Do you know the best ways to overcome mental blocks? Mental blocks are any professional’s worst nightmare. In fact, mental blocks can be anyone’s worst nightmare.
Knowing ways of overcoming mental blocks can be the difference between getting your task done on time and effectively or wasting a whole day feeling stuck.
However, this is easier said than done. Certain mental blocks feel as if they are just here to stay. And overcoming mental blocks can seem impossible.
That is why we have come up with some tips and tricks on how you can get back into high gear and get your mind back on track.
But before we reveal our tricks for overcoming mental blocks you need to understand what mental blocks really are.
What are mental blocks?
Different people perceive and experience mental blocks differently. The phenomena, used in the layman’s term, can be said to be the experience of feeling blocked in one’s thinking.
Mental blocks are obstructions that can hinder your creativity, can affect motivation and result in decreased productivity.
If you are a little confused as to what mental blocks are, you must be aware of “writer’s block”. Well, a person facing ‘writer’s block’ is just facing a mental block. Having a mental block simply means that you are unable to do or complete something because something in your mind is preventing you from doing so.
Quite simply, the mental block is being unable to concentrate enough to complete a task, or being unable to think of ideas, or even just drawing a blank on how you can get something done.
You can experience a mental block at any point. Whether this is when you are creating something new, like a painting or writing a story. You could also face it when tasked with a project at work. Or even just making decisions about a vacation you are going on.
Mental blocks can be frustrating more than anything, but they can also derail your progress and productivity and affect your feeling of contentment in life.
Reasons why you might be experiencing a mental block
There are loads of different mental blocks you may experience, and the sources of these are also quite vast.
Things like different fears, like that of failure or even success, may cause you to be experiencing mental blocks. Or simpler problems such as being hungry or tired may be the cause of the mental block you are facing.
Other causes of your mental block can include, but are definitely not limited to:
1. Overthinking the little things
Sometimes, overthinking the small things can trap you from being able to achieve a bigger goal.
Obsessing over every little detail can lead to procrastination, and thus you are unable to finish the bigger task at hand, or even at times those little tasks.
2. You’re being a Mr. or Mrs. Doubtfire
You may find that you are unable to get the task at hand done because the doubts in your head are preventing you from doing so.
These doubts could be in yourself, whether that be your ability or your resources.
3. Fear is ruling you
As we mentioned, you may have a fear of failure that is subconsciously not allowing you to concentrate and be motivated to work.
4. The focus may be fuzzy
Do you have too much to do? Perhaps your mind is so bogged down with the number of things on your plate that you are finding it practically impossible to focus on any one task.
This burden may be creating a mental block that is not allowing you to be productive as you would wish.
5. Any number of other things
As we said, the reason you are facing a mental block could be caused by several reasons.
These reasons could both be external or internal. You may be experiencing a mental block because of some physical factors such as the environment you are in or your physical state of being like hunger or tiredness. Or perhaps it is more internal, such as internal fears or doubt that are creating this block.
Tricks to stop those pesky mental blocks
The first thing to realize is that what may work for someone else may not get you out of the slump.
However, there are certain simple tricks you can incorporate into your life which could get the brain juices running and allow you to overcome the mental block you have been facing, no matter what the reason is behind it.
So, here are our tips to overcoming mental blocks:
1. It’s time to change your environment
Take the time to consider how your work environment is affecting the way you think or get work done.
Studies have shown that an organized desk can drastically affect the way you work and can improve productivity as well as focus.
On the other hand, other studies are suggesting the benefits of having a messy desk as well. The type of desk you have can have an impact on your thinking. Research has shown that a messy workspace can help you gain fresh insights and enhance creativity.
It can benefit you greatly to look into where you work and how it impacts you, as the space that you sit to get your creative juices running needs to be sorted as such.
Moreover, if you find that this mix up does not do the trick it may do you some good to get up and change your scenery.
Because of your mental block, your mind may be associating these feelings of frustration and lack of creativity with your work desk or space.
Why not try and work in a park or in your garden. Even just sitting in another room may help with getting out of this funk you feel.
The change of scenery can give your mind a fresh perspective. And you never know just where inspiration may strike.
2. Give yourself a break
“Almost everything will work again if you just unplug it for a few minutes…including you.”
Anne Lamott was right, you might just need a break. Trying to get work done when your mind isn’t in it is pretty impossible most times.
If you have been sitting at your desk trying to overcome your mental block and just get down to business and not succeeding it most probably is time to give yourself a little break.
At times, taking a break, whether that be moving on to another task, grabbing something to eat, or just taking a walk, even if just around the office can do wonders to alleviate a mental block.
Being able to take a small break allows for your mind to clear up and focus on something else rather than the block in your mind you are facing. Often times it also allows for you to come back to your task with a fresh, new perspective.
