Though I am someone who tries to stay focused and goal oriented, I am someone who gets pretty overwhelmed pretty easily. A lot of this feeling stems from more than the task itself. Often times, when I have this feeling, it’s because I have let my secondary thoughts take control. The best way for me to explain this is through an example; my novel writing process. I’ll be the first to admit that this process has taken me much longer than I would have liked. When I’ writing, I can feel my thoughts going from focused on the task to wondering why it’s taking so long to finish, is the story any good, are my characters fleshed out, is selling this even realistic. These thoughts leave me to feel overwhelmed. A muddled mind makes the journey to a goal much more difficult. Over the past year or so of writing, I’ve learned some things that have relieved the stress of an over worked mind and to make my writing much more enjoyable.
Take a Break
I feel like I emphasize this a lot on my blog posts. This is the main thing that has always helped me when it comes to my mind and thoughts being a muddled mess. If I’m spending too much time on one thing, I tend to start seeing the flaws and mistakes as I do them. I see it in my writing, art and even in school. Some of this stems from the fact that I’m just an anxious person., which adds on to the racing of thoughts that I experience. But giving myself a moment of reprieve has always been something that helps keep me calm. During this break I don’t do much of anything either. I just let my mind rest completely. After a little break, I’m able to come back to my work with a clear head. The next thing to remember is to maintain that clarity throughout whatever task is at hand.
Don’t be too Serious
As stated before, clearing the mind is one thing, but it’s important to maintain that clarity. When you look at something and take it too seriously, it makes it very easy to start having the same thoughts that you had before the break. I’ll use my novel as an example. There are times where I take the novel and myself as a writer entirely too seriously. For me, writing and story telling is something that I love to do and makes feel happy to do. But when I take it too seriously, I tend to lose all aspects of fun. I’m not saying to not try, because that can be detrimental in it’s own right. But for me, I’ve learned that I do better on a task when I don’t make it the end all be all.
Healthy Body= Healthy Mind
This last tip may be rather subjective for some people, but it has definitely helped me. Within the past month or so, I’ve started to take my health more seriously. I’ve changed a lot about my diet and have started exercising more. This has been an exponential help to my writing process. Over the last few years, my health and body had been an after thought, and that had a detriment on a lot of things for me. Fatigue was consistent along with an odd an unfamiliar sense of apathy. It really showed in how difficult it became to focus on my work. However, since changing my health, I’ve noticed a lot more clarity than before. As I stated before, when I take a break, I typically don’t do anything related to the task. I often find that yoga and meditation (as cliché as that may sound) helped me in clearing my head and in keeping clear once I got back to the task.
These are just a few things that have helped me when trying to keep a clear mind and in reducing the amount of stress that I felt at the time. I hope these are helpful to someone else!