Emotional Fitness

Harness the power of emotion to deepen your love with your partner, become more successful at work, and more

10 Things To Do When You Feel Stuck

Sometimes when we are trying our best to move forward, something blocks us

Sometimes when we are trying our best to move forward, something comes along to block us. Here are ten tips to help you keep moving in the right direction.

  1. Get out of the house or office. If you can’t get your mind clear, sometimes stepping outside can give you a new perspective. Getting some fresh air will enliven your senses, and your brain will start to think of new things.
  2. Start writing. Turn on your computer, or get out a pad and paper and write down whatever is in your head. Once you’ve cleared out most of the extemporaneous thoughts, the ones you want will appear.
  3. Work on a different project. If you can’t do what’s immediately in front of you, find something else to occupy your thoughts and energy. It doesn’t really matter what it is; you are taking this action to clear your mind by temporarily putting aside whatever you’re stuck on.
  4. Clean your desk. Sometimes we have so many irons in the fire that we can get bogged down with what to do first. As you clean your desk, not only will you break a pattern of inactivity but you will find things that you’ve already completed and can put away. Doing so will give you some more room to process your thoughts.
  5. Take a deep breath. You would be surprised at how many people hold their breath when they feel tense. When you cut off the oxygen supply from your brain and body, you can’t function as well. Breathing deeply a few times can reenergize you and give you that little extra bit of clarity that you need.
  6. Take a shower. Even if it’s the middle of your day, a shower can change your perspective and help you get going. We all feel better when we get clean, and though it seems like a small step, it may be just the trick you need to get back on a positive path.
  7. Call a good friend. Hearing the voice of someone you care about and spending a few minutes getting involved in his or her world can give you a new outlook on yours. Making this positive emotional connection may be just what you need to get moving again.
  8. Move your body. Dance, get up and walk around the room, pick up your clothes, or do some exercise. Get those endorphins circulating through your brain. Being sedentary retards your ability to come up with new ideas.
  9. Read. Someone else’s words of wisdom can give you some new ideas. Reading can also help you relax and recharge your mental batteries.
  10. Listen to your heart. What is it trying to tell you about where you are and what you are attempting to do? Perhaps there is a missing piece that will help you solve the puzzle.

We all get stuck in our thoughts and actions from time to time. The key is not to let it continue any longer than necessary. The sooner you can free your thoughts, the better you will feel.

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Barton Goldsmith, Ph.D., is a psychotherapist, columnist, and radio host. His latest book is The Happy Couple: How to Make Happiness a Habit One Little Loving Thing at a Time.

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