5 Creative Ways to Calm Your Busy Mind
Ever feel like your thoughts are all competing in a relay race but you never actually manage to hand off the baton from one to the next? Instead you keep dropping the baton and going back to pick up another? This busyness can be caused be an excess of creative ideas, an overly long to-do list, the crush of worry and anxiety about anything and everything or just the sheer flood of information that comes your way every day.
I have found 5 activities centered around creative expression that can help me to come back to center so that I feel more grounded, settled and in control of my racing thoughts. I don’t want to keep running the same leg of the relay race over and over, I want to know that I will finish the race. To do so requires not only focus but also being able to see the interconnectedness of all the runners on my team; in this case those runners are my thoughts, feelings and ideas that feel like a zoo rather than a step by step race.
I shared about this process in depth over on my YouTube channel, Painting in Your Pjs live with Minette. Click the video below to watch or read the summary.
5 Creative Ways to Calm Your Busy Mind
- Do a brain dump of all your thoughts and ideas. My favorite way to do this is to grab a large piece of paper and some colorful pens or markers. Then I take 15 to 30 minutes, depending on how full my head is, to write down everything I am thinking about, dreaming about, worrying about… Get it all out of your head and on to paper where you can see it. Once you can see it you can make some simple decisions about what you need and/or want to do next. The solution to overwhelm and a busy mind is simply to take one step in any direction.
- Scribble like a kindergartner! This is one of my favorite morning activities when I am feel scattered and out of focus or like I have so much to do I don’t know where to start. I grab some paper, any paper will do, some crayons or oil pastels and I scribble out all the energy onto the page: all the frustration, anxiety, creativity, whatever I am feeling in the moment. It doesn’t need to “look” like anything, simply put color on paper until you feel yourself calming down and able to focus again or until you get an idea for that one next thing you need to do.
- Paint BIG! This is another favorite activity when I have big feelings and emotions that I can’t think my way through. I get a large canvas or sheet of watercolor paper, some acrylic paint and brushes and I paint it out. Like the scribbling, I’m not trying to paint an image, I am simply trying to move energy and express all the bottled up feelings until I can find my equilibrium again.
- Try some non-dominant hand drawing or writing. This is super fun and a valuable exercise for connecting to your unconscious and bypassing that busy overwhelmed mind. To do this exercise, use your dominant hand to ask yourself a question like “what would help me to feel more calm right now?” Use your non-dominant hand to draw or write a response. I guarantee you will be surprised by what you discover!
- Color a Sacred Circle design. Sacred circles are what we call mandalas which are a traditional Hindu/Buddhist art form used for meditation. Our designs are not religious in nature but are specifically designed to calm your busy mind with coloring. This is one of my favorite practices that I have been using for over 15 years as a form of active meditation. Watch the video above to see more and you can download the design featured in the video for free too right here. Studies by psychologist and art therapists have proven that coloring designs like these is significantly more relaxing and calming than other forms. Grab some colored pencils, print out our free design and start coloring now, you will be glad you did. And be sure to check out our Sacred Circles membership where we bring you new designs each month and live community calls for coloring in community. We show how to integrate this powerful practice into your life in a variety of ways and give you the chance to experience the calming benefits for yourself.
Which of these ideas would you be interested in trying out when you need to calm your busy mind!?