Is Stress Impacting your Creativity?
Have you noticed that it's been especially difficult to access your creativity the last few years?
If so, you are not imagining it. There is a relationship between stress and creativity.
Your brain and body perceive creativity as optional. So, when we are in a stress response, the body pulls energy away from optional functions and sends energy towards the parts of the body that it perceives will best protect you from the threat----your heart starts racing, your breathing rate increases, blood flows to your arms and legs---the mobilizing energy of Fight or Flight.
If these strategies don't work, the body can activate different or additional responses, such as Freeze and Flop to numb the inevitable danger.
Which is all to say that your creativity will take a back seat.
And most of us, in recent years, have experienced challenges maintaining a calm state. Our nervous system, even when it does relax, is landing at a higher setpoint than it may have in the past, so we never fully go into a calm state. You can see how that may be taking a toll on your creativity.
But good news, my friends, good news...
The body and brain are a two-way street. They speak to one another in a cyclical manner, which means that when we engage in a creative act, even if we are feeling stressed, it sends a signal to the brain that we are safe, and the brain and body respond accordingly and relax. It thinks, "well, surely we are not in danger if we are doing macrame."
In my own pursuit of calm, I employed this technique this weekend. I felt the slight impulse to get some flowers and dress the table for dinner. So, I decided to run with it. And it totally worked. Moving into my creative brain for an hour reminded my body that, in this moment, I am safe and secure and everything felt a little calmer for a while.
This is the same technique as altering your breath to calm your nervous system, which as a Breathworker I heartily encourage you to also do! In the meantime, grab your closest creative project and let it work its magic on your brain and body.