Thursday, August 23, 2007

Stress and Creativity

Creativity is a weird animal. Not only is it a muscle that must be used in order to hone it and get it to give you more, but it can also be very capricious. It can drive you to distraction, prove stubborn, or send you down avenues you don't want to go on because you were supposed to be going up. At times, it can feel like a living thing, which stares over your shoulder - sometimes laughing with you, sometimes at you.:P

Stress is another strange animal. Per the Farlex Free Dictionary, stress is a mentally or emotionally disruptive or upsetting condition occurring in response to adverse external influences and capable of affecting physical health, usually characterized by increased heart rate, a rise in blood pressure, muscular tension, irritability, and depression.

Stress can build in a person over time, or punch you in the gut all at once, depending on the circumstances. Symptoms, as might be inferred from the definition, can be far and wide. Almost as many as can be found for PMS! (Yes, there are hundreds if not thousands - believe it!)

And as different and varied as creativity may seem when compared to stress, you'd think one would have nothing to do with the other. Au contraire! Despite popular belief, they are not mutually exclusive! And though you might be able to have stress because you have no creativity - it is very possible to have a ton of creativity while drowning in stress! (Having the time to do something about the creativity spurt is something else altogether though! Ooo, more stress!)

Oh, I can feel your disbelief! Indeed I can. But it doesn't make it wrong. And to be honest, if you give it a shot, you might find that trying to be creative while stressed will not only yield results but will help you relax!

I can't count the number of times when after a long stressful day, I might be on my way home or about to go to sleep, when either some wild haired workable idea or a solution to some sticky plot point will just pop into my head seemingly out of nowhere and demand attention. These past few weeks, which have had me so stressed my whole body aches, have also been great for my writing (when I've been able to sneak some in that is - thank goodness for sticky notes!). It's also been something I could use to escape and forget about things I can do nothing about and actually CALM DOWN! Even better, I've been able to use the stress and its effects on me as an informational source! (Gotta use what you're given, you know?)

So the next time you're feeling the weight of responsibility, of things you can't control, or life in general is making you tense, exercise that creative muscle and reap in the benefits while you can! Even stress now has a silver lining. Spin it for all it's worth! Booyah!

Disclaimer - no drugs or stimulants were taken during the creation of this post. Results may vary. Create responsibly.

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