Rena Satre Meloy
Solutions don't come from pushing, they come from pausing.
It's crazy how easily we forget this simple truth: more often than not, creative solutions come from pausing.
Our instinct is to push, dig in, and try to force solutions – but this rarely works.
You know when you're trying REALLY hard to remember someone's name or an important detail that someone shared with you...and you simply draw a blank? And then 5 minutes later you're walking to the mailbox (or fridge/water cooler/wherever) and *POOF* there it is in your mind? It just materializes?
Fun fact – when your brain is trying too hard to solve a problem or recall a memory, you're very likely experiencing some degree of stress which releases cortisol into your blood stream and impedes your optimal brain function. It puts a fog between your working memory and your mid and long-term memory, and impacts a number of chemicals that allow you to quickly access information. Striving mentally for solutions also causes unnecessary physical stress in your body, results in ineffectiveness, and contributes to feelings of burnout or overwhelm.
The best way to give your brain a chance to recall information or find a fresh solution is to pause. One of the tools we deliver in our trainings is called a "WISE BRAIN REP".
Here's how it works:
1. Pause (stop whatever you're doing) and release your train of thought
2. Shift your full focus to one or several of your senses, for example:
LISTEN TO SOUNDS
FEEL THE SENSATIONS IN YOUR HANDS
FEEL YOUR BREATH FLOWING IN + OUT
LOOK OUT THE WINDOW AT THE SKY OR GREENERY
SEE COLORS/TEXTURES IN YOUR SPACE
TASTE THE FLAVOR OF YOUR COFFEE/TEA
NOTICE ANY SMELLS
3. After 10-15 seconds, return your focus to the task or problem at hand.
Creating small gaps in your day helps your mind and body relax, which in turn fuels greater brain function, recall, and creative problem solving.
So....this week, when you find yourself stuck in a problem or trying to force a memory, remember: pause, don't push.
Written by Rena Satre Meloy, Pause Cofounder