In the second part of our blog series, experienced psychotherapist Lauren Baird discusses creativity and how regulating our nervous system (and therefore emotions) can impact the creative process. Having studied art at university Lauren has harnessed creativity in her daily life and uses illustrations for psychoeducation on her Instagram page (check out @innerglowtherapy).

how can our nervous system impact our creativity?

“All of us, to differing degrees will experience dysregulation but being dysregulated isn’t fertile ground for creativity. In this place, our mind and body are focused on THREAT over creativity.

You wouldn’t get an easel out and start painting if a sabre tooth tiger was about to eat you! And this is why it’s important to develop self-care practices to rest and relax.”


how can creativity help with emotional regulation?

“One of the things we can do when we’re in a creative flow is create distance and detachment, maybe from overwhelming thoughts and beliefs or difficult situations that are going on in our lives.”


do you have any advice on fear of failure?

“I often imagine what if the great writers and artists of their time, didn’t write that music, or that book?“


lauren’s experience of creativity and healing

In the following video, Lauren discusses how her experience with an eating disorder affected her creativity:

“In my healing journey, using creativity, artwork, colours, and writing helped me connect, regulate and manage the big emotions that came my way”


Want to hear more from Lauren?

Be sure to visit her website or sign up to her course: Nurture your nervous system. 


Lauren’s reading list

Galbiati A, Sforza M, Fasiello E, Casoni F, Marrella N, Leitner C, Zucconi M, Ferini-Strambi L. The association between emotional dysregulation and REM sleep features in insomnia disorder. Brain Cogn. 2020 Dec;146:105642. doi: 10.1016/j.bandc.2020.105642. Epub 2020 Nov 12. PMID: 33190030.

Siegel, Dan – The Developing Mind (1999)