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Hacking Creativity: The Head, Heart, & Gut Approach To Writing

Have you suffered from stress, anxiety and/or frustration when it comes to writing? Perhaps you have experienced loss of focus or struggle to take action? Or just feel as if your heart isn’t in it?

Stress is well-known to be a creativity killer and as a writer, it’s normal to feel these emotions from time to time, especially during the last couple of years which have been so challenging.

But what if I told you that there are techniques that can help you get into a more balanced emotional state and be more creative?


Welcome to mBraining - a new field of applied neuroscience which stipulates that you have a brain in your head, heart and gut. That’s right - three brains. Your heart contains cells similar to those in the brain which process and manage emotions that have a direct impact on your behaviour and relationships. Through mBraining techniques, your heart is optimised to process emotions more easily. The gut also has intelligence; hidden in the walls of the digestive system, this “brain in your gut” is revolutionising medicine's understanding of the links between digestion, mood, health and even the way you think. Scientists call this little brain the enteric nervous system (ENS).

By aligning the three brains and encouraging each to work from its highest expression, new wisdom emerges. Think about the last time you went with your ‘gut feeling’ or when your ‘heart said yes, but your head said no’. You’ll immediately recognise just how influential and pervasive the intelligence of your multiple brains can be.

I first came across mBraining a few years ago, when mBrainer Trainer and Coach, Wendy Shaw, introduced me to it with fascinating results. Here she shares how to align your head, heart and gut to hack your creativity.

1. Get in the right space: Create the optimum environment for your writing – eliminate distractions, turn off notifications on your phone and emails. Get yourself comfortable and set your intention for what you want to achieve that day.

2. Get in the right state: Roll your shoulders back, open up your chest and take a long deep and even breath (breathing into your diaphragm). Continue breathing deeply and evenly and notice your thoughts slowing down as you connect with your body, becoming calm and alert.

3. Heart: Keep breathing and bring your awareness into the area around your heart. Check in with your heart and answer the following questions:

  • What are your values for writing?

  • What emotions are important to convey in your writing?,

  • How can you connect with your story and relate to your audience?

4. Head: Breathe up into your head. This is the area of your body concerned with your perception, logic and reasoning. Continue to breathe while asking yourself the following:

  • What will give the greatest meaning to your writing today?

  • Explore your ideas and tap into your creativity. How can you be the most creative you can be today?

5. Gut: Breathe back into your heart area and then swallow and bring your attention down into your gut, below your belly button. Connect with who you deeply are as a writer, author and storyteller.

  • What does the intelligence in your gut need to support you and best express your creativity?

  • Is there anything you need to let go of that will allow you to courageously express your story?

  • How can you best use your voice to shape your story?

Continue to breathe deeply and evenly while you take action and write, allowing your story to unfold. You can easily get back into the right state by re-focusing on your balanced breathing. You may want to re-explore your heart, head and gut using the above steps.

Want to learn more about mBraining? Click here.



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I'm Karen, a best-selling novelist who left her corporate life to pursue my dream of becoming a writer. Since then, I've written everything from travel articles to web copy before winning a novel writing competition which led to a 3-book deal. 


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