Stress is necessary in order to accomplish goals and tasks in our lives. It provides motivation to study for a test or prepare for a job interview, but too much stress can feel overwhelming and can be disabling. It is important and worth the effort to find a good balance of stress in our lives.
However, it is easier to talk about minimizing stress than it is to accomplish. In today's world, stress seems to be a constant companion, and sometimes the advice to alleviate it can seem difficult and not relevant.
I find that being creative is helpful in reducing stress. Engaging our minds and hands in a creative pursuit can focus attention away from the stress and help us feel accomplished. In a recent article by Deepak Chopra and Kabir Sehgal, it was discovered that participants in a research study experienced a decrease in cortisol, the stress hormone, when they engaged in a creative activity. The researchers found that the subjects derived benefit from being creative regardless of how experienced or proficient they were in the artistic pursuit. Thus, anyone can become more calm from being creative.
In the same research study that I mentioned above, the researchers found, for example, that if you "lose yourself" in the composition of a song... you are essentially entering a healthy flow state." This flow state can decrease the feeling of stress and you can forget about the world around you for a little while.
These are just a few of the ways I use creativity to manage stress, but if you have your own methods, leave a comment! There are countless ways to be creative , so find one that works for you and try it out!
(And if you are wondering what my chocolate chip cookie recipe is, here's the modified Pillsbury recipe):
Heat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Beat brown sugar, sugar, butter and shortening until mixed. Then add vanilla and egg, mix well. Then add the rest of the dry ingredients and mix again. Put in the chocolate chunks and stir them in. It's best to put the dough in the fridge for twelve to twenty-four hours for the perfect cookies, but if you're impatient you can bake them right then and there. Drop the cookies onto an ungreased cookie sheet and bake for 8-10 minutes or until they are golden brown on the edges. Let them cool on the cookie sheet for a minute and then enjoy!
1. Sehgal, Deepak Chopra and Kabir. "Science Shows How Creativity Can Reduce Stress." Entrepreneur, 15 Sept. 2017, www.entrepreneur.com/article/300347
By Sarah McCarren, RN, MSN, CPNP
Music and the optimization of attention have been a regular debate in my household. I have always known...
Flu season this year has been robust! If you were one of the potentially 35 million Americans infected with influenza this season, you are aware of...
Did you have a good day? Were you happy? What moved you to laughter? Are you at peace? Are you joy-filled? As you read this blog, think about these questions. Do you notice the difference in questions that are...