How Do You Find The Answers Inside You?

If you can eliminate the outside noise, you’ll find that the answers are inside you.  Russell Simmons, co-founder of Def Jam Recordings

When I travel, I always make sure to read the flight magazines. Not only do I find out insanely cool facts like:

It used to take 27 hours to make an Easter Peep…When Just Born bought Rodda and automated the process, they pared it down to 6 minutes. They now produce 5 million chicks a day.

I also get writing inspiration.

The quote from the top of the post came from a short business lesson. The entire thing, including the bio was 165 words. But I thought about it the entire flight, and I’ve had that page open on my hotel desk all week long.

Here’s the opener:

“Early in my career, I believed that the stress I was feeling—and the worrying and the insomnia—was part of being successful. Yet, the minute I started making a conscious effort to let go of those things, I became more productive. Relieving the anxiety in your life is essential to being a good businessperson. If that’s gone, the mind is calm, and from a calm mind comes creativity.”

Just sub the word “writer,” “creative,” or “parent” for businessperson in that paragraph. (If you are a businessperson, substitute the word that describes your dream.)

Apparently the key to succeeding at almost any activity is to persevere and RELAX.

Stress has crazy side effects on the body, from hair loss to chronic inflammation, and you can never predict how it will manifest.

  • Headache
  • Muscle tension or pain
  • Chest pain
  • Fatigue
  • Change in sex drive
  • Stomach upset
  • Cancer
  • Sleep problems

Taking 10 minutes a day for yourself, to just be in that moment inside your head, makes the world open up. Those times when I relax and linger within the kaleidoscope of color and magic of my creative mind…

Those are some freaking beautiful moments. They’re creative and exciting and strong.

Most of all, they’re worth it.

Here on this Thoughty Thursday, I’d love to discuss what you do when you’re struggling with questions that feel insurmountable. Do you take a walk, call a friend, or just sit still and search for the answers inside? Enquiring minds always want to know these things here at More Cowbell!

~ Jenny

About Jenny Hansen

Avid seeker of "more"...More words, more creativity, More Cowbell! An extrovert who's terribly fond of silliness. Founding blogger at Writers In The Storm ( Write on!
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23 Responses to How Do You Find The Answers Inside You?

  1. LauraDrake says:

    Go outdoors. Just walking outside forces me out of my little worries and problems, and reminds me to look around me…there’s a whole planet unaware and uncaring of my little drama. AND that I have a choice about whether I spend time on it or not.


    Thanks for the reminder today, Jenny.


    • Jenny Hansen says:

      You’re welcome for the reminder. You’re working your a$$ off on the new book, so be sure to take a moment and walk around and enjoy your new space. Do they have any gardens there that you can visit?


  2. Jennifer says:

    Ah, Jenny, you hit it today. I’m going to put the magazine quote on my wall!
    I think going back to college has been the hardest thing I’ve ever done, and I can attest to much of that list of physical stress effects. For me, it’s really hard to shut the brain off and just be in the moment, so if I have time I escape into a story – book or TV show, movies take too much time. Exercise, especially if it can be outside (not this last winter!), helps and I like to listen to a writing podcast while I walk to keep my mind away from the pressure. Doing something easy that only requires a small part of my brain is nice too, like watering houseplants or checking to see if my daffodils/tulips/asparagus are finally coming up. And when all else fails . . . CHOCOLATE!


    • K.B. Owen says:

      I gave up chocolate for Lent…no wonder I’m stressed! Wow, Jennifer, good for you for going back to school! That’s a tricky time-management tightrope to walk. Speaking of walking, that’s one of my fave forms of exercise, but it has to be outside. Can you guess I’ve been sitting on my keester all winter? 😉


    • Jenny Hansen says:

      Thanks, Jennifer! And I’m with Kathy. I’m completely impressed that you’re going back to school AND writing. You go, girl. And take a walk and eat some chocolate.


  3. Holly Sweany says:

    The ocean is my go to place. I go down to my favorite spot and just sit and listen. First, I can hear the sounds of nearby people, seagulls, and the clatter of my mind. I let myself go deeper into the sounds until I hear the sounds of the waves, the wind, and the nothingness. I stay there until I feel calm. Sunrise on the ocean is wondrous and healing. It opens the new day and my mind.


