Does stress take the joy out of life? When you plan to start a task at work or at home, do you find yourself dreading the process?

Anxiety and negativity limit your experiences and thoughts, reducing your quality of life.

Harnessing your creative mind may be the answer.

Finding the creativity that’s within you is a gateway to stress-relief. #curbanxiety #kristinetherapyla Share on X

Here are some of the core reasons why creativity reduces anxiety and how to incorporate this into your own life (even if you’ve never picked up a paint brush – and never plan to!)


1. Creativity can employ your imagination in productive ways.

Anxiety wants you to use your imagination for playing out the worst case scenario or for finding the fault within your plan of action.

Expressing your own creativity or appreciating the creativity of others engages your imagination instead in an experience of wonder, excitement, and possibility.

Listening to music, reading a book, and watching live theatre are examples of appreciating creativity and engaging the imagination.

Writing, dancing, drawing, and taking meaningful photos are some ways that you can express yourself in creative ways.

When I feel stuck on a project, I am often pushing too hard to make something happen rather than connecting to the creative flow around me or within my own mind.

Find something that amazes you, excites you, and that connects you to possibilities to take the stress out of the task.

2. Creativity can connect you with others.

Anxiety can be isolating. It might limit your interactions with others and lower self-esteem over time.

Artistic expression requires a level of vulnerability. Even if what you do or create isn’t witnessed by someone else, being vulnerable in your own presence may allow you to better connect to others throughout your day.

Engaging and benefitting from a meaningful conversation also involves creative thinking and expression. If you’re feeling unfulfilled in your interactions with others, try breaking out of your comfort zone.

Get creative when you respond to someone in conversation. Challenge your pre-existing thoughts and beliefs about what a typical conversation should look like. Challenge yourself to be genuine in any given moment.

3. Creativity allows you to be unique.

Anxiety’s hold on you may cause you to feel lost in the crowd.

You may get stuck in the same day to day motions and emotions.

Anxiety can paralyze you in a maze of circular thinking, searching for the “right” answer. When you put your brush to canvas, literally or metaphorically, you can create something from your expressive heart rather than pushing for produce something with a critical mind.

Being creative offers a healthy reminder that here’s no “right” way for things to be done. Even if there are guidelines for particular creative mediums (like which notes play a C chord on the piano), the creativity comes alive when you break the rules and make something your own.

In whatever you do today, aim to be true to yourself rather than to be correct by external standards.

4. Creativity clears the mind for new ideas.

Mindfulness is a powerful self-care practice that helps many people experience relief from anxiety symptoms. In many ways, mindfulness is simply finding a balanced flow between focusing the mind carefully and opening the mind fully and letting it wander through new ideas.

Allowing yourself to be engrossed in a creative activity will involve both focus and imagination, creating a more mindful state.

As you go, you may notice a block in your mind flow (such as a critical thought that might typically send you spiraling into anxiety). Pause and focus on the task at hand. You’ll train your wandering mind to select more constructive thought patterns.

You also may just have a great time!

Do you doubt your own ability to be creative?

According to the Huffington Post, even coloring books are becoming more widely used as a stress relief tool for adults.

You can also bring creativity into your daily tasks. When you make dinner, get dressed, or step onto your yoga mat, create a new experience rather than grasping onto the rules of what “should” be done.

The discomfort you may feel at first will help you grow. To overcome the negative patterns of anxiety, there must be some risk involved. 

Allow yourself to be open to taking up a new creative habit. Anxiety probably doesn’t want you to jump right in, but you’re ready.

Will you push yourself out of your comfort zone and give it a try? Has your creativity ever helped reduce stress or anxiety symptoms in the past? Share your story.
Today I will be creative rather than correct. #curbanxiety #kristinetherapyla @kristinemft Share on X

Don’t hesitate to reach out to me to learn more about how to reduce anxiety’s negative impact on your life.

Contact me here.


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