Cultivating Creativity: 5 Ways Meditation Encourages New Ideas
Web copywriting probably comes to mind last (or close to last) when one ponders the practice of mindfulness meditation. Likely the Buddha, the Dalai Lama, lotus flowers, yoga, and serene settings come to your mind when you hear the word meditation. The benefits of practicing mindfulness meditation, however, are numerous, and include good health, better sleep, a more positive outlook, and improved creative ability (which directly affects content writers). So, find a quiet place and a soft sitting pillow, focus on your breathing, and clear your mind because the following are five ways meditation can improve your creative ability.
1. Improves Focus
Mindfulness meditation is the practice of clearing the mind of all thoughts, allowing a person to exist completely, physically in the present moment. Many practitioners achieve this level of control over the mind by choosing a focal point, such as breath, and then focusing totally on that one thing. Mastering the art of meditation takes years and years of practice, and sometimes such an expert level is never reached. The practice, however, is enough to vastly improve the mind’s ability to concentrate. This high level of attention helps in all aspects of life, including the creative process. Focus allows an individual to ignore distraction, and devote all energy to the task at hand.
2. Permits Insight
Any creative activity, especially writing, requires insight, revelation, and high levels of perception. The regular practice of meditation (15 minutes to one hour per day) creates a mental and emotional environment which fosters insight. Clearing the mind of all distractions allows the brain to function at a highly logical level, resulting in more frequent “aha” moments.
3. Mitigates Self-Judgment and Promotes Self-Acceptance
The art of mindfulness meditation requires repeated trial and error in the constant struggle against the mind’s mindless default setting. Meditation practitioners have to learn to accept themselves and not to judge themselves (negatively or positively) during meditation. For example, during a meditation session, one must not react to the mind losing focus, but rather correct the mistake without judgment or self-deprecation. This practice allows writers to be creative free from their own harsh judgments. During the editing process, the habit of self-acceptance enables writers to correct their mistakes and move forward without being too hard on themselves.
4. Creates Flow
Everyone who writes regularly has experienced both difficult writing sessions which feel as though each word has been dug out of a deep hole and writing sessions during which the words spill easily from your fingertips. Practicing meditation activates the same parts of the brain which are active during free-flow writing. The more you meditate, the stronger that portion of your brain will become.
5. Calms Creative Anxiety
The skill set developed during mindfulness meditation helps ease creative anxiety. Any artistic form be it painting, music, or writing can make an artist feel vulnerable. Meditation creates a safe space of self-love and calmness in which art flourishes free from worry.
Each day, Jennifer G takes time from her busy work schedule, finds a quiet place, and spends fifteen to twenty minutes trying not to think about her busy work schedule.