Creativity is a valuable resource. We look at the brilliant, inspired ideas of others, marvelling at their originality and boldness, and want our own brains to work that way. There’s also an inescapable air of romance around the people who dedicate themselves to a creative life, with the penniless artist, travelling writer and glamorous fashion designer all existing seductively in the popular imagination. With meditation for the creative mind, you can spark your own inventiveness.
Ultimately, creativity is about turning ideas and imagination into a reality. The thinking stage of creativity, seeing things in new and interesting ways and coming up with ideas, is hugely important – as is the action stage, where you take these ideas out into the world. Unfortunately, there are plenty of things that can interrupt and hold back people in both these stages, and many of us aren’t as creative as we’d like to be.
Meditation is something that can become an integral part of both the cerebral and productive aspects of creativity, and here’s how meditation can help break down the barriers that hold us back from being truly creative. (more…)
Those suffering with panic attacks can feel like they are completely out of control. Happening suddenly and often with no clear reason, panic attacks usually elicit a racing heartbeat, a shortness of breath and choking sensation, and dizziness or nausea. Sometimes, panic attacks make people feel as if they are about to die, and can be a terrifying experience.
Panic attacks are physically harmless (even though they don’t feel this way) but emotionally they take a huge toll. At times they are even debilitating, with people having real trouble going about a normal life. Yet, as an “invisible illness”, anxiety and panic attacks can be misunderstood and wildly underestimated. Despite feeling terrible, people don’t always exhibit many obvious outward signs of their internal panic, especially in scenarios where they feel the pressure to keep their feelings bottled up. Instead, they will excuse themselves, or simply stay quiet until the panic has passed. (more…)
“Paris Syndrome” is a strange thing. Through books and films the city of lights has developed an international reputation of idyllic metropolitan beauty, full of romance, artistry and picture-postcard scenes. Yet many people don’t realise that, while still lovely, this is a city that is beset by all the usual problems of big urban areas like homelessness, crime and overcrowding. Paris Syndrome is the manifestation of shock and disillusionment that visitors to the city feel when they encounter this reality, resulting in psychological distress that manifests itself in feelings of persecution, delusions and even hallucinations.
Around 20 tourists a year are struck down by Paris Syndrome and have to be flown out of the city under medical supervision. It’s something that particularly affects Japanese visitors and it’s thought to have its origins in the highly idealised view of Paris that the Japanese have formed through the use of the city in advertising, when the softly-lit world of beauty that were expecting doesn’t materialise. The uncomfortable, fluttery-chested nervousness and full-blown hallucinations speaks of the huge anxiety these tourists feel at this discrepancy.
While it’s a interesting oddity and to many may even seem a little bit silly, the mere existence of the phenomenon points in an extreme way to the growth of a particularly modern sort of anxiety, where the image we have of our lives doesn’t resonate with reality. (more…)
I spent much of my life being very proud of the fact that I was a hedonist. I considered the pursuit of fun and happiness the most important aspect of living and I took great delight in pushing my boundaries and seeking out ever more intense and gratifying experiences. And in many ways you could say I had a real talent for it. I could sniff out the wildest parties, and indeed threw many myself. I would initiate the craziest adventures and always bring playfulness and games into everything I did, always attempting to find new ways of having fun and causing mischief.
At the time I saw the hangovers and the pain, embarrassment and desperation that followed those spikes of euphoria and debauchery as being all part of the cycle of a life well lived ‘What goes up, must come down’, ‘No pain, no gain’ and all that. You need the sour to make the sweet feel sweet. All of those ideas were fully ingrained into my life philosophy.
By the age of 25, it was getting harder to ignore the shifting dynamic that the highs were no longer as good and the lows were getting worse. And the time between the highs and lows was characterised by an increasing sense of mediocrity, ennui and occasionally, downright despair.
I would go running in the morning to make myself feel better, but I didn’t always make the time, or more likely was injured or hungover. Then there would be the feeling of failure. (more…)