The clock is moving way too fast. Your hands seem to be sweating for some strange reason. No, you are not worried. You are not aaaaalll worried. A sweat drop falls from your forehead on your keyboard messing up what you were typing. What is wrong with the air conditioning? Is it not working properly today? Maybe it is just one of those crazy summer days that have the highest recorded temperatures. Wait a minute, what were you doing? Right. Work. No, you are not worried. Not at all worried. Not even a little concerned that you have a deadline in two hours – and you haven’t a clue what you will do. Not a single idea. Your mind goes blank, now of all times. Why could this mind not go blank last night so you could sleep better? Had no proper sleep. But now, everything is blank. Blank, blank, blank.

Damn it, you are screwed, and you know it.

We have all been there. And we pulled it off. No one ever died of a deadline (atleast me and my friends have never heard of it – “Died because he/she missed a deadline”. Nope. Never heard it.)

It is really weird. Quite, quite strange. The thing we struggle with for hours and sometimes days, and nothing even moves, somehow gets done within the span of a few hours when we hit the panic button. Sort of like a sudden gush of creativity takes over out of nowhere, and then disappears again.

Copyright Bill Watterson
Copyright Bill Watterson


The answer is in that very “fight or flight” hormone that we hear about every now and then: popularly called as adrenaline, also known as epinephrine.

Adrenaline, along with noradrenaline (another supplementary hormone having similar effects in the body) can get released in our blood stream within the span of seconds, and causes several things to happen: rapid breathing causing more intake of oxygen into the body,¬†increased oxygen supply to brain, increased metabolism rate and hence a sudden boost in the energy level; all of these give a sudden “kick” to our mental clarity and thinking and doing abilities.

But then, why is it that the people who are always afraid, or are generally working with a feeling of worry and fear all the time, end up not being creative?

This is because adrenaline is not a hormone which is meant to stay in the system for long periods of time. Its effect is quick as lightening, and short-lived. Constant fear and stress causes another hormone called “cortisol” to exist in high levels in the body. The presence of high levels of cortisol ¬†disturbs the overall functioning of the body, pushing one towards ill health. None of these can ever be conducive to a high level of creativity!


Adrenaline, Cortisol, Norepinephrine: The Three Major Stress Hormones, Explained

Adrenaline: Gives you a kick in times of panic

Cortisol and Stress: How to Stay Healthy

Categories: Creative

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