Creativity for Countering Stress
Both clearing the mind and focusing so intensely on something that you can’t think of anything else — such as when you’re being creative — reduces stress, said Dr. Michael Roizen, chief wellness officer for the Cleveland Clinic.
“For those people who focus on creativity — on creative writing or writing a poem or whatever it is — they’re absolutely consumed by that at the time they’re doing it,” he said. And that level of focus counters stress. ~KAREN WEINTRAUB, bostonglobe.com
How many of us are looking for ways to deal with the stress of of modern life? We are bombarded by stressors: traffic, social media, the news, our busy schedules, our jobs, and, generally, our lives. Striving to maintain a sense of calm in the midst of it all can become more and more difficult. All of this stress puts a strain on our brains. Stress can hinder our cognitive abilities particularly in the prefrontal cortex, that part of the brain responsible for decision making, and self-control.
So what do we do about this? Sleep is extremely important. Moving our bodies to increase blood flow is also. I have heard a doctor prescribe visits with friends. All of this helps but many new studies are finding that creativity is an especially restorative way to rest our brains. Test subjects in one study were found to have lower levels of cortisol after just 40 minutes of creative time.
Think about that thing that you enjoy where you can 'turn your brain off' for a little while. Do you love to write? Read poetry or write it? Take photos? Scribble in a journal? Knit or crochet? How about planting a garden, or even strolling through one? Do you need words? Does color work for you? Take some time to consider what creative thing you love to do. Give yourself permission to take the creative break you need.
If you are looking for a way to add creativity to your life, Art&Soul's workshops will give you 2.5 hours to spend in color and self-expression. If you bring a friend, you will have added two methods of stress control! (Go to the contact page to send a question about discounts for bringing a friend.)
Give yourself the break you need while learning to express yourself freely with the language of color.
As Georgia O'Keeffe said, "I found I could say things with color and shapes that I couldn't say any other way - things I had no words for."
Click on this link for information on upcoming Art&Soul workshops.