Creative Stress Busting


We all know all too well that stress takes a toll on our well-being- Physical, mental, emotional and even spiritual areas of our life suffer.

Where does stress come from? Many of us assume it 'happens' to us, coming at us from our external environment: tight deadlines, rude people, shortage of money or time and so on. But did you ever notice how sometimes we handle the very same things easily and confidently, while at other times we freak out? What has changed? It's how we are thinking about it- where we put our mental focus, and how well we are equiped to handle the circumstance.

I have multiple projects going on at any given time. So despite a well-structured filing system in my office, if I don't put my paper project files away, they just pile up and litter my workspace.I justify it as 'creative clutter' (ha!). No problem, until I have to find something I need NOW and can't, or have a surprise guest that embarrasses me into noticing my mess. All the sudden, it stresses me wildly. So what's going on here?
Nothing changed in the external environment. What changed was my perception of accessability to the information in one case and acceptable norms (of messiness) in the other. Notice how the remedy, what I do about what is stressing me, is different depending on what triggered my stress. In the first case I'll decide to set aside a block of time and file the papers so I know where I can get access quickly next time. In the case of a surprise guest, I'll group my projects and place them one on top of the other in a box, promising myself to get to them later. Hmmm; or maybe,...more drastic measures are called for?