Is Stress Causing You to be Less Creative?

[Originally published 05/30/2018, this post on creativity and stress remains as relevant as ever.]

One of the reasons I’m such a planner is that I’m not a big fan of drama or stress. I like to get to the airport 2 hours before my flight (like they recommend!!).

I like to set goals, create timelines and itemize out every task necessary to launch a new collection. I like to make my life, and the life of my team, smooth and easy.

If you are rolling your eyes thinking that I’m too “buttoned up” to have a beer with, let me set you straight. I do love to mix it up and challenge my creativity. I enjoy pushing the limits, learning new things and the challenge of a tight deadline. I’m into “constructive stress.”

The Surprising Relationship Between Stress and Creativity

In a Hubspot blog post titled, “The Surprising Relationship Between Stress and Creativity,” Braden Becker writes:

“The relationship between stress and creativity is not a toxic one. In fact, small doses of stress — like juggling multiple projects or working under a tight deadline — are likely to produce the best ideas because they motivate your brain to work toward specific goals.”

Braden writes about three different types of stress and their connection to creativity.

  1. The ‘Task-Switching’ Stress
  2. The ‘Meaningful’ Stress
  3. The ‘Deadline’ Stress

Here is the full article by Braden Becker that I think you might find useful:

My Thoughts

I’m not an expert on stress, but I do know how it plays out with my own creativity. Emotional stress can make my creativity feel like “a job.” If I don’t have the passion behind what I’m doing, it is best to just spend the day organizing my supplies or doing “production” like pieces instead of trying to attempt to be creative.

What About You?

What about you? How do you find that stress affects your creativity?

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2 thoughts on “Is Stress Causing You to be Less Creative?

  1. Vana Brown says:

    I completely agree with what you write about stress. I travel a lot and I like to have enough time in case something unexpected happen: the taxi is late, there is a train delay etc. It is a necessary luxury. Stress consumes energy and peace of mind which are good for creation.

  2. Michelle Gray says:

    I’m like you. When my mind is occupied with stressful things (relationships, finances, etc.), the only thing I can do is organize my stuff or do no-brainer tasks. This is actually a stress reliever because then I have taken something off my to-do list (mental or written).

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