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  • Filip Sjöström

How stress is stopping you from being creative


What is creativity? Is it something you are borned with? Is it something you can improve?

From a lot of reading and a lot of personal experience I have reached some conclusions.


To start with my own journey, I have always been creative. When looking back I can see that I have come up with many great ideas of what to do and what to create, but haven't followed through. I believe this is very common today - people coming up with ideas but never do anything about them. When I meet people that claims to be very creative, but never do anything about them I have noticed a pattern: These people are mostly often high on self confidence, but low on self esteem. They are mostly often very insecure people looking for approval and confirmation from the outside environment. There is also a pattern of high levels of stress in these people. And it's also a description of how I used to be.


I believe that in these cases, we have become addicted to creating ideas. Our brain is constantly activated, looking for new ways of solving problems, taking us closer to something we are addicted to having. This is not true creativity - but rather our conscious brain trying to protect us from the pain we are scared of feeling. For myself this has lead me into being a great thinker - but not a great doer. I have fled into learning and thinking - since thinking and coming up with great solutions to problems and planning on how to execute them has given me security and certainty.


What I have come to realize is that true creativity comes from the unconscious mind when we relax and let the conscious mind rest. The biggest breakthroughs in times of stress and frustration have always taken place through relaxation. When taking a vacation, and on the airport ideas keep popping up in my mind. When taking a walk through the forest without listening to anything and not even bringing my phone. When sitting in the sauna after an intense workout session or being deep into meditation, answers keep popping up. I have learned the hard way - true answers will not come when we force them. True answers will only come when we let go of being dependent upon the answers. Dependency and addictions will always stand in the way and stop us from getting what we really want. If we are scared of being alone it will prevent us from feeling connected. If we are scared of failing we will never succeed completely. I met with a woman the other week who had been struggling for a long time with getting pregnant. The same week she decided to adopt a child - she got pregnant. What does this tell us? That the stress, the struggle and the fear of not getting pregnant actually stopped her from getting what she wanted. It's the same with everything.


In order to expand our creativity I believe we need to let go of stress. I believe we need to actively practice relaxation and build the habit of getting back to it in times of stress. Stress isn't something dangerous, it is the balance between stress and recovery that's important. And from this relaxation true creativity and answers will arise - and it will take your life to a completely different level.


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