Feeling uninspired lately with your artwork? There’s only so many photos we can scroll through on social media or pep talks we can listen to on podcasts. Oftentimes, these forms of inspiration leave us ill equipped for driving our own inspiration. The key to creating your best work and entering a flow state is being able to generate the energy for inspiration, imagination and creativity from within yourself! I’m sure you’ve heard of automatic writing exercises, nature walks or museum field trips as great ways for boosting inspiration and getting yourself out of a creative rut. What about circadian rhythm syncing? Read below to find out 3 surprising tips that have changed my creative practice drastically!
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Feeling Uninspired? Try 3 Surprising Tips That Changed the Game for Me
Mental Training Exercises
Your mind isn’t separate from your body.
We know physical improvement or exercise is important, but what about training the mind? I believe artists should have just as much discipline as athletes do. The range of discipline, time and dedication will vary depending on whether you want to become a professional or you create for your mental health. For example, a professional athlete will spend a lot more time and dedication to their training than someone who goes to the gym 4-5 times a week or takes long walks every day, but the important element is consistency. The same goes for your art practice!
Exercises such as meditation, visualization and mindfulness have all become a huge part of my art practice over the last few years and WOW! They have drastically improved my ability to gain inspiration, get myself out of a creative rut and more. If you’re brand new to meditation, check out the app “Waking Up“ by Sam Harris.
We all know healthy sun exposure is good for us, but why? And how does it help us with staying inspired?? If you follow me on Instagram, then you know, I’m kind of a health nerd. I’ve been my own “health detective” for about fifteen years, since being diagnosed with Hashimotos, an autoimmune disease that affects the thyroid. In my own research (along with working with incredible doctors as well!) I’ve found some fascinating facts about the sunlight and its important effects on our health.
For example, the human species has evolved to use sunlight to run specific programs in our body. From sunlight we get this message from the wavelengths of light about the time of day it is and then at a cellular level we’re firing off different systems. The wavelengths of light change throughout the day from sunrise to sunset. We’re literally getting a different blend of sunlight that’s sending a specific message to our cells! How cool! The two places we absorb sunlight is through our skin and eyes.
First thing in the morning, we have a certain set of programs that run to help wake our body up, fire up the metabolism, rev up thyroid hormone, and make extra cortisol to give us drive. Having these tasks firing off at the appropriate times can drastically improve your motivation, energy and mood when painting! You might not be aware of it, but when we’re painting and trying to create our best work, our brain requires lots of dopamine! Even the mere act of looking at art can release dopamine and endorphins, so while we’re painting this can be even more evident. So if you’re struggling to come up with ideas to paint from, your imagination is lacking or you’re even struggling to get into that flow state, getting early morning sunlight can help your body create the proper amounts of dopamine throughout the day. So you may just not be getting enough sunlight!
In fact, the average human spends about 90% of their life indoors!! That’s obviously not good for many reasons and you can read more about those reasons by downloading the app “Circadian”.
Health optimization and “getting in the mood” to paint depends or at least is affected by running the correct programs at the correct time of day. It would make no sense to run programs at night for energizing hormones that help me get work done, feel inspired and start my day in the middle of the night!
Food that Nourishes My Body and Mind
Similar to sunlight, food and how you nourish your body (and mind) is among one of the most overlooked tips for increasing creativity and feeling inspired. Have you heard the term, “the gut is the second brain”? Well, it may even just be a part of the brain when you look at the gut-brain axis! What’s the gut-brain axis?
Your brain and your gut are connected through the vagus nerve, so this connection refers to the bidirectional communication between the gut and brain, the mitochondria and microbes within each! Along with this, the enteric nervous system (ENS) wraps around the entire digestive tract and the microbes in our gut have full access to this system of nerves. Through this, there’s a number of ways the gut is communicating and overall affecting the brain.
As an example, let’s look at the endocrine system! Cells in the gut lining can be triggered to produce compounds like 5 HTP and other precursors to hormones and neurotransmitters are made in the gut. Did you know 90-95% of serotonin is produced in the gut?? Whoa. Because of this, diet and lifestyle play a HUGE role in not only our physical health, but our mental health.
For me, I’ve seen a HUGE difference in my energy, sleep, and mood swings. And how has it affected my creativity? I’m able to stay focused for longer, drop into flow state much quicker, and my imagination is much more wide open when I’m eating clean, real and nourishing foods and staying away from processed foods. I have a few highlights on my Instagram that have shown what food work for me. But of course, I’m not a doctor so you should always do your own research and consult with a health professional to find out what might work best for you.
There you have it! Three (probably unexpected) ways to unleash some of your creativity. Let me know in the comments if you have any tips to add that help YOU when you’re feeling uninspired!