Creativity to Release Stress
Have you ever seen an article or study suggesting a link between physical exertion and stress relief? One of the primary reasons so many people workout, I believe, is indeed stress relief. Did you know, however, that creative outlets can also be helpful to relieve stress? James Clear summarizes this well in his article Make More Art: The Health Benefits of Creativity. Indeed, I’ve experienced stress relief through a variety of creative outlets myself.
So if we know something is good for us why wouldn’t we do more of it?
What holds us back?
- Fear of failure - Maybe it’s the first time we’ve picked up a paintbrush since 3rd grade. The first thing that goes through our minds is “I’m not the artistic type” or “This is going to turn out horribly." Creativity is much like exercise: you wouldn’t run a marathon without first training nor will you be able to execute a perfect painting (if there even is such a thing) the first time. We are rarely good at things the first time we do them. Is that a reason not to try?
- Fear of judgement - We often self-criticize and worry what others will think of our work. The cool thing about creative outlets for stress is that you never have to show your work to another soul if you don’t want. I wrote in a journal for 20 years of my life and never showed any of it to anyone. It was mine and mine alone. Being creative to find connection with your heart only requires that you do it, not share it.
- Not enough time - We’ve all used this rationale for so many things. Indeed, there will never be more time for creativity... unless we value the experience and understand the benefit. Try it. Experiment to see what you feel while you’re being creative. Do you feel a release? Did you discover something new about yourself?
When was the last time you let your imagination wonder? You know, like you did when you were a kid. No boundaries. No restrictions. Just freedom to explore.
As adults, our ability to think creatively becomes stagnate as we allow our fears to place the restrictions upon ourselves.
I wouldn’t describe myself as the “creative” type either.
I would describe myself as a person who seeks creative outlets to release my fears and to discover my heart. Here are some avenues I’ve been drawn to throughout the years.
- Writing: I’ve mentioned writing repeatedly because it has been present in some form or fashion for nearly all of my life. I’ve only just decided in the last year to begin sharing it with all of you.
- Coloring: Sometimes you just need to soothe your mind with the repetition of a pencil or crayon. (See below.)
- Photography: I’ve shared my love of photography with you too. I’m enjoying discovering the world from new angles and new perspectives. With just the shift of a camera angle, my whole world can change.
- Organizing: Organization may not seem "creative" and may sound ridiculous to some, but I get so much joy from finding creative ways to live in small places and still maintain functionality. It stimulates my brain and makes me think outside the box of transitional methods.
- Candle making: I’m getting adventurous over the holidays and have decided to make soy candles. First time, so I’ll have to let you know how it goes!
What piques your interests and creative side? What have you been wanting to try something new but haven’t yet taken the plunge? Is there something that’s been calling to you for release and exploration? Go, my friends, and do. Express yourself, find a release, and you might be surprised to find a whole lot more while you’re there.