Eric Maisel on Dealing With Stress

Tea worry by Christopher Cotrell

Creativity coach, author and psychologist Eric Maisel, PhD, notes “Some people become doctors, lawyers, accountants, or marketing executives. Some people stay at home and raise a family.

“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.”

[Quotes from his site]

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.

Nicolas Cage in Adaptation“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.

Maisel writes, “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 my related articles:

Gifted and Stressed – For many gifted and talented people, their sensitivity and “blessed unrest” may increase chronic arousal that leads to stress.

Multiple Talents, Multiple Passions, 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.

Top photo: Tea worry by qousqous – also used in other posts, such as
To Be More Creative Deal With Anxiety.

Photo: Nicolas Cage as screenwriter Charlie Kaufman in the movie “Adaptation” – from post: To Be More Creative Deal With Anxiety.



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