-understand visualization exercises, you can redesign your mind and change not only what you think but how you think. Each of these techniques address major challenges like depression, anxiety, addiction, procrastination, and loneliness and promote cognitive growth, trauma healing, and fundamental change.