Arti Agarwal | Is Your Stress Strangling Your Creativity?
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Is Your Stress Strangling Your Creativity?

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Is Your Stress Strangling Your Creativity?

Stress is the experience of being overwhelmed by the life in front of you. It stems from a belief that you do not have what it takes to deal with what life is presenting to you.

Stress is often related to hectic work schedules, tough deadlines, difficult people or trying circumstances. All these are the most common triggers for stress. But it is well worth remembering that these are only triggers, not the root cause of stress. The root cause of stress is not the outward circumstances. The root cause of stress is the inner belief that you do not have the ability to cope with the outer circumstances. The inner sense of lack is what actually causes stress.

Many people who get stressed, do so on a regular basis. They are not able to relax. They are so accustomed to being in a stressful state that they find it difficult to relax even when the circumstances are not as trying. Stress becomes a habit.

And this is how it strangles creativity. Creativity is the extension of a feeling of possibility about new things and situations. Creativity brings out new situations and options. Stress reduces them. Stress causes us to limit our thinking and somehow manage with what is already on our plate. Creativity works towards increasing what is on our plate from a high level of enthusiasm and excitement. Stress makes us feel low. Creativity makes us feel high.

Creativity is life affirmative. Stress is life negative.

So why do we feel stressed then? And what is the solution?


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The solution is in recognizing that stress is not caused by outer situations, but rather out perception of outer situations. Our own sense of impossibility that makes everything look difficult and unmanageable. When we recognize this, half the battle is won. Things dont look like they are written in stone anymore.

So we can try a small “game”.

Everyday, just believe something you thought impossible till now, and consciously believe and declare to yourself that it possible. Feel the lightness in your heart from that declaration. It can be something as small as your boss not getting mad at you over your mistake or something seemingly unsurmountable like you waking up early in the morning. Start with believing it is possible. Whatever ideas come up in the process of believing something as possible, clearly see that those our only your perceptions, not the fact.

“Why, sometimes I’ve believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast.”
― Lewis Carroll, Alice in Wonderland

Just practice being in the space of possibility. Possibility is the stuff that creativity is made of. A feeling of possibility dispels stress, just like water douses the fire.

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