As an artist, you’ve obviously come across the term “artist block” or “writer’s block.” You’ve either heard the term or you’ve experience it first-hand.
But I’m going to go ahead and tell you the real truth about artistic “blocks”—they’re not real. There’s no such thing as “writer’s block” or “artist’s block” or “musician’s block.”
And it can also come from a few little-known factors that are likely in play in your diet and lifestyle.
Hidden Causes of Artistic “Blocks”
There are five not-very-well-known factors that can also cause your mind to feel “blocked.” These factors include:
1. Junk Food
When you’re not eating right, you’re not giving your body the fuel it needs to work at its best. Junk food is junk, and when you put it into your body, it junks your body up. And that includes your mind.
Junk food will cause you to feel like your mind is cloudy and you’re not able to focus. This is due to the massive quantities of sugar, hydrogenated oils and other ingredients you probably can’t pronounce.
Your brain needs clarity in order to focus on your artistic practice and maintain a creative flow. Whole, unprocessed, real food will allow you to feel great and have a clear mind that’s open and ready to create.
Plus you won’t feel so tired all the time, which will give you the stamina you need to sustain a long creative session.
2. Food Allergies
While it may seem strange to have food allergies in this list, the number of people discovering they are allergic to something is on the rise. And it’s estimated that around 60% to 70% of the American population has an undiagnosed food allergy.
Allergens cause inflammation in your body, which over a long period of time can effect your health. And when your body is inflamed, it can cause you to have “brain fog” and feel lethargic.
This is especially true for wheat and gluten allergies.
Even if you’re not allergic to wheat/gluten, wheat is still an inflammatory, and too much of it in your diet will still cause you to feel tired and “brain-fogged.”
Dehydration shows up in the body in very strange ways: headaches, hunger pangs and sweet/salty food cravings.
Next time you think you have a headache, before you reach for the ibuprofen or other pain-reliever, first drink a glass or two (or three) of water. Wait a few minutes and see how you feel. I guarantee that will almost always make your headache go away.
When you’re dehydrated, you’re not able to focus. And if you have a headache from being dehydrated, you’re not going to be in the mood to be creative.
That’s why it’s important to drink plenty of water.
While our bodies are made up of mostly water, everyone is individual so we all need different amounts of water to be fully hydrated.
If you divide your body weight in half, that’s around how much water, in ounces, you should be drinking each day.
So for example, I weigh 125 pounds, so if I divide that in half, that means I should be drinking about 62.5 ounces of water daily.
This is not an exact science, and I don’t always drink that much water every day. I just try to aim for drinking that much water every day, that way I at least come close.
If you’re not drinking a lot of water right now, start slow and gradually drink more as you get used to it. For now, just aim to drink one more glass of water today than you did yesterday.
4. Lack of Sleep
You probably don’t think of sleep as a creativity booster, but it actually is.
When your body is well-rested, you’ll have the energy to tackle everything your day has in store for you, and still be able to have a creative session too.
When you’re not well-rested, it can stifle your creativity. Your brain will feel foggy from the lack of sleep.
And when you’re tired, at the end of a long day the last thing you’ll want to do is find the time to be creative.
Plus not sleeping enough just sucks in general.
I know going to bed early can be extremely hard when you work all day and come home and still have so much left to do. You don’t need to go to bed a lot earlier. Just go to bed 15 minutes earlier for a couple weeks. Then you can add more time on as you get used to the earlier time.
When you’re stressed you’re not thinking straight—that’s a given. But being stressed all the time is awful for your creativity.
If you can’t think straight or focus to even do a simple task, you’d be asking too much of your brain and body to try and be creative in this state.
Stress is a part of life, but that doesn’t mean you have to constantly be stressed. There are ways to reduce your stress so you’re able to leave it at the door when it comes time to be creative.
Things like meditation and exercise are great stress-relievers. So are soothing activities like cooking, yoga or getting a massage.
Find a way to relieve your stress that makes you feel awesome and make sure to do it as often as possible. It’s easy for stress to build up over time if you’re not doing anything to calm yourself down.
Share With Us
Which of these 5 little-known factors surprises you the most? Which one(s) are you guilty of?
Photo courtesy of woodleywonderworks
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