Anxiety has two sides. A black and a white. But only an artist sees the grey area in the middle which is a treasure for creativity. Still, as easy as it sounds, it’s hard to channelise negativity for productivity. You have to master it at will and with self-control. Whenever anxiety creeps in, our brain goes into anticipatory mode which makes everything worse. But what a writer should do during that phase, is to trick the brain into thinking that they’re anticipating but in fact, they’re thinking about the deepest emotion that can create an article, a painting, a song, a poetry or even a quote.
Now , how do we do that?
When you’re at the peak of your anxiety, you feel restless and hopeless. Tears are sliding down your face and your breath is racing as fast as your heart is beating. All of this makes so much noise in the brain that some voices pop up in our heads that make it impossible for us to realise that THIS IS THE MOMENT for the creative thinker in me. So, the hardest part is to STOP THINKING. When you think, you imagine the worst and your logical or analytical thinking goes numb. You can stop it. Just close your eyes, take a deep breath and shut the voices down.
Now you don’t think to create or what to create You just pick up your notebook and a pen, or instrument or your laptop and start showering thoughts.
The brain is tricked into thinking that we’re still in the zone to sulk and guilt. But what you’ve done is to use those emotions into something meaningful and productive. That’s how I wrote How it feels to wake up with anxiety everyday! Yes, it’s way to direct. It’s like a journal, but what it did for me was magical.
Anxiety is a monster but only the magic in us can defeat it. The magic of CREATION. We, the Sapiens are most unique and developed beings since forever only because of our capabilities to imagine and create.
That’s what makes us different. Embrace that difference.
After I wrote the above mentioned piece, I felt like an elephant feet was off my chest. That’s what creating something/anything, does for me on a daily basis.
I know. This habit is not easy to form but it’s addictive once formed. Don’t be mis-conceptualised with writing everyday. It doesn’t mean you have to post your art somewhere. It doesn’t mean you have to meet a deadline or it won’t count. See, the count doesn’t matter. What matters is how you’re using creativity as a healing technique for yourself. So, you can write a poem, a journal, a quote, a story, a song, draw, paint. It’s okay if you don’t want to share it with the world. I understand. When you’re most vulnerable, what you create in that moment is your most personal stuff. So, just create whatever and wherever.
I used to journal it out or write some poetry. It did the trick. But when writing gave me too much of relief, it became a habit. To write ANYTHING but just write. So now, I write everyday in different ways. Sometimes on Quora , on Medium or this blog. If these aren’t the ones, then I write in my journal and keep it to myself. I started this podcast on spotify as well which made me realise the power of words. I just channel my emotions at the right space now. You can try it yourself. It’s a bliss.
Talk About It
I take my words back when I said “stopping to think” is the hardest part.
To talk about the deepest emotion you feel, whose reason is still unknown to yourself!
The reason people say to “talk about it” is because it is one of the healing techniques for mental health. Yet, for an artist, it’s another exercise. How? Glad you asked. When we talk about anxiety, the words we use, the references we use, even the metaphors we use in the conversation helps the artist in us to understand it better. It’s just a reflection of your art. Talking about it also helps us find ideas to create something new. Try talking about it. I assure, it will help YOU and the ARTIST YOU.
Productivity is channeling negative emotions…
I hope this helps some people who have struggled or are struggling with anxiety to not struggle anymore but to show it, that anxiety messing up with an artist is a BAD IDEA.