Overcoming Writer’s Block

Writer’s block: when you have so many thoughts, ideas, and emotions to express and no clue where to start or how to organize them.

Well, at least that’s my definition of writer’s block. I found I’ve been battling with that quite a bit over the past month or so. I started strong with my new blog and I had a lot of hopes for it, and I still do. My goal was to continuously be publishing new posts and new content. From the beginning, I had so many topics I wanted to talk about, as well as ideas and thoughts to share. I even wrote an outline of everything I’ve struggled with and had experience with that I wanted to cover. Instead, I find myself constantly thinking, “You should be writing.” That terrible word, should, I know better now than to think that way and how using certain words can trick your brain into thinking differently. For example: instead of using should, and feeling that heavy obligation of thinking I need to do something, and then kicking myself for not doing it, or even just the negative power should subconsciously has over my motivation. It somehow takes away all motivation I once had, or it takes away the ability to creatively think or be in the right headspace necessary to be productive at all. Instead, I replace the word should, with could. Then all of a sudden, I have a choice in the matter, and this heavy weight has been lifted. I don’t beat myself up for not doing it because I could do it rather than should. See the difference? The obligation fades and gives you back the control. I no longer feel worthless, lazy, or unproductive or feel like I need to put myself down for not doing something. I told myself while I was laying in bed, “You could continue laying here, tossing and turning, while random worrisome thoughts race through your mind, or you could get up and get them out while they are fresh on your mind. Lately, when my thoughts were racing or when I would get a creative ah-ha moment while lying in bed, listening to a podcast, or even reading someone else’s blog, more often than not, I would let it just pass me by. Sometimes I’d write some notes down for a different day, but it’s never the same trying to go back to it. So, I have all these different drafts I’ve been working on, and haven’t published even one yet. Mostly because they aren’t complete, and being the perfectionist I am, I only want to put my best and complete work out into the world. Perhaps my habit of procrastination has slowly led to this so called writer’s block. Maybe some of you other writers have struggled with this. What are your thoughts on the matter and how have you overcome writer’s block?

There were several times this week where something upsetting happened and I wanted to use writing to express myself to release the feelings that had been stirred up, whether I posted it or not. For whatever reason though, I couldn’t get the words to come or flow. I just sat here feeling frustrated, fuming, sad, hurt and lonely over various things that happened or words that were said. I was trying my best not to let these feelings and the accompanying thoughts get to me because I know all too well how that ends, and I’m doing my best to avoid a downward spiral to depressionville. That’s why I so desperately needed my creative and expressive outlet to be functioning properly. Through writing, I can somehow turn my past or even present hurts into something beautiful, that others can relate to, or even something that could inspire hope; writing also helps me organize my thoughts and simply make sense of them which helps cease the racing thoughts and anxieties of my mind. 

So, how am I finally breaking my streak and getting words on the page? Well, it was 4:30 A.M. and my mind refused to slow down or turn off. I was tossing and turning and couldn’t get back to sleep, so I got out of bed and pulled out my computer. Instead of pulling up the numerous unfinished posts and staring at them like I had been doing, I opened a new one, and instead of trying to write about all the things I’ve been wanting to all this time, I just started writing about what’s actually going on in my mind at that moment, and finally, the words came. What a wonderful feeling that is!

What Your Anxiety & Chronic Pain Are Trying To Tell You

Anyone who deals with chronic anxiety knows how crippling it can be and how much it can affect your day to day life. If you are struggling with anxiety, you may be desperately searching for something, anything, to dull the senses.

The human body is an incredible thing. It gives us signs and signals when something isn’t right whether mentally or physically, in the form of symptoms. You may develop a cold if you’ve been overworking yourself or not taking the time to properly care for yourself. It’s your body’s way of telling you to take a break. Anxiety is a physical response to an emotional pain that stems from fear. Our emotions have a deep connection to the body. Often when difficult emotions arise, if we are unable to process them, they can get stored in the body. I’ve noticed mine come in the form of extremely tight muscles that have contorted my body. I also notice my buried emotions come in the shape of large, deep knots, daily pain all throughout my body (particularly the back and neck) and a significant decrease in my range of motion. No two people are the same, so your body may store emotions and show symptoms differently. The key here is awareness.

Physically, I’ve found a few ways to release some of the emotions stored within the body. My personal favorite, because it can provide instant relief, is called dry needling. It’s very similar to acupuncture, with the main difference being that dry needling is more science based whereas acupuncture is more spiritual. So rather than targeting stuck chakras and things like that, they target the heart of your pain, which is called the trigger point. When they correctly hit the trigger point, you feel the area tighten, then release. I like to call these twinges. If the spot is particularly deep, old, or tight, when the muscle contracts, it may even bend the needle (which I find fascinating)! Yes, I said needle, but let me try to ease your mind before you freak out. They are more like little pins, just like the acupuncture ones. Personally, I’m not a fan of needles; I tried acupuncture before and didn’t like it. Dry needling can change your life; it definitely changed mine! After years of a mix of chiropractic care, physical therapy, stretching, yoga, and anything else I thought might alleviate some of the pain, relax my muscles, and realign my spine. I did several sessions through a physical therapist’s office, which also allowed my insurance to cover the expense which was a life saver! Some people may only need a few sessions depending on your situation. I immediately saw huge improvements, and kept seeing them! My posture improved, various symptoms due to my nerves being compressed by my vertebres disappeared, headaches and migraines are practically nonexistent now (except for the occasional hangover..lol..), and I even grew a few inches from my lengthened and more aligned spine! Sometimes, I could feel the emotion leaving, and often people have emotional responses to the dry needling either during the session or afterwards. If you have any other questions or comments about dry needling, comment below or feel free to email me (info@mentalmindmorph.com).

 

The next best thing, is to try to achieve the same muscle spasms that release trapped emotions is through either stretching or rolling on a ball. It’s a much slower process than dry needling, but basically works the same way. Through stretching, you target the spots that are giving you trouble. This can often be difficult because you have to push into the trapped areas, which you may not have been able to use those muscles in many years. I find taking deep breaths and breathing into the pain allows the muscle to relax to reach the trigger point, and you’ll know when you do! You’ll get that same muscle spasm that can be large, sometimes painful, but super gratifying afterwards. You can also use a ball, I prefer a lacrosse ball like this.

Kieba Massage Lacrosse Balls for Myofascial Release, Trigger Point Therapy, Muscle Knots, and Yoga Therapy. Set of 2 Firm Balls (Blue and Red)

If you find yourself in constant pain, particularly in your back, I find foam rollers really helpful. I need the extra firm kind which really digs into those tough spots and loosens them up. I’ve tried all kinds of them and still wasn’t getting enough, so I finally got the RumbleRoller and I am super happy with it! I use it on my back, neck, hips, psoas, glutes and hamstrings, arms, and everything else! I love it!

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