Hypervigilant creative people


a hinderance or an accelerant?

To all blend DJ’s, abstract artists, digital designers, application program developers, fiction writers, and like-minded individuals; hypervigilance, which you may interpret as paranoia, needs to be realized, channeled, and understood appropriately for your forward momentum. Growing up, I am sure we can all recall those kids that were weird, dressed funny, socially were out of place, but they excelled in the arts; paintings, drawings, molding, et cetera. A possible reason for this is having hypervigilance, which can be described as “an enhanced state of sensory sensitivity accompanied by an exaggerated intensity of behaviors whose purpose is to detect threats. Hypervigilance is also accompanied by a state of increased anxiety which can cause exhaustion. Other symptoms include: abnormally increased arousal, a high responsiveness to stimuli and a constant scanning of the environment for threats”. So in the structural definition, a hypervigilant person can be likened to one who is very paranoid about themselves, their surroundings, and exaggerate subtle environment cues as threats to their own safety.

Causality to the Creative

So if this sounds like you, don’t worry, its even better if you are somewhat creative as researchers have correlated links between hypervigilant people and creativity, a study in the September 2003 issue of the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology found that the brains of creative people appear to be more open to incoming stimuli from the surrounding environment. A University of Toronto press release noted, “Other people’s brains might shut out this same information through a process called ‘latent inhibition’ – defined as an animal’s unconscious capacity to ignore stimuli that experience has shown are irrelevant to its needs. “Through psychological testing, the researchers showed that creative individuals are much more likely to have low levels of latent inhibition. “This means that creative individuals remain in contact with the extra information constantly streaming in from the environment,” says co-author and University of Toronto psychology professor Jordan Peterson.

Benefit for you

It appears that reduced latent inhibition can be beneficial for creativity as decreased latent inhibition may make an individual more likely to see connections that others may not notice. This may explain why so many creative individuals partake in solitary acts; it fosters inspiration and creativity by absorbing environmental stimuli. Or how you may have some friends that will comment and be able to talk about the strangest and peculiar details of life. However, with all this sensory stimulation, one can be overwhelmed – which in some cases, can lead one to madness. But interestingly enough, Einstein, Newton, and other creative individuals that have enhanced mankind were labeled as ‘genius’, but many said that they bordered on the line of madness and insanity. Many times, I always thought I was a genius or maybe I was just crazy … I am sure many of the hypervigilant folk can relate.

And now, onto the creative art


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