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The Creative Mind – Something Running All The Time

The Harvest Writer

Stephen King has commented about his creative mind:
“It’s as though something in there is running all the time.”

He also said that even when he tries to take time off from writing, “My night life, my dream life, gets extremely populated and crazed.”

As a creative person, you may relate, especially if you are introverted.

Why Smart People Hurt-Eric-horizIn his book Why Smart People Hurt, psychologist Eric Maisel notes that one of the challenges every smart person experiences is “Dealing with a racing brain that, because it doesn’t come with an off switch, inclines itself toward insomnia, manias, obsessions, compulsions, and addictions.”

[Quotes are from my article Developing Creativity: Excitabilities – Our Teeming Brains.]

Is this racing brain just something we should accept as part of our personality, or can we be healthier and more creative by managing our brain and energy?

In her post How To Quiet The Introvert Mind, Michaela Chung addresses the topic and asks:

“Do you ever wish your brain had an off switch?… Your brain is always buzzing with ideas, daydreams and whatever else your overly active imagination decides to churn out.

“Like so many other introvert attributes, your mind can be a super power or super pain, depending on how you use it.”

In the post is a link to her video interview with introvert author Dr. Arnie Kozak on “how to quiet your mind.” (Read more about him below.)

Michaela Chung developed her site Introvert Spring to help introverts “revolutionize the way they see themselves” and has many posts and resources you might find helpful.

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Creative people may be both introverted and highly sensitive – and the descriptions from experts like Elaine Aron and Susan Cain overlap.

Alanis MorissetteMusician Alanis Morissette, like many artists, identifies as being highly sensitive and notes about respecting her self care needs:

“I get maxed-out more quickly than some, so it’s my responsibility that I schedule little mini-breaks throughout the day, and have enough sleep.

“It’s almost incumbent on me to make sure that I take care, in a very fierce way, in order to be able to continue to write and to be the person I want to be.”

From post: Introverted, Shy or Highly Sensitive in the Arts.

She is part of the upcoming movie “Sensitive–The Untold Story” – see clips in post: Elaine Aron on the trait of high sensitivity.

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In her Psych Central post 5 Tips for Introverts for Replenishing Your Energy, Margarita Tartakovsky also writes about what it means to “take care in a fierce way”:

“It’s important for introverts to nurture and care for our energy, according to psychologist, professor and fellow introvert Arnie Kozak, Ph.D, in his book The Awakened Introvert.”

She quotes Kozak: “You respect your energy through monitoring and balancing what builds your energy and what depletes it. You protect your energy by making choices that reflect your values and maintain your self-care.”

> His tips include:
Chart your energy.
Consider how substances and activities affect you.
Explore your energy expenditures.

See her article for more.

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Arnie KozakIn his article Mindfulness of Breathing: A Primer, Arnie Kozak notes one of the “roadblocks on the path to mindfulness” is the expectation that it will “clear my mind” – he comments:

“Forget about that! No Buddhist meditation teacher ever taught the practice of emptying the mind.

“(Interesting trivia: This idea may have come from the actor and martial arts expert Bruce Lee, who mentioned the empty mind in an interview.)

“The brain is the most complicated object in the known universe, capable of creating trillions upon trillions of nerve connections.

“The mind is always on. It’s unrealistic to expect it to cease its function, especially when you’re swimming upstream against a lifetime of habitual thinking.”

Also see his book: “The Awakened Introvert: Practical Mindfulness Skills to Help You Maximize Your Strengths and Thrive in a Loud and Crazy World.”

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The Harvest WriterMore resources:

Maria Hill provides a downloadable program on her excellent HSP Health site:
Energy Mastery Course – includes “How Ayurveda affects energy and how that benefits highly sensitive people.”

Another program is offered by Tanja Gardner of Conscious Introvert Success:
Energy Management 101.

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Biofeedback and meditation for emotional regulation

Our teeming brains can also be a source of anxiety and stress. One technology for helping is biofeedback.

student-test-takers-Spain-240Deirdre V. Lovecky, Ph.D. (Director of the Gifted Resource Center of New England) mentioned that she “often uses HeartMath with anxious children in my clinical practice.”

HeartMath clinical studies “have dramatically demonstrated the critical link between emotion, heart function and cognitive performance.”

From article (on my Anxiety Relief Solutions site) with videos: HeartMath Tools for Emotional Balance.

Related articles on meditation and emotional health

Meditation for Emotional Health and Creativity
Meditation for Emotional-post“Mindfulness meditation can have benefits for health and performance, including improved immune function, reduced blood pressure and enhanced cognitive function.”

Also see quotes by Anderson Cooper, Kate Hudson, Jessica Alba, Moby, creativity author and teacher Orna Ross, psychologist Scott Barry Kaufman, David Lynch and others.

Biofeedback and Wearable Tech for Stress, Meditation and Fitness
Biofeedback and neurosignaling devices can support physical and emotional health by helping you meditate, relax more deeply, relieve anxiety and stress, and enhance focus for creative work.



The Creative Mind – Something Running All The Time

Douglas Eby

Douglas EbyDouglas Eby, MA/Psychology, is a writer and researcher on psychology and personal development related to creativity; creator of the , and author of books including [link to book site with excerpts.]
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Some excerpts from The Creative Mind are included in his newsletter .
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Emotional Health Resources - Programs, books, articles and sites to improve your emotional wellbeing.

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APA Reference
Eby, D. (2016). The Creative Mind – Something Running All The Time. Psych Central. Retrieved on September 24, 2020, from


Last updated: 21 Jul 2016
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