Being creative is a great form of stress relief, improving your well-being and in some cases, it’s also an opportunity for you to practice being mindful of your senses and how you use them.
Whether it’s sport related, handicrafts or playing games, using your creative skills provides you with fun, relaxation, 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 where you can 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, and of course, he 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 and if you would like to share your thoughts, please feel free to comment below!
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 as 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 had to use their imagination to entice the viewer in, targeting their senses of sight and hearing to invoke their emotions of fear or intrigue. It’s all too easy these days to do this with computer graphics, but it’s a challenge I have fun with.
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, observing wildlife, looking at the clouds, listening to the rustles in the bushes and wondering about the person whose inscription I’ve stopped to read. I’m also on the look out for scenes that have some mystery about them so that I can capture it for the viewer to invoke their thoughts, 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 me time producing a piece of work that I’m really proud of. The image below is in Daresbury, Cheshire and there’s something about this magnificent tree that makes me want to visit it, time and time again. I’ve nicknamed it the ‘tree of arms’.
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 gemstone 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 if we don’t do anything about it. I should know with my troubles with general anxiety disorder. I do have to say though, 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 teetering off the edge 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’, but 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.