(This post was originally published on my other blog Happy Little Pixels. Because it is one of my favorites, I am posting it here for The Tinker Bug’s audience as a featured post! Feel free to head over to Happy Little Pixels for more content about creativity. Thank you!)
Living a creative life is much like living in an amusement park with the main attraction being a crazy emotional roller-coaster.
A Creative’s life can be a very complex yet beautiful thing. As I mentioned before, a creative’s mind is a very passionate mind and with that passion comes a great deal of emotions.
“The truly creative mind in any field is no more than this: A human creature born abnormally, inhumanly sensitive. To him… a touch is a blow, a sound is a noise, a misfortune is a tragedy, a joy is an ecstasy, a friend is a lover, a lover is a god, and failure is death. Add to this cruelly delicate organism the overpowering necessity to create, create, create—so that without the creating of music or poetry or books or buildings or something of meaning, his very breath is cut off from him. He must create, must pour out creation. By some strange, unknown, inward urgency he is not really alive unless he is creating.” – Pearl S. Buck (American Novelist, Nobel Prize, and Pulitzer Prize recipient)
Research has shown that most creative people tend to be highly sensitive. Being sensitive can be a very frustrating trait to have, however, it can be a wonderful experience as well. It’s both a blessing and a curse. We tend to experience things on a more intense level than others. What may be slightly sad to others would be heartbreaking for a creative. And what may be a simple happy moment would be an overwhelming joyous occasion for the highly sensitive.
So does this mean that every creative person you see will be this crazy looking, dramatic, wild person with uncontrollable mood swings? Absolutely not. On the contrary, you’ll find that a lot of creative people are very reserved individuals. Creatives can be both introverted and extroverted individuals. This is why a creative’s life is a very complex thing to figure out. Solitude is vital to the creative process, however, being able to socialize with others and bounce ideas off of them to get inspiration is necessary as well. This is why being both introverted and extroverted is common in a creative’s journey.
So how do we deal with all of our emotions so that we don’t go crazy? The best therapy for a creative is simply to create! A creative person not able to create is like a fish out of water. It’s something we need and desire in our lives. Without it, our creative soul feels like it’s dying.
Our emotions give us the chance to pour our heart and soul into every project. Creating is like a filtration system for our emotions. It’s an outlet to channel each and every emotion turning them into amazing masterpieces. Those raw emotions that feed our creative soul are also what gives our creative ambitions life.
Take two dancers for example. One that has perfect technique but has a desire to do something else, and the other that has acceptable technique, but not great, and an enormous amount of passion for the art. Put both dancers on stage performing the same exact routine and I can guarantee you that the one that possesses the most passion for it will give you a more entertaining and emotional performance over the technical dancer.
Out of Control Emotional Roller-coaster
The downfall of being a highly sensitive Creative is the feeling of being out of control. Sometimes, the world seems like it’s caving in on you and there’s nothing you can do about it. This leads to stress and anxiety which ultimately affects your creative wellness prohibiting you from being the amazing creative person that you are. It’s extremely important that you know how to manage your emotions and use them productively. When my emotional roller-coaster is out of control I call in the DR of Emotions. Delegation and Regulation of Emotions.
The technical definition of delegation is “The assignment of any responsibility or authority to another person to carry out specific activities.” So how is it possible to delegate emotions? You certainly can’t just hand over your emotions to somebody else so that they can feel it for you instead. We’re obviously not taking this definition literally. Instead, think of it as delegating to another part of yourself.
Frustration and Anger
When I’m frustrated, upset, or angry, I tap into my housewife personality. I simply take out my frustrations on housework and start cleaning like a mad woman!
By the time I’m done with whatever cleaning tasks I was working on, my frustrations have subsided leaving me with a clearer head to help me deal with whatever was causing that frustration or anger in the first place. And a very squeaky clean house I might add!
One of the best therapies for a lot of emotions, especially sadness, is writing. This is where I delegate to my writer persona. Sometimes you really just don’t want to talk to anybody in fear of judgment or simply because it just hurts too much talking to somebody else. This is where a pen and paper come in very handy. They don’t talk back, judge, nor make you feel embarrassed. You don’t have to worry about grammar, handwriting nor presentation. You definitely don’t have to be an amazing author to write about your feelings. Simply write to get all your thoughts out of your mind. If you feel like you’re struggling with sadness and discouragement, learn how to fight it and not give up here.
It’s up to you to decide how you delegate your emotions. What tasks or activities help you manage the levels of your emotions. No matter what the emotion is, take action. Go for a jog, hit the gym, clean the house, or simply write about it. The more you just sit back and let your mind wander, thinking about all the things that cause your emotions to get out of control, the more you will lose control. But don’t confuse this for reflection and meditation. For some, meditation is a very effective outlet to help subside chaotic emotions. I’m talking about sitting back in bed and just letting your mind race with worry and stress. We want to avoid that as much as possible. Keep yourself busy.
To regulate is to control or maintain the rate or speed of so that it operates properly. It’s very easy to let our emotions get out of hand. This is why we all have to learn how to maintain them at a certain level.
Number one, you have to learn how to identify what emotion you are feeling. In order to manage and regulate emotion, you must first know exactly what it is you are feeling. Also, learn how to differentiate between primary emotions and secondary emotions. Primary emotions are reactionary emotions to certain events that you have no control over or to different things that affect you in your environment such as mourning the loss of a loved one or getting upset when somebody cuts you off in traffic.
Primary emotions are something you really can’t control. They just happen out of instinct. What you need to be more aware and concerned about are your secondary emotions. Here is where you make it or break it. Either you lead yourself to a destructive winding path with no end in sight or you regulate those emotions and guide them to a non-destructive path.
Only you can decide how you proceed with these emotions. When somebody cuts you off in traffic and you get upset, how are you going to react to that feeling of anger? Do you let it spiral into full out road rage where you chase the car down and start yelling out obscenities or even become violent? Or do you just let it go and move on telling yourself it’s just not worth getting crazy over?
There are many ways one can regulate emotions. It could be as simple as talking to a friend or loved one, writing, exercising, or meditating. Sometimes it takes a little more effort and one may explore the option of therapy. Again, it’s all up to you to decide how to handle your emotions. When things start feeling hectic and out of control, just remember, take a deep breath, pause for a moment in silence and then call the DR of Emotions. Delegation and Regulation!
I would love to hear from you and find out all the different ways you delegate and regulate your emotions! Let me know if this has been useful to you. Even if it hasn’t, let me know!
Remember, no matter what life has decided to fate upon you, always practice Happy Creating!
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