Turn Your Anxiety Into Creativity!

How can we make a negative feeling like anxiety help unleash our creativity? This pointers may help you for it helped me…

The fast beat music being played in the radio could not even trigger your dance mood. Your mind is so absorbed on the “whys?” and the “hows?”of your situation. Your current circumstance had successfully stolen your peace, your joy and even your sweet smile. You are overtaken by grief and sadness engulfed your whole being. So there you are, anxious of your problem that all you wanted to do is to think and think and think about it the whole day. Most of the times you tend to focus on the darker side of things and events in your life but let me ask you something, did your circumstance change even a bit upon thinking and worrying about it? Of course the answer is no but for sure thinking about it so deeply has brought you heavy feelings. If you want a longer, healthier and happier life you should start trying to find ways to counter anxiety. Let’s say you are bombarded by problems; bills to pay, family matters, broken relationships, stressful day at work or whatever it is and you keep on thinking on how to resolve those issues. You spend time thinking about ways to escape from your situation and as you continue to float in your worries, the more your problem is adding up and making your burdens heavier until you find yourself sinking deeper in your consternation. Do you like it that way? Of course no, no-one with a sound mind would want to be tormented with difficulties. But be realistic, it’s a fact of life, problems are part of our existence but to let yourself dwell in it will only caused stress and anxiety and it affects your body and your well-being.

What is anxiety and what are its effects in our health? Anxiety is a normal reaction to stress. Stress comes from the demands and pressures we experience each day. Work deadlines, bills, a mean boss, a hard to get-along co-workers, rush hour traffic, husband and wife misunderstandings, kids crying at the same time while you are busy doing house errands or a chronic illness are all examples of things that can cause stress on a daily basis. Did you know that if you are anxious you have an unrealistic view of problems? Most of the times worrier people think of things and situation that actually doesn’t exists or not even existing yet. Worst is, worrying too much can lead to physical problems, and can affect appetite, lifestyle habits, relationships, sleep and job performance. Excessive worry or anxiety is harmful when it becomes so irrational that you can’t focus on reality or think clearly. When that happens, you may experience actual physical symptoms. Chronic worrying and emotional stress can trigger a host of health problems such as dizziness, fast heartbeat, fatigue, headaches, inability to concentrate, irritability, nausea, digestive problem and many more. A study also shows that this negative feeling is also a factor to develop cancer. Now that we understand what anxiety is and how allowing it to overcome us could add more to our problem, the best thing to avoid its hold on us is to find ways to redirect our attention. Instead of magnifying your problem why not divert your thoughts on something that can occupy your troubled mind? Switch your focus on something productive and you’ll see that it will really help you ease the feeling of heaviness caused by anxiety. Busy yourself in enhancing and practicing your creativity. When you feel heaviness, instead of indulging yourself to something that can just make the situation worst, try to do some simple DIY crafts or any project that can occupy your mind and attention. You’ll be delighted as you see the finished product and you’ll feel better.

As for me, that’s proven and effective. You see, as an Overseas Filipino Worker (OFW) working miles away from my family, I’m more of a perfect prey of our mind enemy “anxiety”. It’s not easy to work abroad and receive calls of problems from your family way back home. It’s not easy to live in a foreign land serving foreign people with culture different from what you’ve been taught and trained. It’s not easy being alone most of the time, especially when you get sick with no one but yourself. How did I overcome these? Aside from prayers, making myself busy with crafting and arts really helped me in these anxious times. Research shows that the more people become busier, the happier they become. Busy people are happiest people. If you indulge yourself in activities that can exercise your creative mind and make yourself busy you would not even be aware of the passing of time. Spending our precious times being productive can help in mending our broken hearts. Try doing one DIY project when your mind starts to go back to your negative circumstance again.

Instead of worrying about what you cannot control, shift your energy to what you can create.”- Roy T. Bennett

Here are some benefits that busying yourself with arts, crafts or any DIY projects can bring;

  1.  Learning and development – as your mind is switched-on to your project, and your brain is now working, your designing skill is being stretched farther, you are learning more. Your hands are working coordinating with your brain, shaping your crafts and you will begin to notice that you are developing something deep within, the sense of purpose. Now you are stretching yourself, pushing your boundaries, learning more about your skills and abilities and development is taking place.

”Worry does not empty tomorrow of its sorrow. It empties today of its strength.”- Corrie Ten Boom

2. Self-Confidence – Busying yourself with your own DIY project can lead to a feeling of self-confidence. The fact that you are accomplishing something beautiful and useful and you are learning and developing in the process can boost your self-confidence. You will be pleased to see your craft done by your very own hand.

” Pray, and let God worry.”- Marthin Luther

  1. Feeling of Self-Accomplishment – When you’re busy, your mind is switched-on and you are constantly thinking, making your brain work that little bit harder than it normally does. In these moments you’re spending in constructing your project, your artistic mind is working and no more time for negativity. Being busy with your crafts simply means you don’t have the time to have negative thoughts because your focus is to finish your project nicely be it a painting, a DIY craft, setting up your garden or interior decorating your home. You simply are just getting on with doing what you want to do and having a good time doing it.By the time you finished it no more space for worries. Just looking at your finished product can bring you a feeling of accomplishment, and it helps in boosting your morale.

”When you begin to worry, go find something to do. Get busy being a blessing to someone; do something fruitful.” – Joyce Meyer

So the next time worry and anxiety wanted to fellowship with you, send them off and shut down the door. Don’t leave them any space in your mind.

Following are Bible verses to encourage and inspire you to get up  and overcome anxiety by the power of God’s Word.

““Therefore I say to you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink; nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air, for they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? Which of you by worrying can add one cubit to his stature? “So why do you worry about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin; and yet I say to you that even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. Now if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is, and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will He not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? “Therefore do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For after all these things the Gentiles seek. For your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.”
‭‭Matthew‬ ‭6:25-34‬ ‭NKJV‬‬

 “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God;  and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4: 6-7 NKJV

I hope I’ve contributed something to encourage those who suffers from worry and anxiety. Life is short to spend most of your precious time tormenting yourself by meditating on your problems. It’s time to change direction. Believe in what God can do and believe also in what you can be able to do. Let’s creatify!

Below are photos of my DIY crafts I’ve finished when I was tempted to worry. It works!

My old denim pants converted into Tote bag. Combination material is from my dress’ excess fabric.
Corrugated carton box sculpture with watercolor painting. The title is Waiting. It’s available for $175.00 including shipping.
This is a corrugated carton box sculpture combined with watercolor painting. I also handcrafted the frame made of the same materials.

Let me know your thoughts on this. I may learn something from you too.

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