Creative mindfulness is a practice to adopt if you’re struggling with your mental, or emotional wellbeing.
Being creative is a great form of stress relief and improving your well-being. In some cases creative mindfulness, is also an opportunity for you to practice being mindful of your senses. How much attention do you pay to actually seeing, smelling, feeling, hearing and tasting?
Whether it’s sport related, handicrafts or playing games, using your creative skills provides you with fun and relaxation. Subsequently, it gets rid of stress and more than likely, gives you something to be proud of. More importantly in some cases, it provides you with quality time alone allowing you to park your thoughts, worries and chill.
Creative awareness comes in many forms. My partner loves to go fishing. That’s his alone time for relaxation and enjoyment. Of course, he also gets some peace away from me.
If you bake cakes, you’re senses are alive and kicking with the smells, and those delicious tastes. If you like gardening, you’re using a multitude of your senses whilst you de-stress. What about playing golf, or writing? The list can go on and on.
There are a number of personal examples where I use creative awareness.
I love visiting old graveyards with my camera to create photography that is emotive.
My passion is Gothic horror.
I simply adore the scenery and cinematography of the old Universal Horror, Hammer Horror or other classic horror films prior to CGI. This is because, artists were using their imagination to entice us, the viewer in. As a result, they targeted our senses of sight and hearing, invoking our emotions of fear or intrigue. It’s all too easy these days to do this with computer graphics. It’s a creative mindful challenge I have fun with when manipulating my photography.
I like to explore the churchyard fully, looking at how the light falls and creates shadows. I’m alone and lost in the beauty of another world. I’m observing wildlife while looking at the clouds. Sounds catch my attention as I listen to the rustling in the bushes. My eyes take in a vast amount of information as I read the various grave inscriptions. I begin to feel emotional while I continue my exploration. I’m also on the look out for scenes that have some mystery about them. Such scenes will invoke my viewers thoughts and imagination. Therefore, a perfect example of practicing creative awareness.
Not all photographs that I take work out, but the second stage of creating my Gothic horror photography is the editing.
This is where I spend my time totally absorbed in my work. Any crazy thoughts or problems are simply shelved while I spend quality practicing creative mindfulness. I’m producing a piece of work that I’m really proud of. The image below is in Daresbury, Cheshire I’ve titled it the, ‘tree of arms’. There’s something about this magnificent tree that makes me want to visit it, time and time again.
It’s not just photography that I use for practicing my creative awareness.
I have such a passion for designing Gemstone bracelets based on the requirements of my clients. Here too, I will spend hours using my senses of touch and sight to ensure the Crystal Healing Bracelet is one of a kind and fit for purpose.
Mindful of your senses
Being mindful of your senses is something that sometimes we take for granted.
It’s all too easy to get swept away in life’s worries and stresses that are ultimately harmful in the long run. I should know with my troubles with general anxiety disorder.
Being mindful of my senses has grounded me and helped me to manage my irrational fears from spiralling out of control. I have regained control of my life and I can stop myself from spiraling by being aware of my thought patterns.
Breathing is very important to prevent that moment of panic becoming too much, and being aware of your breath will help. Don’t get me wrong, it’s natural to feel that moment of panic, ‘fight or flight’. However, it’s not natural when you’re doing it based on irrational fear, repeatedly. I explain more about this in my previous blogs, B is for Breath and A is for Awareness.
I believe that being creative is one of your best forms of practicing being mindful and hopefully I’ve inspired you enough to give it a go.
Please note that I don’t have any qualifications to manage your mental health and I can only offer you general advice from my own experiences. Please consult your GP if you’re struggling with your mental health as they will get you the help you need.