The link between anxiety and creativity has been the main focal point in my business for a good reason.
I’ve been so captivated by what the link between anxiety and creativity is because it's been a burning question that no one seems to be able to fully answer.
The more I got to know creative people and other artists, the more I saw how prevalent anxiety was between all of them. These had to be connected!
When initially doing some preliminary research on the link between anxiety and creativity - just to see what was already out there - I was pleasantly surprised: not only was my theory that they're intrinsically related seemingly true, but there was scientific evidence to back up that theory.
Now this is still a pretty new topic, so I had to dig around a bit, but multiple media sources have been discussing theories of the symbiotic relationship between mental disorders like anxiety, depression, and more serious illnesses and artistry for years, but finally - some scientific research cropped up.
I've personally dealt with anxiety and depression since I was child. It's a mild to moderate case, ranging from nervous habits like teeth grinding and hair play to hypochondria to occasional panic attacks. My anxiety still gets to me sometimes, but I haven't had a full-blown panic attack since before I got pregnant 5 years ago. (Knock on wood!) I've never regularly taken over the counter meds for anxiety or depression, with the exception of some self-medicating throughout the years, (nothing crazy), because I was afraid of being turned into a zombie or exasperating the problem. What if the fire in my belly went away? What if the meds made my anxiety worse? I didn’t want to risk it, and I wanted more answers first.
Coincidently, (so I once thought), I’ve always found creating to come naturally. Any sort of format for creating seems to be food for my soul, including illustration, watercolor, writing/blogging, graphic design, fashion design, web design, painting, scrapbooking – all of it. There’s a part of me that knows that – when done genuinely – art is the most important aspect of human evolution. (We're communicating subconsciously!)
Over the years, I’ve found that creativity and anxiety are both part of the same emotional process.
The emotional process that our imagination goes through every day. They’re two seemingly completely different emotions that are only separated by a thin barrier that can actually be manipulated. This thin barrier is what we choose to do with all of our imagination energy.
Our imagination conjures up and visualizes any task, project, or mental state before it happens. Before we create an awesome creative project - we visualize it. Before we have a panic attack – we visualize doom and gloom. Before we have the body that we want – we visualize having our ideal body.
Imagination is not just something that artists have – all humans have it – it’s just a matter of where we let that energy go. That energy can be funneled into so many things - work that drains us (versus creative projects that energize us), others’ wants and needs, consuming social media, or it can be dissipated into sleep or depression.
But if we learn to recognize this process, we can start consciously channeling our imagination energy – before it ever gets turned into debilitating anxiety – into more desirable by-products, like creative projects.
Anxiety can be channeled into creativity, so long as we understand that the link between the two is our imagination.
Ready to get started on channeling that anxiety? There’s this super cool Evergray eCourse called ‘Channeling Your Anxiety into Creativity’. (Yay!) It’s sizable and interactive, and I made a free, mini email course version of it covering the same concepts so that everyone can get some access. (That means you!)
These concepts include explaining the theory behind channeling anxiety, giving you the knowledge base necessary to start channeling, and explaining exactly how you'll channel anxiety - all while doling out some little known tidbits along the way.
To grab the CHANNELING ANXIETY FOR CREATIVES: The 3-Part Mini Email Course, type in those letters below, and it’ll slide into that inbox right here, right now!
And if you're not quite ready to take an email course, but are still curious about the whole link between anxiety and creativity thing, you could always take the super fun imagination by-product flowchart quiz! Figure out where all of your imagination energy is actually going by narrowing down each of the by-products to the ones that are currently taking up the most of your energy.
Take the flowchart quiz to find out where all of that imagination energy is going by getting it emailed to your inbox!