Act like a 4-year-old

A couple of weeks ago, I took part in a 1-day yoga training around the theme of creativity. 

Creativity is essential to our mental wellbeing as being involved in something creative focuses the mind and can have the same relaxing effects on the body/mind than a meditation. 

Creativity also has a positive effect on anxiety, stress and depression.

During the training day, we got into breakout rooms on zoom to discuss the question of how much creativity we actually exhibit in our day-to-day life. 

Creativity comes into so many aspects that we are not aware of

We can express our creativity in what we wear and the accessories that we might choose.

We express it in our choice of food, in cooking and baking.

We express it in our discussions, our sharing with others.

We also express it in allowing us to do stuff that we enjoyed each and every day

It isn’t a given

As we were discussing how much we let creativity into our daily life, it appeared that for some of us, it wasn’t a given.

The pressure of daily life, of juggling work, home and family had taken away some creativity and replaced it with fully planned days and a mind busy with to-do lists, which left very little time for expressing any creativity of any kind since everything was regimented.

And this in turn can lead to an increase of stress and anxiety as there isn’t the release of a creative activity anymore. We are entering a vicious circle. 

Can you relate in some ways?

Personally, I noticed that, at times, juggling the house, my business and my family time had stolen away some of the creativity I used to have and express. Looking back, this usually coincided with periods when my anxiety level would go up.

If you have ever found yourself with free time and didn’t know what to do with it (except for catching up with ironing/cleaning/paperwork…, you probably need to bring in some more creativity in your life. 

“Act like a 4-year-old.”

One of ladies in my group phrased it beautifully when she said: “Act like a 4-year-old.”

We can probably all find memories of seeing young children.

They are engrossed in their play, full of ideas, questions, not worried by what mummy/daddy or anybody else might think. They live their life with a sense of joy and fun in pretty much everything they do.

We can’t just go back to the complete insouciance of being 4, but we can definitely learn a few tricks from the fabulous four:

Have some fun every day

Of course responsibilities are important, but create yourself some fun every single day. Even if it’s just watching a funny video on Youtube

Don’t pay too much attention to what others say or do

We spend so much energy focusing outwards on what people might say or think about us. Let that go. Be you, do you, and don’t let the comments of others spoil your fun.

Try new things

Try a new recipe, a new style of clothes, change the furniture around, go for a different walk… These little things will bring a new sense of aliveness in your life. You will feel energised and more enthusiastic just by doing something a bit different from the daily routine.

See the world through the eyes of a child

When we are 4 years old, everything is magical: a bumblebee going from flower to flower, a place leaving its white mark across the sky, a daisy that was closed in the morning and is suddenly opened in the afternoon. Once we are adult, we can grow somewhat jaded and not notice the beauty of the world we live in. Try and see the world through the eyes of a child once more.

Be fully engrossed in what you do

Switch off the phone, tell people that you are busy and fully enjoy what you are doing. Treat it like a sacred time (the same way that a 4-year-old would see playtime: it’s sacred, don’t even think of asking me to do something now).

Make some of your decisions about you

You can’t please everybody all of the time. Sometimes, what you want to do for yourself might not please everybody around you. And I bet that, a lot of the time, you come to a compromise. That’s perfectly fine. Without compromise we wouldn’t get anywhere! But sometimes, don’t compromise. If something really matters to YOU (regardless of how unimportant it might seem to the people around you), put your foot down and stick to it.

Forget about the shoulds

You probably have an endless list of things that you “should” do. If you were to start making your way down that list, the next time you’ll sit down is probably at some point in 2023. So forget about the should.

Start applying some of these tips to your life and you’ll soon find yourself having more fun and feeling more relaxed, more yourself and happier. 

For more tips on developing a calm, relaxed and happy life that supports your wellbeing, join my Facebook group

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