I find it funny how little attention people pay to the role their body plays in achieving goals they set themselves. I can understand it, seeing as I wasn’t all that concious of it myself and it’s true that you can get by without taking any notice of anything I’m going to talk about. I do though believe that it’s very much in your best interest to take advantage of the mind/body connection, and how just being aware of it can help people overcome common problems. As I nearly always do I relate most things like this to how they can help with writing but again, as always, they apply to general problems too.
Frustration, fear, doubt
It’s obvious that writing is a cerebral pursuit, one that involves engaging our brains extensively. It’s also common for your mind to throw up roadblocks in the way of your writing progress. Things like fear and frustration hide away in the backs of our minds and seemingly spring out from nowhere, most of the time when you least expect it. There’s been plenty of times where I’ll be working on a piece of writing and feeling good and confident, only to be inexplicably struck down with doubts about the story I’m writing, the quality of my work and whether I’m just wasting my time.
I know this happens to a lot of people, writer and non-writer alike, but the one tool that truthfully helped me to overcome things like is realizing that it’s all happening in my head. I don’t mean that you’re imagining the problems you’re facing, but that they are literally all in your head. What goes on upstairs is only a part of your identity and conciousness. And in terms of the area your head takes up, in proportion to your body it’s a very small area (think about an iceberg and how what you see on the surface is just a very small part of the whole)
Your body is an amazing thing. Without you thinking about it, your heart beats, your stomach digests food, your nails and hair grow. Your body undertakes a whole host of functions that keep you going, and sometimes you need to use your body to get out of your head.
Movement is life
One of my favourite sayings is that movement is life, something I didn’t really grasp until I moved further down my own journey of learning more about the mind and body. What the essential application of that saying is this: when ever you’re stuck in a particular thought pattern and can’t move past it, then you must physically move. When you’re writing you can sometimes get stuck in that rut of just sitting there staring at the screen, going over the same negative thoughts, or just going over the same passage wondering if you’ve done it right. when this happens, you have to move. Move move move.
Go for a walk, go for a run, do some weights, or some yoga, or stretching. Anything that will get you away doing something else. You need to release that mental energy. Let it dissipate around and throughout your body and finally escape.
A lot of this feeds into a post I did recently about letting your subconscious take care of your problems but this one is going a little bit further by pushing the point that if you actively recruit your body in your creative endeavours, they will run more smoothly.
Seriously, give it a try next time you find yourself stuck on a piece of writing.