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Feeling Stuck? 6 Ways to Ignite Those “Aha!” Moments

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I woke up today with a smile on my face.  After a long winter, the sun was shining, the birds were chirping and spring was finally in the air.  

Not surprisingly, my joy translated into a productive day; I tackled several projects I had been putting off and held an intense brainstorming session that resulted in key breakthroughs for a client.  It was one of those rare Mondays when everything just clicked.

Alas, not every day will be as invigorating as today.  But, my sunshine-induced “can-do” attitude was a welcome reminder that success is directly tied to emotional well-being.  When you feel good, you do good.

So, to help keep that feel-good spirit alive,  I compiled six ways to clear your clogged brain connections and create those “aha” moments — even when the weather doesn’t cooperate.  Enjoy!

1)  Quiet Yourself: In our 24/7 wired world, it is critical to periodically quiet your mind, silence the chatter and receive the emotional signals life is sending you. Depending upon your personal preference, you can use meditation, prayer or deep-breathing techniques to open up your thinking process.  Scientific studies confirm that people who consistently practice mind-quieting strategies, enjoy increased self-awareness and creative thinking.

2) Activate all five senses:  When you’re feeling stuck, engage your whole body to help out your head.  Your endorphins will flow and act like roto-rooter for your brain —  helping you to “see” solutions that you never noticed before. Go for a walk.  Take a jog.  Better still, go for a walk on the beach on a sunny day; notice the feel the sand on your feet, listen to the pounding of the ocean waves and breathe in the smell of sunscreen on your skin.    If you’re feeling daring, consider taking on a big physical challenge, such as a marathon, triathalon or The Race for the Cure.  Committing to a major physical challenge helps you to think big in other parts of your life — you’ll feel more optimistic, powerful and ready to conquer the world.     

3)  Rewire your brain:  Do you ever notice how you tend to do the same thing, the same way, every day?  You make the right side of the bed first.  You always eat the same cereal for breakfast.  You take the same route when you walk the dog.  While these habits (ruts?) make us efficient, they also lull our brains into complacency.  Fire up your brain by shaking up your “normal” — take a different route to work, try out a new place for lunch, go to a lecture on a topic you know nothing about.  Varying your routine will help open up your thinking and ignite your creativity.   

4)  Engage Your Intuition: Sometimes you just can’t think your way through a problem.  Next time you feel stuck, tap into the power of images and music to stir your soul. Indulge in a cultural activity. Go to a museum. Attend a concert. Listen to classical music. The visual and auditory stimuli can help open up your mind to new patterns and possibilities.  

5) Reconnect with your inner child: Children have a remarkable ability to dream big.  If you want to recapture the “can-do” spirit of your youth, recreate your childhood by engaging in some of your favorite childhood activities.  Finger paint.  Run down a hill.  Go for ride on a horse.  Create with playdough.  As silly as it sounds, letting go and allowing yourself to tap into your inner child can wake up senses that have been lying dormant for years.  

6) Take a Trip:  There is something very liberating about getting away from home.  You are removed from your daily distractions.  Your senses are awakened as you experience the sights, sounds and smells of a new environment.  You enjoy time to take walks or hold meaningful conversations with loved ones.  Even if you can’t go on a full-blown vacation, just a day away from your normal environment can help you gain much needed perspective.

Finally, as you engage some of these strategies, don’t forget to keep a notebook with you so that you can record your “aha” insights as they materialize.  You never know when you’ll get those fleeting, but powerful, “aha” moments of revelation. They can come in a dream, while on a walk or after taking a shower — write them down do you don’t risk losing them! 

Get my Free Downloadable Workbook:

25 Questions To Help YOU Identify Your Ideal Second Act. You'll also receive my free newsletter filled with second-act ideas, tools and inspiration.

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