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How Stress affects Creativity

It is possible to get bogged down by day-to-day matters of life and lose the zeal for living. Some studies have shown that an average person spends at least seventy percent of their day being stressed about something. Stress is when your body is dead of homeostasis (the ability to maintain a relatively stable internal state that persists despite changes in the world outside) balance.

Stress could take on different forms;

Physical: trauma, injury,

Chemical: bacteria, viruses, hangovers

Emotional: internet speed, mortgages, bills, traffic, heartbreak and so much more as evidenced down below:

I walked into the cold breeze of air conditioning on a hot day with sweat dripping down my back beneath my vest. The immaculately clean office was filled with a mixture of sweet fresh scents from colognes only worn by young attorneys with an ambition to build a Disruptive Law firm. My contract with the firm was coming to an end, we had achieved great strides in Organizational design and creating a foundation for innovation.  Amidst all this, Viola (not real names) was stressed. She was one of my key contacts doing a great job at influencing creativity and cultural change at the firm. I knew she was stressed because of the tone over the voice call the previous day. She had asked to see me.

After the pleasantries Viola spoke faintly, “Sudesh I am burnt out, the excitement is gone. I am simply surviving at this firm” Behind her smile you would see boredom.

Not wanting to dwell a lot on the problem, I asked, “So what are you going to do about the situation?”

“I am going to manipulate this law firm just like they do to me…Sudesh it is about survival in this business. No one cares

Viola is a representation of many innovators who lose zeal, get stressed and resort to survival.  For some, it is the pressure of losing excitement over an idea that takes long to get in cash needed run the business and take care of family.

But in light of the challenges, we are confronted with the truth: creativity never flows in stressful bodies and environments. All Organisms can adopt to some form of stress as long as it is short-term. The moment this stressful state is elongated we get into fight or flight mode. In order to keep stress minimal, you must understand how its anatomy.

A person living under stress like Viola will switch into survival mode-selecting worst case scenarios. Their behavior and emotional are planned on the premise that if the experience they get is less than what they anticipated then they have a better chance for survival. Hormones associated with stress create emotions of; anger, aggression, hostility, violence, frustration, hatred, fear anxiety, guilt, shame, hopelessness, powerlessness and depression. In turn, these emotions lead the person to become selfish. Science has also proved that hormones of persistent stress down regulate genes to create disease in the long-term.

It is very possible to live subconsciously in the past. Science tells us that Ninety five percent of who we are by the age of thirty-five is a set of habituations and unconscious. How does it happen?

Your environment (habitations, influences, exposure to knowledge, and events) determine two things in your life;

Thoughts: the language of the brain

Feelings: the language of the body.

How you think and feel in turn creates your state of being which we sometimes refer to as an experience or attitude. When an attitude makes relentless loops in your brain, it becomes hardwired forming a belief. It is impossible for you to believe what you have not thought and experienced.

All beliefs are based on past experiences. This hard-wired attitude(belief) creates habits. A Habit is decision you made at some point but stopped making yet you continued acting on. The sum total of your habits creates your lifestyle.

Next week I will show you how to overcome stress

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