First things first, stress is a natural part of life; we all deal with unforeseen difficulties and disappointments. When we enter recovery we are told that learning how to manage stress in a healthy manner by developing healthy coping mechanisms, other than drugs and alcohol, is our first order of business. Not all stress is bad, certain levels of it are healthy, and actually help play a part in regulating our stress hormone cortisol, and our internal body clocks. For example our cortisol is higher in the morning than the are the rest of the day, and this is good as it helps us get out of bed and moving for the day. However, too much stress without adequate coping skills is what usually gets us into trouble, and often times out using again.
How can we help manage our stress? Well science suggests that getting creative and involved in art of any kind can significantly help us lower our day to day stress levels. Practicing meditation is a form of art, and how many times have we heard about the amazing benefits of including meditation into our daily lives to help reduce stress, often. Getting outside of our technology filled lifestyles and into nature can be considered art for our mind. Drawing, painting, making jewelry or other crafts, and taking a dance or martial arts class are all forms of art. And these activities have proven to lower cortisol levels in the body and help lower stress.
So while there is no way to eliminate stress from our lives completely, this suggestion to get more creative has us excited. Whether it’s the art class you have always wanted to take, or the hip hop dance class you have always wanted to try, get out there and do it. Getting out of our comfort zones always seems daunting at first, but with it comes great growth for us. So get out there and get those creative juices flowing!