Stress, relaxation states, and creativity. Khasky AD, Smith JC.

Percept Mot Skills 1999 Apr;88(2):409-16

Roosevelt University Stress Institute, Chicago, Illinois 60605, USA.

114 participants in four groups practiced 25 minutes of progressive muscle relaxation, yoga stretching, imagery, or a control task. Before and after training, participants took state versions of the Smith Quick Stress Test (which measures Somatic Stress, Negative Affect, and Worry) and the Smith R-State Inventory (which measures relaxation-related states Disengagement, Physical Relaxation, Mental Relaxation, Strength and Awareness, Joy, Love and Thankfulness, and Prayerfulness). After training, all took both the Verbal and Figural forms of the Torrance Tests of Creative Thinking. At posttest, groups’ scores did not differ on Creativity; however, when compared with yoga stretching, imagery trainees had lower posttest scores on Negative Affect. Both yoga stretching and imagery trainees displayed higher scores on self-reported Physical Relaxation than did controls. Progressive muscle relaxation trainees had lower scores on Somatic Stress than controls. Paradoxically, for all relaxation trainees, Disengagement (feeling “distant, far away, indifferent”) correlated positively with both Negative Affect and Physical Relaxation, suggesting that disengagement in relaxation may not lead to relaxation-induced anxiety but may help one cope with such anxiety.

Categories: Stress