Have you ever heard the term creative mindfulness? So how do creativity and mindfulness go together? Or why is combining mindfulness with creativity beneficial?
Let me break these pieces down for you, starting with mindfulness as a term.
What is mindfulness?
Taken from mindful, mindfulness is the basic human ability to be fully present. To be aware of where we are and what we’re doing, and not overly reactive or overwhelmed by what’s going on around us.
Mindfulness is the process of noticing what our experience is and why we are experiencing it. Noticing is warm, curious and is nonjudgmental.
Mindfulness is the opposite of autopilot – living but not really knowing that we are. A great example is when you drive to a repetitive destination like work, and cannot remember the steps of how you got there.
So wherever you are right now, sit for a minute and see what happens. Stop and notice. You may notice a minute feels a really long time, you may notice sounds, or that you feel aches and pains in certain parts of your body. Your mind may wonder back in time or forward into the future. This is mindfulness.
What is creative mindfulness?
Adding mindfulness to the creative process helps you enjoy the process rather than the final result.
When we engage in any creative activity such as doodling, drawing, coloring, journaling, painting, cooking, gardening etc. with mindfulness, we can do this more freely and more joyfully.
Creative mindfulness is more than being in the zone… this is a full sensory experience. Feeling the pen in your hand, listening to the noises around you and paying attention to any sensations that you may be feeling in the creative process. Bringing your senses to the forefront.
Engaging with a creative activity helps us with being naturally mindful and is great option if you are unable to access traditional meditation.
So as an example, if you have a mark making tool and piece of paper close by, start to doodle circles. As you doodle circles, watch the pen moving around on the page. Slowly loosen the grip on your mark making tool, how does this feel? Now take a moment to notice how you are feeling while in the creative process. This is creative mindfulness.
Why is combining mindfulness with creativity beneficial?
When you invite creative mindfulness into your life you are integrating a simple and effective process that helps you slow down and be in the present moment.
This is good for your overall well-being, as this helps lower stress and anxiety, boosts happiness, helps you to open your mind to new ideas, improves focus and concentration and is a super power for productivity & creativity.
The next time you engage in a creative activity, take a moment to pay attention to your senses. This is an important exercise to take care of your mind and body while having fun!