Like we mentioned, taking a break does not necessarily mean not doing a “work” task, whatever ‘work’ meant for you. Perhaps try and tick another item off your to-do list, one that is not so daunting.
Being able to accomplish another task, albeit a small one, can still have major positive impacts on your mental block. The triumphant feeling of crossing off something on your list may be the trick to get over the mental block.
3. Take on a smaller task first
If you are finding yourself stuck on a major project or task, as we said, it may help to start checking off some other, smaller tasks on your to-do list.
Sometimes, the magnitude of the task and how much of it you have left to do can become overwhelming. This feeling can often create a mental block halting your progress completely.
Perhaps take a break from that task and start on another, a more mindless task to get the ball rolling, and get your mindset into a more productive one.
Try to pick a task that does not need a lot of attention so that you can allow your mind to have a proper break. Maybe even do some dishes or laundry.
Getting up from that position of having the task looming over you may allow your mind to wander and come up with ingenious ways of how to get it started or what you can do to get the project completed.
Small wins can boost your spirit and morale and allow your mind to get back into gear and get to work on the task you were previously dreading.
These mindless tasks may also give you a chance to realize the root cause of why you are having these mental blocks, to begin with. Getting down to the issue can help you work through the problem and come up with an effective solution.
4. Break down your tasks
There is a chance that the task that you find unable to start or progress on is just too discouraging overall.
Maybe it is some big work project or a novel you need to write. But the task itself is so big that no number of breaks or small trivial tasks can get you to understand how to begin what you need to work on.
Sometimes all you need is a big brainstorm and word dump session to clear your mind and figure out how you can go about your work.
Break your task into more manageable tasks, for example instead of your task is to write a whole novel maybe focus on writing one story or one chapter at a time.
At times, you may be stressing your brain out before you have even started on a task because your task is too great to be able to properly wrap your head around it.
Take your brainstorming session to both breaks up your task into more manageable smaller tasks and also just to clear the fog in your head surrounding the work you need to do.
5. Step out of your comfort zone
Sometimes, the mental blocks you face are just because you are stuck in the same cycle over and over again.
You may encounter mental blocks because you ruminate over the same thoughts and ideas without stepping out of the hypothetical box.
Try to expose yourself to a different way of thinking and taking on tasks. You can manage to do so by learning something new.
Perhaps you could read up on something you do not know about, try to cook a cuisine you have never attempted, or go somewhere you never have before.
Get your mind to expand and experience new things. This will allow you to expand your thinking and thus enhance your problem-solving capabilities and also your creativity. Moreover, it will also allow you to give your mind a break as we discussed above.
6. Redirect your focus and reduce stress
Often times, a mental block is your mind being engulfed by something of the past that is bothering you.
Or perhaps, it is the worry of the future that is getting your mind foggy and unable to focus on the task at hand.
As we mentioned previously, there are a number of reasons that may be causing your mental block and some of these could be worries about both the past or the present.
Try and take a moment to focus on the now and bring your full attention to the present. A way to do this is to focus on your breathing, keep focusing on each breath you take until your mind becomes calm.
It probably won’t come as a surprise that stress is one of the biggest productivity killers. The pressure you feel to perform may just be the reason you are unable to do so.
Therefore, it is imperative to destress. Focusing on your breathing will not only allow you to bring your mind back to the present but will also help in any stress you are feeling.
You could even take the time to meditate which will allow your mind to become calm and also help you destress.
From a peaceful state of mind, you will find it will be easier for you to think more clearly, and thus allow you to find more proactive problem-solving strategies.
7. Take care of yourself
Your brain just like your body needs care and attention. If you do not give your mind a break and push it too hard you are bound to experience mental blocks.
Research has shown that happier people are more productive. Therefore, make sure you take the time for some self-care and check in on your mental wellbeing.
Make sure you follow some of the basic rules for taking care of your mental wellbeing:
- Get a good night’s sleep
- Eat well and on time
- Get in some physical activity and exercise
- Check-in with yourself
- Don’t be too harsh on yourself
- Only take on as much as you are capable of and remember your limits
- Seek help if you need it
8. Seek help from other
If you have tried to overcome your mental block with no avail it may be time to seek some help.
Do some research, read books, or look online at the way people before you have come up with solutions to what you are trying to achieve.
Gain inspiration from other’s work or just analyze how they are making their ideas work.
You can talk to people and get their ideas on your project. Someone else’s’ idea might just give your brain that jolt it needs to get back into high gear.
Get those brain juices flowing
Although your mental block may be because of many reasons, we are sure that these tips to overcoming mental blocks can help you and get you back to your productive self.
Just remember to give yourself some slack and allow yourself time to get your work done. Mental blocks are very common and nothing to be stressed about.
Just try out some of our tips and tricks and keep stress at bay, as it can be your worst enemy.