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The Physicality Of Inspiration : Page 2 of 3

The Physicality Of Inspiration

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Once you master the art of right breathing, you will find you start to use your diaphragm much more.

Practices such as Pilates, Qi Gong and Tai Chi are recommended for anyone engaged in the creative arts.

The next things to focus on are the nutrients carried by the oxygenated blood the brain and, of course, all the internal vestigial mind centres. This exercise is all about eating the right food for thought.

Exercise: Food For Thought

Research has shown that there is a connection between what we eat and how we feel. The biochemical basis of this food-mood link lies in the chemical messengers, called neurotransmitters, that relay thoughts and actions along the neural pathways of the brain.

As food affects the action of these chemical messengers it can also have an impact on our mood. Nutrient choice is therefore important to support the thought process. Meal timing, portion sizes and the combination of foods, play a vital role in the regulation of mood and energy. They influence blood-sugar levels which can leave us as high as a kite one minute and scrambling through the cupboard the next, in search of a sugar fix.

For this next exercise, look at how your food affects your creative performance. The benefits to be had by this approach will have an impact on other areas in your life.

Go Low Glycemic

Carbohydrates, in particular, affect our energy levels and mood. High sugar products raise blood sugar for a short period, always followed by a dip that leaves you unfocused and lethargic.

Low-glycemic carbohydrates (e.g. brown rice, pasta, vegetables), on the other hand, provide more stable energy and mood levels. Small portions of complex carbohydrate at regular intervals throughout the day will be effective in regulating energy.

Glycemic Index (GI) refers to the rate at which sugar from a particular food enters the cells of the body. Foods with a high glycemic index stimulate the pancreas to secrete insulin, quickly emptying sugar from the blood into the cells. This produces the familiar ups and downs of blood sugar and the roller coaster energy levels that go with it. Foods with a lower glycemic index do not push the pancreas to secrete so much insulin, so blood sugar tends to be steadier. Eating low GI foods and combining carbohydrate with protein and fibre will reduce the rate at which sugar empties into the cells.

You should, therefore, combine low GI carbohydrates, protein and vegetables or fruit in each meal or snack sitting. Some good examples are:

  • Chicken, brown rice and roasted vegetables
  • Salmon, couscous and greens
  • Wholemeal pitta with tuna and salad
  • Nuts and fruit
  • Wholemeal cereal and semi-skimmed milk with fruit

Meal Patterns

The most effective way to keep energy level even across the day is to spread your calorie need over five to six small meals, rather than the traditional three. This can help you avoid the commonly experienced mid-morning and mid-afternoon energy dips that leave you lacking concentration and focus.

Unsurprisingly, the most common time for people to visit the office vending machine is mid-afternoon, as those who have not eaten a healthy lunchtime snack are on a mission to get a sugar-fix.

Prepare some healthy snacks in the morning so that your work-flow is not interrupted when you sit down to write, and think carefully about which nutrients you select for a brain boosting breakfast, lunch and dinner.

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