“The most stressful thing we do every morning is think I don’t have enough time to get it all done.”
Heidi Hanna, PhD is the Executive Director of the American Institute of Stress, and provides many articles, videos and programs on mastering stress.
In this video, she addresses a conference audience:
Dr. Hanna comments:
“You’ve probably seen a lot of the studies that say finances are one of the biggest stressors, and that is true – but in my research looking at 8,000 people, the number one most stressful thing we do every morning is think ‘I don’t have enough time to get it all done.’
“And as soon as that hijack happens, our brain is not our own; we are now totally stress sensitive, we’re being pulled off into survival mode and putting out fires instead of being intentional about being in the moment – when the moments matter most.”
Dr. Hanna also says “The majority of the time the way that we react to stress is primal, being fueled by the lower level functions of our highly developed brain.”
See article about her online course:
The Stress Mastery Program for Emotional Health by Heidi Hanna
Creativity coach, author and psychologist Eric Maisel, PhD, notes about the stress challenges of artists:
“But millions of people make another sort of choice, maybe only as part-time employment if you count the money they earn but as their full-time identity: they become artists.”
And, he adds, “they struggle.”
Photo: ‘Tea worry’ – used in several of my articles including Dealing With Worry and Anxiety To Be More Creative.
In one of the chapters (“The Stress Key”) of his book “Making Your Creative Mark,” he writes about how the creative life can be an ongoing source of stress – if we interpret or frame it as such.
He explains, “A stressor is anything, positive or negative, that makes a demand on us. Stress is our body’s physical and psychological reaction to those demands — on the physical level, it is a buildup of chemicals that keeps increasing as the stress persists. The stress buildup is the reaction, and the demand (or stressor) is the cause.”
But, he continues, “The demand can actually be positive. Imagine your editor calling you up and telling you that she wants a new book from you. That’s lovely — unless you can’t see how on earth you can fit writing it into your schedule. It is lovely to be wanted, but her call still creates a demand — and stress.”
Shifting how we respond can lead to experiencing stressors in another way.
“We can normalize or even reframe many demands as opportunities, and when we do, the associated stress vanishes. If you are holding it as lovely to make three calls today to gallery owners instead of as something dreadful that you wish you could avoid at all costs, you have changed the demand characteristic of the situation to one of opportunity.”
Continued in a much longer chapter excerpt: The Stress Key, by Eric Maisel – from his book Making Your Creative Mark: Nine Keys to Achieving Your Artistic Goals.
Also see his book Mastering Creative Anxiety.
Some related articles and resources:
Gifted and Stressed – For many gifted and talented people, their sensitivity and “blessed unrest” may increase chronic arousal that leads to stress.
Multiple Passions and Talents But Potential Burnout – Many multitalented people feel inspired and energized to pursue multiple creative projects, often at the same time. One potential downside is physical and emotional burnout.