Associative Stress & The Drive for Creativity
Adaptogenic herbs and how they fight stress.
Author Myke Elevated / Category Herbs / Published: Dec 4, 2021
Anyone who works in a profession where creativity is a cornerstone of their job description knows that sometimes that devious writer's block, burnout, or brain fog can pop up at the most inconvenient of times. That psychological wall that can leave even the most successful of creators in panic and disarray is a frightful experience with some PTSD associated.
History speaks of the use/abuse of nicotine, stimulants, sleep deprivation, and even bouts of mania fuelling some of the greatest works, but realistically many of those stories do not end well. So, a little preemptive thought and planning could be the best attack on the dreaded stalemate of “brain fog” that casually hangs over all creative artists and writers' heads eventually. Plus, not everyone is trying to write 1000 page novels or paint stoic pieces of art, many of us just love to create and make a living doing so in many formats. Consistency may be more important than magnanimous contributions to society.
One of the measures one can take when considering sustainable drive and motivation is to manage stress on the body and mind. There are a host of lifestyle choices that can be made or modified, but also there is now an array of holistic options like supplements and food based protocols found all over social media, nutrition store shelves, and brand websites to stay on top of one’s game.
WHERE TO START THOUGH?
A lot of the time the short burst style in creative drive stems from a lifestyle that is potentially not sustainable and could be the cause of the burnout itself. Maybe a few months or even years of success is really taking a bit more of a toll than the body can replenish. This leads to a state of being overworked and lack of inspiration.
The category known as adaptogenic herbs are defined as being able to boost the body's resilience to stress, boost vigor or reduce fatigue, and help the body maintain homeostasis (balance.) The concept of balance is key here because they enhance the body when it is needed and do not put the body in a compromised state. Stimulants can cause depletion over time, and or other substances simply take and never really give in the long run from the body’s vital resources. Especially, if one is not getting rest or eating responsibly.
One of the top choices in this category of adaptogens is Ashwagandha, an adaptogenic herb from India now revered for its ability to help manage stress via modulating cortisol, the body’s stress hormone. In small doses cortisol does amazing things like assist healing, break down fat, and can even help you wake up beaming instead of sleepy eye’d and brain fogged.
There have been studies that are showing improved cognitive benefits, improved sleep, and potentially enhanced physical performance in fitness activities with high quality Ashwagandha extracts, which help facilitate proper cortisol management. Trademarked extracts like Shoden® Ashwagandha offer some of the most potent and pure extracts to use regularly if you need the above benefits.
Another great herb for the mental and mood side of the coin is Bacopa Monnieri, which has been shown to improve memory and bolster mood/reduce anxiety. These are essential for maintaining that consistency in drive and motivation that things like overwork or stimulants could potentially overdraw on and create the writer's block or brain fog that can stall even the most important of projects. Focus is one thing but the marathon of sustaining it for hours or days is another event. That's why combining adaptogens could be the key. Stacking with the likes of Rhodiola Rosea, another adaptogen, perhaps could offer the fatigue fighting, endurance, and drive needed for any task at hand.
Another wonderful adaptogenic compound, Lion’s Mane mushroom offers another excellent cognitive boost which can enhance the brain and memory, while also having positive benefits on the body and gut health by reducing inflammation. By some considered one of the best brain boosters in the game, it can be stacked with the above mentioned adaptogens to harness a synergistic effect. Attacking the drive and motivation game from multiple avenues and really creating resilience against burn out and overwork.
Adaptogens affecting sleep patterns
For more on the synergy of all these ingredients, their use in improving the natural sleep and wake cycle can be key as taking these during the day could lend a boost to improving wakefulness while setting the cues for the natural sleep cycle needed to fully restore the body in the evening. Amplified cortisol all day could lead to higher levels at night and not allow for sleep or adequate recovery in the deeper sleep states. So, yes your day can determine your night, and the food and supplements you take early on can affect it well into the evening for the better.
Combined with the healthy consumption of caffeine (coffee, tea, pills, etc..) one can harness their specific stack to find flow state on demand, and ban the dreaded writer's block/brain fog from their day forever. Just stay away from synthetic energy drinks and added sugar! Staying motivated and driven all week long is the goal, so that you can enjoy the days off or finish a project early and take that long deserved vacation.