Is Stress Impacting Your Creativity?
Here are the essential keys to stress reduction and opening creative flow:
Being overly stressed is a major drawback faced by the majority of people in our modern way of life. Much research has therefore been invested into understanding how stress affects the brain and body. In and of itself, stress is not actually a bad thing, so long as it is experienced only in short doses.
Temporary stress or application of pressure can actually aid you in enhancing performance, improving memory, and accessing abilities you may not even realize you have.
However, extensive stress is very detrimental to your wellbeing, both physical and mental. Chronic stress has been linked to causing various illnesses, including stomach ulcers, digestive issues, heart problems, high blood pressure, decreased libido, weakened immune system, inhibited growth processes, and more. It essentially stops the normal functioning of the body in order to channel all resources into handling whatever perceived threat is causing the stress.
So how do you access creativity without adding additional stress to your life?
First it is important to realize that you don’t have to strain or wrack your brain for that next creative idea or innovation. Stressing yourself out is quite counter-productive to the whole process. Rather than stressing to pull out an idea from your head, you can simply choose to loosen up and allow it to come through you.
By training yourself to relax the body and brain at will, you can drastically reduce the effects of stress and open up the circuits within you again to allow for greater access to creativity and wellbeing.
Research has shown that brain activity begins to change within just a few days of learning to meditate, decreasing stress, improving your mood, and supporting your health in many ways.
Upon relaxing and closing the eyes, yet still remaining awake, we quiet down the cortex, and the brain begins to be flooded by what are known as Alpha brainwaves (neural oscillations rhythmically varying between 7-13 Hz, beats per second). This carries our awareness deeper into the sub-cortical regions of the brain.
Such shifting from the outer to the inner, by closing the eyes and tuning in to more subtle awareness, bridges us to the deeper limbic regions of the brain, where the reward centers lie. It is in this state that you are best able to hear the quiet thoughts in the back of your mind revealing an insight.
In addition to meditation, other useful approaches that can open us up to being more receptive and allowing of creative flow include: spending time in nature, listening to inspiring music, dancing, singing, drawing or painting feelings (with no particular object in mind), stimulating the five senses, or in other words, living a romantic life. Check out our Creative Alchemy CD, a guided meditation that helps you to access higher states of consciousness and reach your goals.
Other essential keys for allowing creativity to flow include:
By learning to allow, creative people become fluent at generating new ideas. Fluency connotes fluidity and flow. Training ourselves to traverse through the multiple dimensions of mind with ease and fluency comes from learning to access higher states of consciousness regularly. In addition, it is about building the bridges that connect different levels of the brain in order to bring greater ability to traverse its vast terrain.
-Capturing the moment
It is a very worthwhile practice to keep a notepad or recorder with you at all times, especially in the car, the shower, by your bedside, in your gym pack, in your purse or wallet, and be sure to record the little insights that surface when they arise.
If you wait until later when it is more “convenient” to write it down, chances are you will have forgotten part of the brilliance of that creative idea or insight that came up. Whenever and wherever an insight surfaces, be sure to capture the moment.
-Optimism and Trust
Having a positive attitude of optimism and trust is essential to allowing the flow to continue unimpeded. Negativity such as pessimism, worry, judgment, criticism, and control will very quickly stifle creativity and put a damper on any motivation that was there (whether in yourself or those you lead).
Re-patterning your habitual thoughts from negative thinking to positive thinking is just as important as rewiring your physical behaviors. Such positive reinforcement will also help you keep yourself and those you lead motivated.