What creativity has to do with stress-relief?

I have been writing a book for a couple of years. For a long time, I had a thought that I would like to write, but I didn’t allow it to myself. I thought that only real authors can, and are allowed to write, and I had neither the training, nor the gift for the job.

Nobody can give us the right to create

And that’s what we often think, I guess. Only artists are creative, and creativity doesn’t live inside us normal mortal humans.

As Brené Brown says:

”There’s no such thing as creative people and non-creative people. There are only people who use their creativity and people who don’t."

Nobody can give us the right to be creative, we all have it from birth. But we need to give the right to ourselves. Not because we aim to create a masterpiece, but for the sake of creativity itself.

It might be about freedom

Finally, when gave myself the right to write a couple of years ago, and specifically allowed myself to write very poorly, I noticed how much joy and goodness it brought to my life. Writing is a space where I can just be, in that moment, sucked into a story, getting something out that I didn’t know I had inside.

Brown says, that: ”The only unique contribution that we will ever make in this world will be born of our creativity”. When we bring out this contribution, no matter how small and mundane it may be, we experience a sense of meaningfulness.

After all, creativity might be about freedom. I can create a piece of the world that I want to see and touch. I can do whatever I want, how ever I want to do it.

Creative work relieves stress

When talking about stress relief, I think it’s important to choose to work on the kind of creative stuff that one enjoys. Creativity goes often hand in hand with those things that we find pleasant and relaxing, such as gardening, dancing, drawing, playing musig, assembling puzzles, knitting, baking, and so on.

Creativity goes often hand in hand with those things that we find pleasant and relaxing

It’s precisely the enjoyable creative work that’s been known to lower the level of stress hormone. And it isn’t about whether others find it enjoyable or not, but about us feeling good in working with our thing.

Enjoyable creative work looks different for each of us. Unfortunately all of us have tough memories from moments that we had the courage and drive to create something, that wasn’t welcomed with as much admiration that we would have needed in that moment. Furthermore, we are often highly self-critical towards our own creativity. Whatever we intend to create must be excellent to have the right to exist.

Indeed, creativity goes hand in hand with vulnerability exactly because we are giving birth to something that didn’t exist before. The outcome of our creativity has come from inside us, thus being especially vulnerable under critical eyes.

Stress-relief in focus, it might not be a great idea to jump into this kind of work that raises feelings of insecurity, shame and inferiority

Be curious, be free

That said, I think it’s highly important to try out also those forms of creativity that raises fear and discomfort in us.

When we are curious, we can try out things without the need to be world class in whatever we are doing. When we are curious, we can create and suck and it’s OK.

The point is not to create a masterpiece, but to notice how it feels to create without any expectations on the outcome.

What would it feel like to do it just for fun and see what comes up?

I think these moments have the potential to bring out great insights of ourselves and our limiting beliefs. When we allow ourselves something that we have denied before, it can be surprising what other things might surface as well. When we allow ourselves this freedom to be, we are showing us in a concrete way that that we are enough just as we are.

As a building block for stress-relief, there aren’t many things more important than that.

How could you bring a little bit of creativity into your day?

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