Do you ever find yourself feeling stuck when working on a project? It is something that most of us deal with at different times of our lives. It might be while writing a book, composing a song, painting a new work of art, or some other creative endeavor—we sometimes find ourselves in a rut that can result in frustration or stress.
Being an artist or creative person, it is so vital to be able to get those creative juices flowing. Learning how to recognize being stuck and how to become “unstuck” is a challenge that every creative has and will face. As strange as it may sound, one of the best things that we can do is to relax. Often when we are stuck, we become more stressed and more frustrated, and it becomes a cycle. However, if you are able to tap into a few of the relaxation techniques below, it can free you and your creativity.
Breathing – Finding a comfortable, quiet place to sit or lie down and pay attention to your breathing is a quick, simple way to refocus. Pay attention to how you are breathing. Do this for several minutes, taking slow, deep breaths and making sure you exhale fully each time. This technique can help reduce fear and pain, and for stuck creatives, it can also help you clear your mind and alleviate the stress of trying to come up with your next project.
Muscle Relaxation – Focus on tensing and releasing each muscle group. Doing this for a few minutes can help relax your body and open up your mind. While you are focusing on tensing and releasing your muscles, you are no longer stressing or wondering how you will come up with that next idea. This technique is called Progressive Muscle Relaxation, and as its creator Edmund Jacobson said: “An anxious mind cannot exist in a relaxed body.” Once the anxiety is released, your creative thinking has a chance to flourish.
Guided Imagery – Tap into your imagination and visualize yourself somewhere. Maybe it’s one of your favorite destinations for vacation, or possibly it’s a favorite restaurant, gallery or place in nature. You can fully engage each of your senses—touch, sight, taste, scent, and sound—to bring the experience to life. Going somewhere else for a while in your mind can be a wonderful break, and you can return to your project with a fresh perspective.
Meditation – A part of becoming unstuck is to remove barriers or limitations that we might be experiencing. The reasons for these barriers vary, but could be work, relationships, finances or even our own thoughts. By meditating, we are centering our thoughts and focusing on the present. If you enjoy silent meditation, spend a few minutes in quiet reflection. If you struggle with silent meditation, you can try guided meditation to keep your thoughts from wandering to worries and preoccupations.
Do you have a favorite technique from above? To read more examples of each of these relaxation techniques, see some of my other blog posts such as How Relaxation Techniques Can Help You Focus, 1 Minute Relaxation Break, How Loving Kindness Meditations Can Help You and Guided Imagery: Relaxation via Your Imagination.
May you find a time to relax and free your creative expression.