As a sensitive, creative person you may have felt like a misfit or outsider early in life - many of us did, and even still do. One example of this is musician and actor Lady GaGa, who has said she “felt like freak” in high school, and that she creates music for her fans who want a “freak to hang out with.” She has said it took her a long time to be okay with how she is, and get beyond needing to fit in, or being "like everyone else."
One definition of emotional intelligence is "the capacity to be aware of, control, and express one's emotions, and to handle interpersonal relationships judiciously and empathetically." This skill or capacity of emotional intelligence is important for living well in general, of course, and also for individual creative expression, and for nurturing business success and innovation.
"I love the atmosphere at the mall - everything about Christmas." Actor, musician Drake Bell I don't like holidays. And I don't like crowds of people. I don't like noise." Writer, cartoonist Roz Chast Of course, there is no "season" for stress - but holidays can be more stressful and challenging, especially when we are highly sensitive. What are these seasons like for you? Do you feel overwhelmed more often? Here are some ideas of what you can do to take care of your health and emotional balance.
"I don't see myself in terms of artifice. I see myself as a real person who chooses to live my life in an open way - artistically." Lady Gaga How do attitudes we hold about ourselves and the world impact our creative thinking? Can we change those attitudes to be more creative? In her research publications and book The Creativity Challenge, KH Kim describes a model and series of concepts for helping children and adults be more creative and productive.
"A wonderful emotion to get things moving when one is stuck is anger. It was anger more than anything else that had set me off, roused me into productivity and creativity." Mary Garden (Scottish musician, via brainyquote.) As creative people, we may experience emotions very deeply and intensely, and feel at times we need to shut off or escape from some of them. But those feelings can also fuel creative work, as many artists know.
"Our body doesn't make a moral judgment about our feelings; it just responds accordingly." Doc Childre and Howard Martin in their book The HeartMath Solution. In addition to simply being more aware of how our body is responding to strong emotions, we can make use of biofeedback technology to deal with anxiety and stress.
Anxiety impacts many people, but may be especially prevalent and acute for those who are creative, gifted and highly sensitive. Psychotherapist Diana Pitaru writes, "Anxiety is a common emotion experienced by creative people and while some of the symptoms may be similar from one person to the next, how and when people experience anxiety differs widely."
As musician Alanis Morissette points out, “We’re taught to be ashamed of confusion, anger, fear and sadness, and to me they’re of equal value as happiness, excitement and inspiration.” The image is the character 'Sadness' in the wonderful movie Inside Out, which portrays how we can make positive use of all our emotions.
The host of the Psychotherapy 2.0 online training summit, Diane Poole Heller, PhD, notes: "We've brought together some of the most respected names in the field—visionaries such as Dr. Bessel van der Kolk, Dr. Diana Fosha, Jack Kornfield, Gay and Katie Hendricks, Steven Hayes, and Richard Schwartz."