A few months ago, I realized I got to a point where I was no longer smoking because I enjoyed it or wanted to get high but I was addicted to the physical act of rolling up, lighting a joint and inhaling. I was doing it to avoid boredom, stress or being alone. When I felt negatively, it was easy to hit up a friend to smoke with. It eased my mind for a bit by distracting it, but then I still had work that needed to be done so I’d be even more stressed out when I sobered up.
I was hanging out with some friends one day who are all pretty creative and artistic. They were all drawing after our cyph one day. It hit me that I never really had any creative hobbies besides photography. I loved drawing as a kid but I gave up because I felt I wasn’t very good. I’ve always been very analytical and a perfectionist which made it frustrating to draw.
I started doodling with my friends and drew a dragon. I was just messing around, not really trying but it was one the best drawings I ever drew. A friend recommended a book called “Learn to Draw With the Right Brain” to me a while back. I didn’t read it yet, but I think that’s what was happening for the first time. I was drawing using the creative part of my brain rather than the analytical left side.
For an hour I let go of all thoughts, focusing only on drawing and I felt so different. It was a much more pleasant high, I was inspired and felt confident, rather than lazy and lethargic.This was one of the few times I’ve REALLY stimulated my creative brain in a long time. Maybe that’s where the idea that you only use like half of your brain comes from? Because many people rarely workout their creative muscles.
I wanted to learn more about the right brain hemisphere and came upon this Ted Talk by Jill Bolte Taylor, a neuroscientist who describes her experience having a stroke. The stroke would cause her left and right brain hemispheres to turn off separately. The left side would act analytical and stressful, and then the right side was pure euphoria, creativity and joy. I’d highly recommend everyone to check it out to get a better idea of how your brain works.
Now that I think back to the creative people I know, they’re generally better at dealing with stress, more open-minded and almost in a euphoric state most of the time. Creativity boosts your imagination so artists are generally better at coming up with solutions to problems they deal with, reducing stress and anxiety.
Due to years of developing my left-minded lifestyle, it’s hard to me get into creative mode. Cannabis makes it a bit easier to relax and so I decided to associate smoking with creativity. Every time I smoke, I have a sketchpad, notebook, camera or something that allows me to stimulate my right brain.
After a few months of doing this, I’ve noticed tremendous improvement in many aspects of my life. I find it much easier to find things to write about, I feel more calm and relaxed. And when I do smoke, I can feel my imagination flaring and I feel inspired, rather than tired and unmotivated like I used to.
Drawing a picture may not seem like it’s very beneficial. But the meditative state you’re in while drawing and the stimulation to your right brain will have benefits lasting a lifetime including preventing and helping mental illness. It’ll improve your confidence in your ability to create and push you to try new things. Take a break from consuming and create!
If I was able to inspire you to improve your creativity, post your art on Instagram and tag @StayLitClub_ for a shoutout. I’d love to see what you come up with!
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