How to Balance Stress with Creativity

Balance Stress with Creativity.

Creativity has the power to calm the most turbulent of minds. It has the ability to bring vibrancy, challenge old narratives, and provide a space of rest. With all of the complexities of daily life, it can be easy for stress to take over and stifle new ideas and solutions. Self-expression is a wonderful practice that can help to revitalize and bring clarity to both your work and personal life. Whether you choose to channel your thoughts through paint, dance, writing, photography, or some other outlet, there are many benefits for implementing creativity into your daily routine. 

Taking a Moment of Pause

In recent decades, it has become clearer than ever how art can improve mental health and reduce negative emotions such as stress. In a recent study published by the Journal of the American Art Therapy Association, researchers asked 40 participants to create anything that they wanted in a 45 minute time span. The results of this study showed that “no matter the artistic experience of the participants, about 75 percent experienced a decrease in their levels of cortisol, a hormone that the body secretes to respond to stress”.1 By letting go of everything but the present moment and immersing oneself in creating something new, you are giving your mind some much needed rest. By allowing yourself a moment of pause, untangling the stress in your mind and body, becomes much easier. While in flow with your creativity, the only thing to exist is your connection with the task at hand. 

Breaking Routine 

Taking time to immerse yourself in a creative activity, can help break out of a routine that often leads to feeling stuck or aimless. A creative practice is an energizing boost to everyday life that opens a door to exciting new insights, newfound curiosities, and a fresh perspective on the stressors in your life. 

Partaking in playful creativity can be immensely rewarding as it can encourage stepping outside of old habits, challenging pre-existing expectations, and developing confidence in your vision going forward. By letting go of what isn’t continuing to serve you and choosing to express your best every day, a calm, stress-free sense of purpose will begin to emerge. 

How to Include Creative Expression into Your Routine

  • Journaling - take 15-30 minutes out of your day to write or sketch in your journal. Don’t think too hard about what you are putting on paper, let everything flow freely!
  • Cooking - Let yourself be creative in the kitchen! Try new flavors or experiment with a new recipe. 
  • Expand your mind - Take dance lessons, learn knitting, try pottery throwing. Attempt something new!

Get creative! I encourage you to go to to see what ValYou speaks to. Reflect on this ValYou through whatever creative means you choose.