Don’t all writers describe the act of writing as a “love/hate relationship”? For every day that we feel unstoppable, there are dark days where the words become jammed. So what’s the solution for days like this? We need to renew our writing mindset—and meditation is one a powerful tool in helping us get back on track.
When bad days have you convinced that you’re a bad writer, you need to recharge. Meditative practices allow the brain to reboot and process fresh and creative ideas. Try making meditation part of your routine and you will soon start to see a difference in your writing. Here’s how the art of meditation has helped me (and can help you) become a better writer.
It’s astounding how meditation can reset your brain. I’m sometimes frustrated with where an article is going or how I’m going to put a fresh spin on a familiar keyword. The minute I start to feel these frustrations, I step away from the keyboard and engage in simple breathing techniques. Or basic yoga if I have the time.
By the time I return to my work, I find that my state of mind has changed from desperation to thoughtfulness. Ideas soon start to pour out. Without taking the time to confront and resolve my frustrations as they happen, I would merely be forcing words out—becoming less and less focused and sounding stilted in the process.
When you find yourself in a similar situation, I highly recommend trying an exercise known as the “exiting ritual.” This is a powerful deep-breathing technique that helps you let go of any negative mental clutter. To try it, simply get comfortable and allow your breath to come and go slowly. As you inhale, consider all the qualities you want to experience: peace, joy, self-confidence. As you exhale, release all the negative emotions connected to things out of your control. This puts your mind and soul firmly in the present. You can try this technique for 5-10 minutes or longer—whatever works for you!
Self-doubt is arguably one of the largest barriers writers face. And when it happens, an ego boost is what’s needed to take us out of our funk. Fortunately, meditation is not only able to relax our state of mind, but it can also give us a mental pep talk. Of course, when we’re feeling fragile, it can be difficult to silence negative thoughts and instill positive ones. For this reason, it can be quite effective to listen to a guided meditation.
Some meditation videos can guide you through different forms of deep breathing to help overcome anxiety and stress, and many guides couple those exercises with repeating positive mantras to help rebuild character. A mantra that I often use during a morning yoga session is as follows: “I am full of energy and joy. I look forward to a wonderful day.” I usually repeat this mentally, saying the first part as I inhale and the second part as I exhale. How and where you repeat your mantra is completely up to you. You can voice the mantra aloud or in your head, sitting in the lotus position or while exercising (I’ve found that both ways can be equally effective).
If you can’t think of a mantra that speaks to you, there are dozens of meditation videos on YouTube that repeat general messages of positivity. Try listening to a few to help you get started. You may be able to tailor an existing mantra to your own personal outlook.
Whatever the source of your negative thoughts, listening to positive affirmations helps you step away from feelings of pressure and judgment. We all need a little reminder sometimes that we’re only human and shouldn’t be so hard on ourselves. Meditation just happens to be an awesome facilitator!
Using our time more productively throughout the day is something we all crave as writers. After all, the more we write, the more we earn. And the more we accomplish, the more time we have for other important things. Being productive gives us a greater sense of self-worth and there’s no reason why we can’t feel this way more often.
A study by the University of Washington revealed that using meditation training helped workers improve their concentration throughout the day, increase their energy levels and exhibit a higher aptitude for multi-tasking than their non-relaxed counterparts.
It’s official: Meditation helps you get things done. If you meditate for just 5 minutes every day, you will quickly get into the habit of feeling fresh and energized. Personally, I like to stick to a routine of morning yoga. However, if I’m experiencing one of those days where nothing seems to go right, I sometimes like to meditate at my workspace and engage in deep-breathing exercises at my desk. Once I’m done, I try to launch straight into writing, taking advantage of my post-meditation calm for as long as possible. No caffeine. No energy bars. Just basking in a reflective and uncluttered state of mind helps me feel and stay productive.
Whether your personal writing schedule begins first thing in the morning or once you’ve put the kids to bed at night, finding the time for a brief moment of reflection beforehand will flex the mind for productivity and alert your brain to the task ahead.
Have you found that meditation helps you in the writing process? If so, what forms of meditation do you recommend? Share your thoughts in the comments below!
This article was written by one of our writers. The author’s views are entirely their own and may not reflect the views of WritersDomain.
Image credit for the meditation image: Total Shape