  4. Cory Imhof says:

    When faced with difficult challenges or stressful situations, I clean and make my home an organized peaceful sanctuarty for creativity and then I cooks a huge meal or a big dessert to start the creative, problem solving juices flowing. I didn’t realize I did this until the past year. If its nice out I work in the garden, pulling weeds, turning over soil, planting seeds etc. it’s physical and very soothing. If its a doosey of a problem I like to call a friend, or my sister, and process through the situation/ problem. I always get great ideas that way.


  5. K.B. Owen says:

    Jenny, what a fab post. I love how you bring little tidbits to us, to help nurture us all and promote discussion. You rock!

    Gardening is a great stress reliever for me, and it’s physical and fairly mindless, so my thoughts can drift. Wish I could do it year ’round the way you Cali folks do!


  6. Catie Rhodes says:

    I don’t want to talk about my issues, but I think you are 100% correct here. I’m much more creative and interesting when I’m not dying of stress. 😉


    • Jenny Hansen says:

      I love this comment as much today as I did yesterday. Nobody is at the top of their game when they’re dying of stress, but I’ll bet you give it a pretty good shot. 🙂


  7. Good article – and good question. Usually when something seems insurmountable, it helps if I get a little more sleep. The more tired I am, the more hopeless/hard/impossible situations seem. 🙂


  8. Great blog post and very timely (the day after tax day!). Monday was awful. Just awful. I had no more stress IN me and Tuesday was awesome. Thanks for sharing this! Maybe I can make awesome happen more often.


  9. I have a long commute to work and back every day (45 minutes one way) and I find that those times are perfect for letting go of everything else and just focusing on the beauty around me, the enjoyment of sitting still, the wonderment of being alone, and screaming at the people driving like assholes around me. Okay, so that last part isn’t so stress-free, but it’s usually good quality alone time for me. Sometimes I listen to the radio, sometimes I don’t.

    And, I know from firsthand experience what stress can do to a body, lots of times not even manifesting itself until many, many months later. The year my mom died comes to mind. She died in January and by December a size 2 pants was too big for me. My husband got me slacks for Christmas, size 2, and they were too big. He asked me what the hell was wrong with me because the year before he’d bought slacks in a size 10 and they barely fit. He refused to buy me a smaller size, insisting instead that I go see a doctor. That’s when I found out that my thyroid had quit working. Never had health issues before that. It was subliminal stress eating at my insides. Unfortunately now, I’m back to the size 10’s. But, I’m healthy.

    Patricia Rickrode
    w/a Jansen Schmidt


  10. Sharla Rae says:

    My biggest obstacle to less stress can be summed up in a two letter word. NO. I need to say it more. But it’s hard when you know you can do something for someone and it makes you feel good to do it — for a while anyway. But I’m learning that simple word is the most freeing word in the dictionary. It’s harder to use with family but I’m trying. I’m with Laura on going outside more to relieve stress. Taking walks outside instead of on the treadmill is very freeing and somehow puts all the problems perspective.


  11. shanjeniah says:

    I like to hometend, or take hot showers, long walks, or play with my kids. When I was younger, and had much more trouble expressing my emotions, I used to crank Pink Floyd’s “The Wall”.

    Oh, and I write. Writing things out helps me to process them. It has since I was 7.

    Thanks for this thought-provoking post!


  12. Love this post Jenny! Without meditation, I don’t know where I’d be. haha! There’s something about just sitting in silence and doing nothing that just recalibrates us. Best medicine in the world 🙂


  13. You know, I never read the In-Flight magazines on a plane. Maybe the answers to the keys of life might be found in them. Now I must read one on next flight!


  14. Piper Bayard says:

    I lie down on my porch swing, wrap up in my favorite blanket, and rock myself while I listen to the wind in the trees and watch the squirrels. I think about everything I don’t know and can’t control, and it puts my little life and my little worries back into perspective.

    Aren’t those in-flight magazines cool? 🙂


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