This creative writing exercise focused on relaxation is a response to the first couple of lists of prompts I posted about love and death. These story starters are meant to inspire writing from a place of great emotion. Many creative people are naturally gifted in the way of experiencing these massive feelings. Some of them find these emotions too powerful to control with conventional method. This is one of the reasons you see so many creative individuals with drug and alcohol problems.
There is a better way to deal with this flow of emotions than self-medication. As you may have seen elsewhere on the site, I am not a big fan of adding unnatural things to the body. Take a look at my article on quitting coffee to get a better idea of that. You do not need any upper or downers to get through your emotional periods. You just need to relax.
I have come across a ton of ways that people reach a state of relaxation in a natural way. Whether it be yoga, meditation, a steam room, a Mozart sonata or a Charles Dickens novel, what matters is that you make the time and effort to relax. I will share a relaxation exercise I learned from my acting guru,Joan Darling.
Joan always stressed the value of relaxing before and after we performed to avoid any prolonged unhealthy emotional highs. Shortly after adopting her relaxation model, I had the best acting performance of my life in Henrik Ibsen’s A Doll House.
Find yourself a comfortable chair to sit down in. Put your arms on your legs and your palms facing upward. Close your eyes.
Mentally find five places in your body where you either typically hold tension or where you are holding it right now. Feel that tension relax downward out of your body. Visualize that tension as a tangible thing and see it going down your body and out through the ground. Take a deep breath. Breathe out with a sound. Whatever sound comes is perfectly fine. The noise you hear is tension and it’s leaving your body, so really let it out.
Continue finding those places of tension and breathing with a sound. This should release a large part of your tension.
At this point, Joan would ask us the question: what is one thing going on in your body that you didn’t know before I asked the question? It is difficult to ask yourself that in the middle of your relaxation exercise, but if you’re able to do it, more power to you. :)
This is just one example of a relaxation technique. I recommend that you try it out but do some research as well to make sure it’s the right method for you.
By combining very emotional writing with your new relaxation techniques, you will not be able to avoid a drastic improvement in your writing production and quality. Try some emotional writing on for size and then come back to relax. We’ll be waiting for you :).
Bryan Cohen is the author of more than 30 books, many of which focus on creative writing and blasting through that pesky writer's block. His books have sold more than 20,000 copies. You can find him on Google+ and Facebook.