I recently saw a video clip that was made decades ago about what life will be like in the future. It said that by the 1980’s technology will advance so far that people will only have to work two hours a week and the rest of the time will be leisure.
I don’t know about you, but that is not my current reality. It would make sense, that as we swim in the ocean of shiny technology and labor saving devices, people should feel relaxed and energized all the time. However, people seem to be more worn out than ever before. Why do so many of us feel exhausted at the end of the day? One word can sum it up – stress. When we are stressed, our brain sends signals to our bodies to release adrenaline that, when released continually, causes muscle aches, irregular organ function and gastrointestinal problems. It is physically draining. Our bodies are doing hard manual labor and we don’t even realize it. Many of us live in a sustained stressed state. Our bodies were not made to withstand that kind of continual activity. Eventually, our bodies will rebel by forcing us to stop.
So what can we do to bring more relaxation in to life? One way is to engage in some kind of creative endeavor. Make art. Find a change of scenery. New visual experiences are relaxing and can jump start creativity. Take a class, read a magazine you wouldn’t normally read. Go out to lunch with someone new. Go to a gallery or museum. Grab a sketchbook and draw, or paint. Doing things like these helps us become more relaxed and think more clearly. It gives us room to find creative solutions to life’s challenges. When we are stressed, we can’t think clearly. Our minds get foggy. Making art and being creative clears the fog. When we are in the act of making art, our minds give us space.
Also, making art makes us feel good, whether it’s painting, making pottery, sewing, cooking, or gardening, when we engage in creative activities, our minds shift.
When we engage in a creative work, our brain triggers a more relaxed frequency. This energizes us. It is much healthier to take matters in to our own hands and deliberately take time to rejuvenate than to wait for our bodies to cause a crisis.
There was a time when relaxation came to us more naturally. The workday would end and people would come home and relax. With the increase in technology, our days have been extended. It never has to get dark. We can be in constant communication with clients, co-workers, friends and family. With cell phones, and email, we are inundated with information. People are working all the time. Or running around in constant frenzy. There never seems to be enough time and life never stops. We need to make it stop, for our own good.
People tell me all the time, “but I’m not very creative.” That’s the whole point. It’s in the doing that creativity shows up. Feed your soul first and your soul will give you something back. Art Saves Lives!