How to relax when your brain won't stop buzzing

Creative professionals are many things, but mostly we're misunderstood. The creative process is a magnificent thing to witness. But, if you don't know what it looks like, it's easy to mistake it for something it's not.

For example, that blank stare you see on someone's face could actually be a new creative idea forming right before your eyes. To some, it may just appear as if they're carelessly blowing off their work responsibility. In reality, however, that blank stare could be helping them tap into the very thing that breathes life into their work.

"Boy you're quiet! What are you thinking about?" Ha! What am I not thinking about?

These quiet times, rather what appear to be quiet times, are often filled with internal banter. What colour to use? What's the best way to iterate that array? Which font should I select? How will my main character react to this situation? These are all questions that have rattled the depths of my brain, usually while I was staring off into space.

Switching off

Of course, not all creative types need quiet time to be creative. In fact, some need constant background noise. Others need to exert themselves, physically. Or, perhaps, if you're like me, you might bounce between different things.

But, there's a downside to being creative. How do you switch it off? For some, it's virtually impossible. It's always there; when you're trying to sleep; when you're trying to watch a movie; when you're at a school function with your children. It can be endless and tiring.

As a writer, I can't even walk into a grocery store without creating a backstory for every person that crosses my path. By the time I get home, I'm exhausted… and my list of 'things I want to write about' grows exponentially larger. So, how can we, as we creatives, give it a rest?

Relaxation. No, really, I mean it. Over the past few months I've been looking for ways to quiet my mind. Oddly enough, sound has helped. Below are a few recommendations to help quieten your own mind.

01. Relax Melodies

Relax Melodies logo

Relax Melodies give you the ability to add isochronic beats to your relaxation soundtrack

Of the apps listed here, Relax Melodies is my absolute favourite. Ipnos Software has really done a great job.

With four different versions to choose from, finding the right match shouldn't be a problem. Each one gives you the ability to mix your own sounds and even add your own music!

Another great feature is having the ability to add Isochronic beats (which are considered to be the most effective brainwave beats). Relax Melodies is available for the iPhone, iPad, Mac, Android, and Windows Phone.

02. Windy

Girl illustration

Windy uses stereoscopic 3D audio to help you wind down

Not only does Windy offer offer incredible stereoscopic 3D audio, it also offers a powerful visual experience. Use this app to help you fall asleep, or to simply turn off the world around you. Note, though, that this one is only available for the iPhone and iPad. You can read more about Windy here.

03. Sleep Pillow

Sleepy cartoon owl

Sleep Pillow offers a nice mix of ambient sounds to chill out to

Another great relaxation app is Sleep Pillow, by Clear Sky Apps. This easy-to-use sleep app offers a nice mix of ambient sounds, and the interface is straightforward and easy to use.

A nice feature with Sleep Pillow is its 12-hour sleep timer and fade-in alarm. They also offer Sleep Pillow Baby, an app that is specifically made to help momma and baby sleep. Sleep Pillow is available for the iPhone, iPad, Mac.

04. Thunderspace HD

Hippo in a storm

Thunder and lightning? Relaxing? You'd better believe it

Finally, there's Thunderspace HD. What's great about this app is that it incorporates realistic lightning flashes. You can also connect to one or more wifi-enabled fans for a truly awesome thunderstorm experience.

The only thing missing is Dorothy Gale from Kansas. Thunderspace HD is available for the iPhone and iPad.

While there are many sound apps out there, these are my favourites. I hope you enjoy them.

Words: Tammy Coron

Tammy Coron is an iOS developer, backend developer, web developer, writer, and illustrator. She blogs at Just Write Code. Why not download her game, Crow's Quest – it's free!

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