And how you can manage stress in 5 (fun) minutes
I don’t mean to be flippant by saying that stress is in your head, because I actually know how real it can be. So real that it burned out my adrenals, leaving me with chronic hormonal issues.
Yet I recently got a whole new perspective on stress from one of my first teachers at the Fearless Living Institute — Bill Grout.
I was at the annual Fearless Living Retreat for all of their mentors, coaches, and coaching students. (I’ve mentioned before that I am a Master Certified Fearless Living Coach, Mentor, and Trainer.)
Bill was in the front of the room, as he often is, and he shared a wonderful piece of wisdom with us. And it’s so good that I’m sharing it with you.
When Bill said that, I immediately connected it to Creatives. As a Creative, we hold so much in our heads — our inspiration, our dreams, our creative visions. I know they’re all running through my mind all the time, and I’m guessing they’re running through your head as well. (BTW, did I mention Bill was a former Buddhist Monk? Yeah, I told you this guy could lay down some wisdom!)
So back to that stress thing … I’m choreographing a play right now, and BOY do I have a million things running through my head. I keep waking up at 4:00 AM with songs and dances running through my mind. Every minute I’m awake seems like an eternity!
The opposite of stress
But then there are those other moments … those special moments that I’m sure you’ve had, too … where you lose track of time and all sense of what’s going on around you. You look up from what you’re doing and an hour has passed, because it feels like you just started. You become lost in your work.
When that happens, you’ve actually stopped thinking about what you’re doing. You’ve stopped planning, worrying, analyzing.
You’re in a place of feeling and instinct. You’ve gotten out of your head and are now experiencing everything through your body. There is no stress. There is no beating yourself up about what you could or should be doing. Instead you’re embodying and expressing what is moving through you.
In that moment you’re in your body and your senses. Immersed in the cool wet paint under your fingers, the smells and tastes of your baked creations, the sound of music, the feeling of hard floors under your feet as you dance. Or maybe as you’re writing you’re transported to the time and place of your characters.
So how do you find that moment?
What do you do when you feel stressed and you can’t find your creative joy?
That’s right. Set a timer. And I challenge you to get out there and use those five minutes to get out of your head and do something with your body. (Now don’t just sit there reading this and shaking your head, saying you don’t have time for this. You do).
Maybe you’ll spend that five minutes working on your creative project. Or maybe you need to step away from your creative work for a few minutes.
Either way, use that time to do something physical. Use your body. Walk in nature. Turn on some loud music and dance. Drop into downward facing dog or go through some breathing meditations. Do something fun!
Take that five minutes for your body. Stop thinking. Stop stressing.
Get out of your head and feel!