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STRESS


“Stress is the trash of modern life. We all generate it, but if you don’t dispose of it properly, it will pile up and overtake your life.” - Danzae Pace


Prompt:

Stress is everywhere all of the time, and it has a significantly negative impact on creativity. For this week, I’d like to track our stress day to day and think if we have any strategies to manage it in order to preserve our creative freedom.


My answer:

I always have a low level of stress… fire season, animal care, travel, etc… one of the reasons I got horses (although they give me a lot of stress in reality) was because I know that interacting with them is the best stress reliever I know. They teach presence. And a presence practice (meditation, etc) is my favorite form of stress management.


Thoughts and Actions:


Types of Stress

There are two types of stress:

  1. Emotional – types of emotional stress are relationship problems, pressure at work, financial worries, or a major life change.

  2. Physical – Examples of physical stress include being sick, having pain, not sleeping well, or recovery from an injury.


Fight or Flight:

Sudden or ongoing stress activates your nervous system and floods your bloodstream with adrenaline and cortisol, two hormones that raise blood pressure and increase heart rate. These changes pitch your body into a fight or flight response. That enabled our ancestors to outrun threats, and it’s helpful even today for situations like dodging a car accident. But most modern chronic stressors, such as finances or a challenging relationship, keep your body in that heightened state, which undermines your health and creativity.


Effects of Too Much Stress:

If constantly under stress, most of us will eventually start to function less well.  

  • Poor sleep. 

  • Unexplained weight loss or gain. 

  • Feelings of isolation or worthlessness. 

  • Constant irritability. 

  • Loss of interest in things you love. 

  • Worrying or obsessive thinking. 

  • Inability to concentrate.


Many artists experience the drive to create as something essential to their well-being.

It turns out, objectively, that they may be on to something. Scientists have long been interested in the link between mental resilience and making art. 


Making music and writing have been proven to boost the immune system through various studies. And, engaging in any kind of art activity has the potential to support cognitive function. 


Ways to Cope with Chronic Stress:

1. Rebalance Work and Play

2. Get Regular Exercise

3. Eat Well and Limit Alcohol/Stimulants

4. Connect with Supportive People (or a professional)

5. Carve Out Hobby Time

6. Practice Meditation, Stress Reduction or Breathing Exercises

7. Sleep Enough

8. Take a Break




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