Research: KHASKY and SMITH,

Listed in Issue 50

Abstract

KHASKY and SMITH, Roosevelt University Stress Institute, Chicago, Illinois 60605 USA studied the relationship between stress, relaxation and creativity.

Background

Methodology

114 participants, divided into 4 groups, practised 25 minutes of progressive muscle relaxation, yoga stretching, imagery or a control task. Prior to and following each training, subjects were given tests, including the Smith Quick Stress Test (Somatic Stress, Negative Affect and Worry), and the Smith R-State Inventory (relaxation-related states Disengagement, Physical Relaxation, Mental Relaxation, Strength and Awareness, Joy, Love and Thankfulness and Prayerfulness). Following the training, all subjects were given both the Verbal and Figural forms of the Torrance Tests of Creative Thinking.

Results

The groups scores did not differ on Creativity. However, compared with yoga stretching, subjects in the imagery group had lower posttest scores on Negative Affect. Compared with the controls, both the yoga stretching and imagery groups had higher scores on self-reported Physical Relaxation. The Progressive muscle relaxation group had lower scores on Somatic Stress than controls. For all relaxation subjects, Disengagement (feeling "distant, far away, indifferent") correlated positively with Negative Affect and Physical Relaxation. This suggests that disengagement in relaxation may not lead to relaxation-induced anxiety but may help one cope with such anxiety.

Conclusion

References

Khasky Ad and Smith JC. Stress, relaxation states, and creativity. Perceptual and motor skills 88(2): 409-16. Apr 1999.

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