Last Updated on August 21, 2016 by Michael Brockbank
Fitness doesn’t merely stop at keeping yourself trim or in a shape other than round. You mental health is also affected by food and exercise. I’m not just talking about combating depression or anxiety. In fact, the state of your mind can be vital to your success in just about everything you do. Maintaining rationality when the kids are screaming in your ear, keeping your composure while standing in a slow check-out line, and even a writing career can all be affected by your current mentality.
Ways Mental Health Plays a Role in a Writing Career
It takes more than being able to put words together in grammatical sense in order to be a successful writer. Emotions, rational thought and basic decision making are just some things that can influence your current project. Let’s take a look at a few ways your mental health directly affects your work.
Confidence is a major component when it comes to determining success. If you go into a project with the idea that it’s not going to be good, you’re developing a self-defeatist attitude. As a result, your writing will suffer on a subconscious level. It’s like sabotaging yourself before you even start. You’ll expect the piece to turn out bad, so it will. Although this isn’t always the case, it’s something I see all the time in potential writers.
You make a myriad of decisions all the time without realizing it. For instance, you’re making a decision to continue reading this blog post right now. When you sit down to write, you’re brain is processing a great deal of information. When you have poor mental health, it disrupts this process. Everything from your emotional state to your breakfast can all contribute to how your brain functions when you’re trying to write.
Creativity is a part of writing whether you’re a ghostwriter such as myself or a novelist. Without some form of creativity, the pieces you write may seem more clinical. While this may be good for tech manuals, it’s not good when you’re trying to engage an audience to read a story. The condition of your mind affects the ability to be creative. Although some people can easily develop amazing stories because of their emotional states, many others have a hard time putting it all together.
It can be difficult to finish a project if your mind is unable to maintain focus. This can be a product of poor nutrition as well as stress in your life. A lack of focus can result in lower productivity, which is bad for both ghostwriters and authors. For a ghostwriter, this means you’ll receive less pay-per-hour average because you are taking longer to finish a job. For an author, this means it will take longer for your story to be available to readers.
When you’re creating a piece, you’re relying on your mind to put together information in order to make it coherent. When you’re mind isn’t in the best of shape, the quality of your work will suffer. This is something I’ve experienced first hand. If I write a piece for a client late at night, I can virtually guarantee it will be sent back for revisions the next day. This is because a lack of sleep disrupts the ability to put things together in a logical order.
Easy Ways to Change Your Mental Health
Keeping your brain healthy will boost virtually every aspect of your life. Whether you’re writing a Pulitzer-winning novel or simply facing the children first thing in the morning, it all centers around your mind. Here are just a few easy ways you can start changing your mindset today.
The quality of food you eat will impact the quality of work you deliver. Foods that can help improve your memory and other cognitive functions can do wonders when it comes to maintaining a career in writing. Some of these are:
- Berries of any kind, especially blueberries
- Foods cooked in coconut oil
- Salmon and tuna fish
- Dandelion greens
- Dark chocolate
Now, I’m not saying that eating any of these will instantly turn you into an Einstein. However, improving your diet will vastly improve your mental health. These foods have been demonstrated in various studies to do everything from improve memory to treating mental disorders such as dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.
You can never go wrong with getting enough exercise. Getting the body moving allows more blood and oxygen to reach the brain. As a result, the brain is able to function in a more efficient manner. This will lead to improving your mood as well as your ability to process information. Personally, I feel much better overall if I take a brisk walk first thing in the morning.
Stress can cause a plethora of problems in the body. From the perspective of mental health, it easily disrupts sleeping patterns as well as rational thought. Meditating is a great way to improve the mind while giving your body a chance to relax. It can clear the mind and allow you to retain greater focus on virtually any project.
Getting Enough Sleep
Sleep deprivation is ultimately damaging on the body. It can cause everything from irrational anger to hallucinations. Getting enough sack-time at night may be difficult for some, but it’s worth the effort if you can increase the amount of time you’re actually asleep. For me, getting enough rest vastly increases my productivity throughout the day while making it easier to maintain focus on my projects.
Taking Adequate Breaks
Taking breaks in any project can help you stay focused and improve the quality of your work. Time for yourself is important if you want to keep your head in the game of life. I know I feel much better if I get up and move around every hour or so. It gets the blood flowing again and helps give a fresh perspective when I return to the keyboard.
Having poor mental health can easily jeopardize any career path. From emotional overloads to improper dieting, it will all affect the quality of your work. Take time to care for yourself and improve your abilities as a writer. It all starts with how you treat your brain.
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