Do you feel stuck at work in the same routines day after day? Are you struggling for inspiration? For many Generation Panic’ers this is common. With very demanding jobs and packed agendas with scheduled activities, we have little room left for creativity. We are often spinning around on a fast-paced hamster wheel – how can we get off of it? On top of this, the anxiety we are feeling is dragging is down and it can begin to feel a little claustrophobic. Ah, we need to breathe!
You and the universe
It is here something called ‘flow’ can come to the rescue. Psychologist Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi came up with the flow theory (check out his TED Talk). Flow is his answer to the question ‘What makes human beings happy?’. It is a mental state of being completely present and fully immersed in a task. He defines it as “an almost automatic, effortless, yet highly focused state of consciousness”.
The flow is often experienced when doing something creative. Probably you have heard about ‘creative flow’ and this is the reason for the name. It has many benefits we can learn from, especially as it has been described as ‘being one with the universe’ or the ‘state of oneness’.. When we are in a creative flow we are fully engaged, we feel happy and confident. We forget about our surroundings and are completely engrossed in what we are doing, which allows us to be able to enjoy the moment.
A great resource to tap into
This mental state can help you to reduce your anxiety, as we release the pressure and enjoy the present. For the flow to come to you, these elements should be present:
- Clarity – knowing what needs to be done, and how well we are doing.
- Doable – knowing that we can achieve it – essentially our skills are the right ones for the task.
- Tranquillity – not doubting yourself; a feeling of moving beyond the boundaries of oneself.
It means that when we are in flow it is a good balance between not expending an extortionate amount of effort and yet also being challenged. If it is too easy, we will just be bored! And, if Generation Panic’ers are bored then it creates a space to start to worry and letting anxiety levels rise. This is a challenge as many Generation Panic’ers are doing jobs that do not use their natural creativity. So, it is even more important to try to include creativity in our day-to-day lives, and integrate it into our work where we can. It can be enlightening, liberating and fulfilling.
So, question how youo can find activities that might bring you the flow you are looking for. Do you like to dance, draw or write? Sometimes I draw doodles on paper, whatever comes to my mind. No one has to see the drawing after all… Or I really enjoy playing with Lego and cooking too. I forget about time and worries and my anxiety reduces. These activities give me moments of genuine enjoyment.
“When in flow, I know it . . . I feel a wave of peace wash over my body, and the chatter in my mind stills.”
The point is to let all doubts and distractions disappear. No one will judge you, as no one needs to be aware of what you are doing. Just let yourself relax in an effortless way. Create something without a clear goal in mind and allow yourself to be playful. Dare to try different activities, even things you have never attempted before. Who knows, you may discover something that you never thought you would or could do!
Try this exercise to find an activity that you like and unlock your creative flow:
|Toolkit: Back to basics Dream up all the things you already do that make you feel calm, happy, peaceful and relaxed. Add other activities that you are interested in trying. The list is endless, and no idea is a bad idea. Do not rule something out just because it does not appear to be in keeping with what you would normally do. For example, listening to classical music may not be a regular pastime of yours, but try it out. Push your comfort zone, and know that if it does not work, there is no need to pursue it. Get creative and contemplate all areas of possible interest.|
As I continue to try to immerse myself in new creative activities that I enjoy, I get better at engaging my creativity. I am also increasing the time that I can stay “in it” without being distracted and wanting to get back to my to-do list. I feel happier and calmer for longer periods each time.
Get to know in what areas you feel creative and the activities that help you feel calm. Have a go – you will feel freer, more relaxed and less anxious. I am eager to hear how you get on.
#Anxiety #GenerationPanic #Creativity #Flow #CreativeFlow #Toolbox