Making Room in Your Head for Creativity: The Benefits of Meditation - VanDuinen Studio

Making Room in Your Head for Creativity: The Benefits of Meditation

This could be considered a companion piece to my earlier post, How Do You Find Your Creative Spark after a Rut? In the first post, I talked about a few different ways to spark your creativity through trying something new, like a new practice or product. But the truth is, if your mind is elsewhere, the creativity just might not come no matter what you try.

I'm going to be perfectly honest here: I have ADHD, and mine tends to manifest as needing to feel like I'm accomplishing something every second that I'm awake. Sometimes that leads to a major burst of art being made and I get the next 3 collections planned out, and sometimes that means I'm running myself in so many different directions that the only thing I accomplish is getting in my own way. That grinds creativity right to a halt!

Because of the ADHD thing (and earlier the postpartum depression and anxiety thing) I've spent a fair bit of time talking to therapists who have helped me find coping tools as I juggle life. One of the best outcomes of this therapy time has been giving myself permission to slow down once in a while and teaching myself that it's okay to just be

For years I assumed you had to be super disciplined to meditate, but once my therapist suggested it, I decided to give it a try. No harm in that, after all. The results? Honestly amazing!

As it turns out, when you take the time to unwind and let your mind rest, you get rid of any crazy spiraling thoughts and make room for better thoughts and ideas to come take up residence. Meditation doesn't have to be a huge time commitment, either (another one of my previous misconceptions!). I generally sit with a guided practice that ranges from 5-10 minutes long - anything longer and I start feeling restless before it's ended. Depending on where you look, you can even find guides as short as 3 minutes long.

So, if you've been feeling stressed or generally uninspired lately, I challenge you to find a meditation guide on YouTube or somewhere and give it a shot. Try to do it three days within the next week (again, ~5 minutes per session is great). Because seriously, what's the harm in trying? If you hate it, just don't make it routine!

For extra creative bonus points: set a timer after you're done and write in a journal or draw in a sketchbook for ~10 minutes after your meditation session. Don't worry about the outcome, just jot down or draw whatever comes to mind. If you do it enough, you'll end up with a nice little bank of ideas you can come back to and mine for treasures later.

Not sure where to start? I have an Android phone, so I'm not familiar with iOS equivalents, but I've tried Serenity (lots of free content), Headspace (much less free content), and Fabulous (more of a habit tracker, but has a meditation component). Headspace has also launched a Netflix program, but this sentence comprises everything I know about it! YouTube is also full of free guides - it just takes a little more digging to find a good one.

I hope you find a tool that you jive with! Shoot me an email with any questions or feedback (or iOS recommendations - I'll add them in!). 

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