All day, every day:
It seems like we’re all stressed about something. Maybe it’s money, or your health, or your parents’ health, or your kids’ behavior, or an unresolved conflict with a coworker at your high-pressure Washington DC job.
Whatever it is, it’s there. Stress.
It occupies your mind all day. Stress.
It keeps you up at night. Stress.
It’s affecting your creativity. Stress.
The burden of stress you bear may be affecting your creativity in ways you don’t even realize. Stress, and exposure to prolonged negativity can thwart your ability to effectively utilize that creative, problem-solving muscle: Your brain. Stress can also affect your productivity at work, which just leads to more stress.
More stress means less creativity; less creativity means lowered productivity.
Lowered productivity means more stress.
You’re starting to get my point here, yes?
The good news is this:
There are ways to minimize stress, and maximize creativity.
But before we can get to that, first we have to talk about how, physically, that pesky thing known as stress takes its toll on our bodies, on our psyches, and on our creativity.
Stress is a totally natural reaction to a threat, or something perceived to be dangerous; this ‘fight or flight’ response causes the body to be flooded with the hormones cortisol and epinephrine, which in turn inhibit the brain’s ability to function as it does otherwise. Creativity is depleted, and we soon find it difficult to locate the most logical solution to the issue at hand.
It’s a cycle, and a vicious one. When stress disrupts the creative, and logical functions of our brains, we become tunnel-visioned; and when we become tunnel-visioned, we become fixated on one specific element or stressor:
“If I had just done this, he wouldn’t have done that.”
“If I change this, everything will be better.”
I’m here to tell you that that’s not really going to solve anything.
Whatever the issues at the root of your stress, chances are it hasn’t been caused by one mistake; something’s just not working. Get out of that undo-redo loop.
Work to minimize the effects of stress.
Take a deep breath.
It really can be that simple.
Becoming more conscious of the way you breathe will prove to be helpful in your fight against stress. Meditate, and be mindful. Take up a yoga practice. Adopt these, and other healthy lifestyle habits. You’ll soon find yourself equipped to minimize your stress while maximizing creativity.
You can also schedule an appointment with one of our anxiety and stress therapists to talk further about reducing anxiety and stress in your life.