Recharge Your Mind

How to Get Rid of Your Mental Block?

We all get these. We keep thinking about something and even though we realize we are not getting anywhere, we continue to stress our mind in the same direction, with no use. For times like these Doug King said

“Learn to pause…or nothing worthwhile will catch up to you.”

One of the best strategies to get out of a mental block is to pause and get away from the problem for sometime. It may be a few minutes, a few hours or few days. Taking a break and getting involved in some other mentally stimulating thing actually recharges your mind and allows you to get back to the problem with a fresher perspective. The thing that works for me in most of the cases is playing small silly games available on the Internet; games that even 6 year old can play. But that’s me, for some people its taking a walk in the park, for some people its a good conversation, for some people its listening to music.

The reason why this works is because when we re-approach the problem after a break, we look at it with somewhat different set of assumptions. This allows you to back off a little bit and look at the big picture again which you might be completely missing since you were so engrossed in the details.

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Category: Creativity

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4 Responses

  1. Bateman says:

    Mental block is something that I struggle with more often than I would like to admit, but I find that depending on what I am doing I require a different approach to beat it.

    For example, I like to make websites and I often have a hard time coming up with an attractive layout for my pages. In this case I find that the only way I can overcome this issue is to keep making more and more layouts without taking a break. It could be that I am just not experienced enough to know what I am looking for, but it seems that the more I do it the better I get. Alcohol also seems to make me much more creative.

    I’m also a software engineer by day and sometimes I have trouble wrapping my head around a concept or coming up with a creative, reusable way to solve a problem. In this case, like you, I have to put everything on pause. I usually go get a coffee.

    In every case, though, I am usually listening to music. When I get a mental block I have to start listening to the complete opposite genre of music. I may start the day with DNTEL and I may end it with Killswitch Engage. I find that it wakes me up and forces me to think differently.

  2. Malang says:

    Bateman,

    I think your example reiterates that whatever you do in that little ‘break’ varies person to person.

    I have made a few websites a while ago and I can attest your statement that sometimes it takes a while to get that ‘good’ design. In such cases, I used to take a break and look at different things that have designs and colors in it to get inspiration.

  3. Georgia says:

    I think we experience mental blocks with an issue or a problem but also in our daily life flow. Just the mere morning routine and commute can create mental blocks that dis-able us from easing into our day or getting the creative charge that sets the pace for the rest of the day. I heard myself say one day while hitting every red light, “If you just slowed down, you would have more time.” It was a calming message that resonated so deeply, that when I find myself in that place again, it becomes my mantra!

  4. @Georgia: Excellent thoughts. I agree that we get these moments almost daily when the noise and clutter almost kills our brain for a few minutes.

    I love your mantra, it reminded me of another really true lesson: “Smile. Breath. Go Slow!”.

    Thanks for stopping by :)

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