How Stress is Eating Into Your Creativity and How to Beat It?

Abstract. Innovation. Hands holding tablet with light bulb future technologies and network connection on virtual interface background, innovative technology in science and communication concept
Being creative to build new ideas and form connections between ideas while using our minds to do things that machines cannot do, is soon to be (or already has become) our reality

The relation between stress and creativity

  • They showed the war film, Saving Private Ryan to the first group for the first 30 minutes.
  • The researchers showed Shrek, a lighthearted animation film to the second group for the first 30 minutes.
  • Then the researchers gave participants of both groups a word association task that required the ability to think creatively.
  • It was found that the group that had watched Shrek performed 39% better on the task than the group that had watched the more stressful war film, Saving Private Ryan.
Young asian woman tailor designer failing and stressed from her business startup in workplace office. Stress impacts our creativity.
Stress induces the fight-freeze-or-flight response and blocks our creativity

How does stress affect our creativity?

Die with the letters STRESS and FREE/FUL being spelt. A hand is holding the FREE/FUL part to indicate that being stress-free or stressful is an option we have. Stress hampers creativity.
There’s an increasing overuse of social media and disrupted lifestyle patterns that have led to increased stress among people

Stress blocks freedom

Stress causes tunnel-vision that impacts creativity

Photograph of a scene through a tunnel. The image indicates how one cannot see the entire picture through a tunnel indicating how stress impacts creativity by making us tunnel-visioned.
Stress causes us to have tunnel-vision which doesn’t allow us to look at things from multiple perspectives

Stress impacts the structure of the brain

Posttraumatic stress disorder is a mental disorder. Humans brain with Regions of the brain associated with stress and PTSD.
The brain responds to long-term stress in a physiological and hormonal capacity

How to reduce stress and boost creativity

Be creative

Image to indicate lateral thinking and creativity while a man's hands type on a keyboard and colour and drawings jump out of the screen.
Doing something creative can actually break the stressful thoughts and emotions we are experiencing

Do something positive

Doing something creative or positive can relieve stress and unblock our creativity

Spend time with close ones

A group of friends laughing together at the park. Stress in daily life can be reduced and creativity enhanced by spending time with our loved ones.
Spending time with our loved ones can rejuvenate us and help our creative energies to flow

Do something mechanical and boring

Wrapping up…

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Arnold Mascarenhas

Arnold Mascarenhas


Lokyatha is an education focused initiative to enable young adults to live better, more fruitful lives by delivering real world life skills.