Embracing Creativity: Stress-Buster Extraordinaire

Jessica is a high school English teacher.  Her job entails stressful interactions with administration and students in addition to the pressures of lesson planning and grading.

On days off, she prioritizes creative pursuits.  She makes collages out of artifacts from world travels to Turkey and South America.  She takes dance classes.  Photography provides another way to untangle her mind from the pressures of her daily teaching work.

Jessica says that creativity gives her a chance to play—to do something where the stakes are low and there’s no judgment.  “Without these creative outlets I would be a lot less fun in the classroom and less open to the whimsical creativity of my students,” she says.  “I’d definitely be more stressed out and wouldn’t enjoy teaching so much.”

As Jessica’s story shows, in a fast-paced world, creativity can be a fantastic tool for reducing stress.  Whether we make collages, plant a garden, toss paint onto a canvas or play the guitar—stress tends to go out the window when we let our creativity run wild.

Why Incorporate Creativity into our Daily Lives?
According to Ruth Richards, author of Everyday Creativity, creativity is necessary and attainable for everyone.  It is “one of the most powerful capacities we have, bringing us alive in each moment, affecting our health and wellbeing, offering richness and alternatives in what we do, and helping us move further in our creative and personal development.”

Exploring, experimenting, playing and entering the unknown—through anything from travel to taking an improv class to cooking—are all ways to practice creativity.  You can also incorporate creativity into the workplace, finding ways to add spark and delight to otherwise mundane activities.  For example, give yourself time to daydream at work if possible.  Experiment with new ideas and ask questions.  One newspaper editor encourages his staff to indulge their creative side through humor, listening to music and brainstorming sessions because it leads to better work, an assertion seconded by many business experts.

The Importance of “Flow”
Creativity also leads to experiencing “Flow,” which studies show is beneficial, says Elissa Bowes-Arbeitman, an art therapy consultant.  “Flow refers to a state of being completely engaged in something to the point of being in a near meditative state, leaving you much less stressed when you are done.  You can experience this feeling when you are doing creative activities like writing and gardening.  You can also experience this feeling from engaging in the creative art-making process,” she says. 

So, invent a new dessert, write a song or travel to Tuscany!  It just might mean the difference between stressing out to the max—and getting sick in the process—or living out your days happier and healthier!  What have you got to lose, other than your stress?

Author’s content adapted under license, ©2008 Claire Communications

About djwlifecoach

As a retired board-certified coach, author and Reiki master teacher, I continue to share hope, possibilities and empowerment with the world. What's love got to do with minimizing stress and getting unstuck? Everything! My book, "Choose Your Energy: Change Your Life!" (Hay House/Balboa Press 2013) shares my story and the stories of 10 of my clients along with my signature Discovery Framework. During my 30 years as an organization transformation consultant, I served as a senior partner in four of the world's largest, most prestigious global professional services firms. In 2005, I took a five-year sabbatical to find healing and peace because non-stop work had taken its toll. My recovery from burnout, including a sustained 80-pound weight loss and freedom from 10 years of debilitating depression, led to finding my purpose sharing hope, possibilities and empowerment with the world. Through healing and self-exploration, I discovered that loving yourself unconditionally is the key to transforming your personal life, your work and the world. With attention and intention, I learned to live in alignment with love through a wealth of energy-shifting tools and techniques that help me reduce stress, anxiety and overwhelm by releasing limiting beliefs, emotions and habits. My books, blog and radio episodes help individuals and organizations harness the transformative energy of love to turn unexplored possibilities into fulfilling realities and step into their greatness. Learn more and access FREE resources at djwlifecoach.blog. For fun, I love singing, reading, sewing, knitting, golfing and movies. I live in Williamsburg, Virginia with my husband, Wilson, and the coaching cats who manage my life—SiddhaLee and Maisy Jane.
This entry was posted in All My Blog Posts, Creativity & Self-Expression, Joy & Vitality, Stress, Perfectionism & Burnout and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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