Do you ever feel stressed? Honestly, I think I feel it every day. Between trying to be a great dad, at least as good of a husband as my wife’s friends husbands, being a leader for my team, finances, sickness, relationships, job stuff, fighting for the best creative ideas, oh, and Sunday is like 4 minutes away at all times! Just writing this paragraph is stressing me out!
Stress is real, and the effects of stress on our creativity is equally as real! Pressure is one of the fastest ways to deplete your creative energy. Our bodies are forced to manage these emotions. Our body identifies stress as a danger, a threat to our well being and our body wants to choose to fight these feelings or to run away and to flee them. As we navigate our brains, tend to drift to negative thinking and worse case scenarios. Worse, often, our brains trick us to focus on the problem and narrow our perspective. We stop seeing other solutions, unique views of the problem, the actual creative stuff that makes you remarkable! Don’t believe me? The New York Times ran an article a few years ago that showed how stress impacts our decision-making ability.
“…regions of the brain associated with executive decision-making and goal-directed behaviors had shriveled… the rodents were now cognitively predisposed to keep doing the same things over and over…‘Behaviors become habitual faster in stressed animals than in the controls, and worse, the stressed animals can’t shift back to goal-directed behaviors when that would be the better approach,’ Dr. Sousa said. ‘I call this a vicious circle.’”
Stress puts us in a cycle that is destroying our creative ability.
It is why we keep coming up with the same answers instead of new ones! So how do we avoid flight or fight in these critical moments?
Pray – Step back. God is not a God of confusion. He can calm your mind, spirit, and brain. Not only can He, but he also wants to do this for you!
Settle – You have to de-escalate your body. Meditation can help or just breathing exercises. Close your eyes and take deep breaths as you feel stress entering your system.
Walk – If you can, walk away for a few minutes. Take a few laps around the office, if you can, go outside and get in nature. Fresh air and trees calm you. Pause is a power button that you have in your life, and you are allowed to use it. Breaks improve your work and Daniel Pink’s book, WHEN, talks a lot about this concept.
Perspective – Don’t react, respond to the moment. You are not as close to the ledge as you think. Trust the instincts God has given you and the creativity you have been building in your life for years. The gift of being creative is a gift with the ability to adapt, adjust, see things differently, and problem solves uniquely. It is who God made you be and how He wired you!
Emotional feelings, stress, anxiety, etc., are genuine. God’s desire is for you to live free and in His presence. He made you as a creative being, and He loves you. He wants to help you manage your feelings, today, and that is a good thing. Lean on Him, trust Him, allow Him into your process. The more efficiently you manage your stress, the more creative you will remain. Be your best today.
You Matter And I Believe In You!