What is the connection between stress and creativity?
Let us first understand what exactly stress is. Stress is a fight or flight response of the mind triggered because of fear. The fear can be real or perceived. When the mind is gripped by fear, it can race faster than normal; making it extremely difficult to stay focused and relaxed. In a way, stress is the absolute destroyer of our sanity.
When at manageable levels, stress mostly goes unnoticed. This is mainly due to the busy nature of our lifestyle. Stress even at moderate levels can affect our performance and state of mind. Since we are constantly running around, we simply forget to notice the moderate effects of stress. This is a much bigger problem than we would like to accept.
Thorough out the day and even during the nights our mind is constantly in stress. Our mind is constantly chasing something or trying to run away from something. This constant running and chasing creates stress. Over many years of this constant running, stress builds to eventually become a chronic problem sapping our vital energy and creativity.
Let us wind our minds back to our childhood. Let us answer one question very sincerely. Are we more creative now or were we more creative when we were children? Of course we were more creative during our growing up years. The sheer amount of learning that has happened in our early years of life is a proof of this. We have solved more problems during the first 5 years of our lives than in the last 25 years combined.
The reason for our constantly decreasing energy levels, enthusiasm and creativity is the underlying constant stress that has become an integral part of our lives. Stress has become such an integral part of our lives that it now takes considerable effort for us to recognize its adverse effects on our mind and body. Stress has become so much a part of us that we have accepted it as our reality.
Complacency towards constant stress has made it immune and strong. It is becoming more and more difficult to identify and deal with stress. Creativity is a natural state of the mind. When the mind is not in fear, it wants to solve problems; it wants to use its energies to positively express itself in many ways. A stress free mind is a creative mind.
Creativity is not a domain of life. It is an essential and integral quality of our being. We are a part of the creative force of existence. Not only we are a part of the creative expression of existence, the existence is also a part of our creative expression. Fear can completely drown this creative force by not allowing us rest and relax. How can we be creative when we are constantly running around? When the mind is racing faster than normal, it is impossible for it to be creative. Since stress causes the mind to race faster, it is the biggest enemy of creativity.