We can experience many flavors of insecurity, stress and anxiety from just being human and managing complex lives, especially as creative or highly sensitive people.
Is it always best to “overcome” these feelings? Maybe not totally.
Writer, producer, director Steven Spielberg said, “I still have pretty much the same fears I had as a kid. I’m not sure I’d want to give them up; a lot of these insecurities fuel the movies I make.”
From my article Gifted, Talented, Creative, Anxious.
But therapist and creativity coach Eric Maisel warns, “Only a small percentage of creative people work as often or as deeply as, by all rights, they might be expected to work.
“What stops them? Anxiety or some face of anxiety like doubt, worry, or fear… anxiety is the great silencer of the creative person.”
From article Eric Maisel on anxiety and developing creativity.
Seeking help when anxiety is “too much” to allow you to lead the life you want can be invaluable.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) can help. What is it?
An article by Ben Martin, Psy.D. on the psychology resources site Psych Central notes the approach is “a short-term, goal-oriented psychotherapy treatment that takes a hands-on, practical approach to problem-solving.
“Its goal is to change patterns of thinking or behavior that are behind people’s difficulties, and so change the way they feel.
“It is used to help treat a wide range of issues in a person’s life, from sleeping difficulties or relationship problems, to drug and alcohol abuse or anxiety and depression.”
He explains, “CBT works by changing people’s attitudes and their behavior by focusing on the thoughts, images, beliefs and attitudes that are held (a person’s cognitive processes) and how these processes relate to the way a person behaves, as a way of dealing with emotional problems.”
The image at top is from an article by Heidi Hanna, PhD, Executive Director of the American Institute of Stress, an integrative neuroscience researcher and “former stressaholic” who provides many resources on understanding and mastering stress.
She explains, “If stress is energy, anxiety is what happens when that energy gets stuck in the body. Anxiety can linger well after the stress is gone and can be triggered when no real stress is around, but we worry that it might come back again.”
From her article Stress, Anxiety, Panic: What’s the Difference and How Can I Cope?
So worry can drive anxiety, and may be based on distorted thinking – such as “I’ll never get over this.”
Does counseling, such as psychotherapy, help artists be more fully creative?
“Acting is telling a story, and you’re part of telling that story.
“In some ways therapy helps more than acting class. You realize why you operate in certain ways.” – Heather Graham
Psychotherapist Mihaela Ivan Holtz works with creative people in TV/Film, performing and fine arts.
She uses a variety of approaches with her clients, including Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), and says:
“Psychotherapy is a powerful transformative journey that can take you from feeling unhappy and stuck to living with emotional freedom as a fulfilled creative or performer.“
See more in article: How can psychotherapy benefit actors and other artists?
Related book: Mind Over Mood: Change How You Feel by Changing the Way You Think by Dennis Greenberger, Christine A. Padesky.
“This life-changing book has already helped more than 1,100,000 readers use cognitive-behavioral therapy — one of today’s most effective forms of psychotherapy — to conquer depression, anxiety, panic attacks, anger, guilt, shame, low self-esteem, eating disorders, substance abuse, and relationship problems.” [Amazon summary]
The Mind Over Mood site by the authors gives examples of distorted thinking that can be changed with CBT:
“Here are some examples of common thoughts we have during certain moods:
- DEPRESSION: My life’s a mess. It’s all my fault. It will never get any better.
Even though these thoughts are extremely negative, they seem accurate to us when we are depressed. This depressed thinking makes it difficult to see any positives in situations and relationships, makes us feel self-critical and hopeless, makes problem solving difficult and makes it hard to function.
- ANXIETY: But What IF…
When anxious, we worry that things will get out of control, that bad things will happen. We have a lot of “What if” thoughts. We avoid things or else try to do them perfectly. Unfortunately, the more we avoid or strive for perfection, the more anxious we become. We procrastinate, we worry, and frequently we withdraw.”
Making use of CBT through counseling in-person with a therapist can be a preferred choice for many people.
I overcame a 3-year cocaine addiction (about 30 years ago) by seeing a therapist for a short while.
But getting help online has become an effective option for many.
What is Online Therapy?
John M. Grohol, Psy.D. of Psych Central notes,
“Online therapy is a new type of psychotherapy, it is simply not psychotherapy transplanted online…Online therapy uses the richness of language to help bring about change in [your] life.”
From my article How and Why Online Therapy Helps.
One of the main and most popular services is Online-Therapy.com, which provides personal therapists trained in cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) to “help you identify, challenge and overcome your dysfunctional thoughts, behaviors and emotions.”
What Is Cognitive Behavioral Therapy? Dr. Elizabeth Lombardo explains.
See rest of video and much more in article: Online Therapy for Emotional Health and Personal Growth.
- Here is an excerpt from one of their informational articles:
Anxiety and Emotions
Our thoughts, behavior and emotions are all connected. One has an impact on the other and when it all gets too much, we end up with anxiety.
As we have been slowly discovering, our thoughts, behavior and emotions are all connected.
One has an impact on the other and when it all gets too much, we end up with anxiety.
In this article we are going to take a look at emotion, see what they actually are, and then begin to unwind the mess that our emotions get so many of us into.
Then we are going to look at ways of managing emotions and keeping them in control by using CBT.
What are Emotions?
Put quite bluntly, we have many different emotions that everyone feels and the truth is there’s no one way to describe or define what an emotion actually is.
After all, everybody is unique, and therefore we feel things in different ways.
But we can split things into “good emotions” and “bad emotions” which essentially means taking a look at emotions that are appropriate i.e. being sad after someone dies, and those that aren’t, i.e. not being able to control that sadness.
Essentially, what we are going to do is to try and realize that emotions are good for you, when they are appropriate.
We will take a look at your feelings, and see how we can identify a good emotion from a bad one.
The Emotional Map
Many of us actually have our own ways of describing emotions, so when it comes to actually telling somebody about how we feel, it can be like speaking in another language.
Even though people are used to their own emotions and can understand emotions, explaining what you mean when you say you feel “bad” can be difficult.
So, by creating an emotional map, you can help yourself and others to realize what you are feeling without confusion.
You can actually start to understand what you are feeling, and you can also work towards eliminating bad emotions and replacing them with good ones
Read more of the article – and learn about online therapy programs :
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