When Niggling Stress Stops Creativity

It’s the little niggling things that drain us. Big problems we usually meet head on.

Niggling stress is usually classed as annoying, petty and unnecessary. I disagree. Stress is anything that nags at you and eats up your enthusiasm. Anything that can do that is nowhere close to insignificant.

Big problems get all or most of our attention. Sometimes it’s too clear to us that if we leave them too long they’re going to have a huge impact on us and it won’t be in a good way.

Niggling stress is just as damaging, sometimes even more than what we consider to be real stress. Niggling stress works in the background and too often is allowed to go on for extended periods of time being ignored because we feel it’s unimportant. It’s how long it drags out that eventually wears on us.

It’s time to change they way you view your problems.

When we first think about freeing ourselves from stress we automatically focus on the big issues that are in our lives. All our effort and energy goes towards solving the big problems and we forget about the little nagging things letting them eat away at us and ultimately our creativity.

Now more than ever we certainly don’t live in a stress free world and to imagine that you can remove everything that bothers you would be unrealistic. There is a great deal we can do about some things though, and you would be surprised how getting a handle on them can make a great difference in your life.

You can handle most anything

People have overcome tremendous adversity. We read or hear their stories and wonder how they managed to survive in tact. It’s simple – they had to. It was either overcome or be overcome. They tapped into resources from the bottom of their beings that they didn’t even know they had because this had to be resolved. There was no other way but to deal with it. So they focused all their energy and resources toward beating it. And they succeeded. And people continue to succeed.

Big issues that come up in our lives are usually dealt with on this much more “crucial” plane. They are big and we just can’t ignore them. We accept that. We know we have to plan to either eradicate them or adapt ourselves to deal with them, they certainly won’t go away by themselves. It’s this acceptance and consequent planning on what we can do about them that let’s us handle them with limited amounts of stress.

The difference between big issues and small ones is we rally to conquer the big stuff. We find the strength and energy to get passed them. We usually ignore the little stuff and let it niggle at us at its leisure.

The small issues in our lives deserve the same respect as the big ones.

The reason small stuff tends to niggle away at you is simply because it is small, and therefore ranks in the unimportant section of priorities.

You have the attitude that unimportant things shouldn’t bother you. They are the sort of things you feel shouldn’t be an issue. By the very fact that they insist on existing, they make you crazy and ultimately become that thorn in your side. The more you ignore them the more they fester and ache. And they like to stack up until the pile is so high you can’t see over or around it.

The major problem with niggling things is that we grow to resent them. They don’t provide us with any life changing revelations, they don’t make us into better people, they don’t even make good stories we can share with others and garner some decent sympathy. They are just plain annoying and utterly useless. And there are usually more than a dozen of them at us everyday. Niggling problems like to travel in flocks.

Steps to banish the niggles

Accept them

Accept that little things are hampering you and interfering with your life and your creativity. They may be nothing more than a bother but they are important in their own way. Really decide to recognize them for what they are, issues that are important enough to need your attention.

Identify them

Sit down and make a list of everything that bothers you throughout the day. Usually these are small things, too small to be considered problems but persistent enough to be annoyances. The order isn’t important, you can tackle them in any order you like. Until today you’ve ranked them at the bottom and that’s why they’re all getting top priority status now.

Put them in their spot. Compartmentalize them.

Sort them into compartments so you can work with each one in the way it needs to be handled.

Things that can be eliminated. These are usually easy enough to determine. They are things that you only have to deal with once and they are gone.

Things that can be changed so they are no longer an issue. Often it’s a subtle change that we can make and the problem is dealt with or at least taken care of to a point where it isn’t a bother any longer.

Things that are here to stay, you have to adapt to them. You have an amazing capacity to adapt. Sometimes there are changes you can make to you. These would be changes you can live with in a form you can handle. These changes would result in less stress, if the change adds more stress it isn’t a solution.

Take action against them

Make a decision on each one separately. Plan your course of action that will deal with each one and then execute your plan. Often the act of doing something about it is enough to begin to set you at ease with it and you will find you have the energy to see your plan through to the end.

Niggling stress can sap your creativity. It chews at you quietly but consistently, diverting your energy towards getting upset or depressed instead of allowing you to be happy and productive. Niggle them back by getting rid of them. It will be like a fresh boost to your creativity – and the rest of your life too.