Stress can dampen one’s creativity in a manner too fast not many people would even notice it creating an impact. Problems in personal relationships, financial woes, physical illness and dealing with a difficult boss at work- these are just few examples of things that can cause much stress and even anxiety in many people. Exposure to these negative events in life can hinder one’s ability to think of creative ways to solve issues and achieve higher productivity. The good thing is that there are plenty of natural ways that will help us get rid of stress. So, before stress starts to zap your physical and mental energy better continue reading first.
How Stress Affects our Creativity
Stress naturally occurs when our body perceives that a threat or something dangerous is imminent. This so called “threat” can be in a form of a project deadline, a financial problem or an argument with a lover. As the body becomes exposed to these negative scenarios an individual’s fight or flee response becomes activated thereby flooding the body with a lot of stress hormones. When this occurs, the brain gets disrupted and unable to think right, leaving us with feelings of anxiety that will only lead our minds to thinking that we are in a worst case scenario. Once these negative thoughts occupy our mind, our creativity gets depleted. In turn, we find ourselves having difficulty in reaching for the most logical solution to the issue at hand.
Stress Makes us Tunnel-Visioned
Another negative effect of stress is that it increases our tendency to become tunnel-visioned. This is when our minds become too focused on the negative events that are currently happening. As a result, just like a “tunnel” we will never be able to see other positive angles of a certain event leaving no room for creativity to penetrate our thoughts. Becoming tunnel-visioned due to stress will make us get caught up inside a loop that keeps us going back to the same problem and unable to think of a solution. This only shows how stress negatively impacts our decision-making skills.
When Stress Blocks Our Creativity
As earlier mentioned, stress disrupts the functioning of our brain and it leads us to become tunnel-visioned. This explains why an individual who is under stress will find himself becoming fixated on having to redo and undo a specific flaw in a certain project, unable to realize that something is just not working and that he needs to find other ways to complete the task. Instead of being stuck in a loop of undoing and redoing things over and over again one should decide on moving forward by looking for other better ways to get things done.
Other Negative Effects of Stress
When you say that stress is good because it keeps you on your toes, then you have to make sure first that the stress you are experiencing is only within mild to moderate level. Going beyond the normal levels of stress is often associated with job dissatisfaction, emotional exhaustion and other counterproductive behaviors. The costs associated with too much exposure to stress have become a cause of great concern to many health experts. It affects not just an individual, but it can also have dire consequences to an organization and the society as a whole. When stress is left unabated, it can make an individual at high risk of suffering from hypertension, sleeping problems, mental fatigue, anxiety, depression – just to name a few.
How to Ward off the Effects of Stress
If you are constantly battling with stress, never take the chemical route right away. You have to try all the natural ways of staving off any symptoms of stress first so you can be spared from the side effects of prescription medications and other stress-relieving drugs. It would also be helpful if you practice deep breathing technique. Becoming more conscious on the way you breathe will prove to be helpful in your fight against stress. Avoid breathing in a shallow manner. Practice deep breathing techniques and indulge in activities that will allow you to become more conscious on your manner of breathing such as Yoga and meditation.
Deep breathing technique in conjunction with other healthy lifestyle habits can greatly spare one from the cudgels of stress. Find ways to kick away stress before it starts kicking away your creativity.