Mmmm, cookies. Okay, I’m not talking “cookies”, but I am talking about whatever it is that refuels you. That “THING”. Whether it is meditation, exercise, walking through the woods, or, in my case, baking cookies. I am darn good at peanut butter and chocolate chip. Believe it or not, what you do when you aren’t writing is important to your prefrontal cortex. Allowing your brain to refill its “cookie jar” can increase your levels of creativity and calm.
I now have this over whelming desire to bake. Which I may just do when our daily chat is through. Not like the Hubs will complain. So, while I flip through my recipes you should find your copy of Around the Writer’s Block by Rosanne Bane. I’m gonna make fresh tea to fill my cuppa and snag a pb&j for a snack. I’ll be waiting on page 119 for you to get ready.
Alrighty! Welcome back to todays chat about calm, meditation, and finding your center. You do not have to be a Yogi, meditation guru, or a monk to bring the benefits of meditation to your life and writing. Even us beginners, we can gain many benefits from taking time to ourselves and our brain health. We can experience brain change in as little as two weeks of practice.
But…isn’t there always a but. I swear. Anyway, the but is commitment. You need to commit to meditate at least regularly. Just as anything else you do, if you wish to do it well you must allocate time to it. Learning to focus on meditation will strengthen your abilities to sustain your focus while working. I have noticed in the short period of time I have been learning this new skill, it can quiet the chaos swirling in my head. The book explains it as “quieting the brain chatter.”
How do we meditate? Good question. It can vary from something as simple as focusing on your breathing, breathe deep, exhale slowly, or spending an hour or more in deep compassionate meditation. Best yet, start at level one and work your way up.
I haven’t found any websites or suggested links in the book, but I am quite sure you could find plenty of videos on Youtube, Pinterest, and Google. This is where planning comes into play. Our last chat talked about time management and planning. This is where you factor in time to meditate in your daily plan. Start out three times per week and work your way up to six. Not only will it help your writing it will also help in your life. It is calming, allows better focus, and clear thoughts.
Scientists have proven that continuous meditation and breathing is calming to your cortex. There was a study done where a group attended weekly classes on daily meditation. At the end of an eight-week period, the group reported feeling calmer, focused, and more creative. Their brain scans showed significant changes from their first scans. Once again, the scans showed increased activity in their left prefrontal cortex.
Asking you to meditate can be a jump. Not everyone is into candles and patchouli, gross, but no one said to use those things. Find a quiet spot where there are no distraction and start out with breathing. 5 count in and slow 5 count out. Repeat.