Stress and senses

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creative perspectivesHave you ever wanted to turn on your creativity, but for some reason just can't seem to settle into it? Maybe you're stressed.

"Nah, I'm not stressed. Everything's fine," you say to yourself. "Work's going well, the bills are paid, and the kids are healthy. I don't feel stressed at all. I just can't draw/compose/play/sculpt/write today for some reason."

But maybe it's a different kind of pressure than what we usually consider stressors. I discovered not too long ago that I respond badly to visual stress. When my desk isn't neatly organized--if it's covered with flotsam from other projects or if the wind has scattered my notes across the room--I can't focus on anything completely until things within view are put away, straightened up or tidied.

Some people have aural stress. Noises distract them. A TV in another room, traffic on the street, or something as simple as the wrong music will push them into a state of mind that makes it difficult to think.

Still others get discombobulated by smells, textures, or tastes. I'm sure you can think of a time when a scratchy clothing tag drove you batty until you cut it off, or when the lingering flavor of onions from lunchtime subtly irked you until you brushed your teeth.

So next time you're having trouble getting started or staying in the creative groove, inventory your environment through your five senses. You might find a surprise stressor that you can attend to and then get back to creating.

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