It can be hard running a business having to be “on it” all the time. Sometimes you plan to do stuff but when you get to it you can’t think straight. Like now. I was supposed to write a blog about “The decision is yours” but my brain wouldn’t play. In fact a part of me hasn’t been able to think straight for the past week when it comes to writing this blog.
Making progress and taking action is important to a part of me. 
Showing up is important to a part of me.
Sharing that I too have mindset challenges is important to a part of me. 
Sharing the exact tools that I use to get myself back on track is important to a part of me.
So here I am showing up with 7 things you can do when you are stuck because you just can’t think straight.

  1. Get it out of your head – either by writing down what’s going on or talking it out with someone. I shared this challenge with my coach:“I’ve got a blog to write on ‘The decision is yours’ and I just can’t think straight.”I shared all that was going on in my head and then replied: “Perhaps I should write the blog about that – what to do when you just can’t think straight.”In one way this does link to my original topic. I can decide what my blog topics are so I made the decision to change. Getting it out of our head allows us to gain a different perspective; we remove the drama/challenge/whatever you want to call it from within so we can take a step back.
  1. Breathe – sounds simple but so often we aren’t thinking straight because we are in our stress response. Our breathing is shallow and we simply aren’t getting enough oxygen into our system. Slow abdominal breathing (also known as diaphragmatic breathing) allows for our vagus nerve to be stimulated and in turn activates the relaxation response of the parasympathetic nervous system. When we are relaxed we are able to think straight as we are not in the “fight or flight” response. 
  1. Move – one of the quickest ways to get out of your head is to connect with your body. Do something physical which requires your focus. This may be yoga or dancing in your kitchen or playing football with the children in the garden. The movement and connection with your body allows parts of your brain that were overthinking and overanalysing to take a rest. Connection to our body through movement requires us to be fully present in the moment and is a form of mindfulness that allows our stress response to dissipate. Movement also stimulates the release of happy hormones which boost your mood. 
  1. Sleep – that’s right, take a nap or go to bed earlier. Sleep deprivation means that the brain will struggle to recover from the day. Neurones that have been worked all day need time to recover and they do this while we sleep. Sleep deprivation will slow down your thinking and your reaction time and has been likened to being drunk. Our memory, or lack of it, has also been linked to lack of sleep. Sometimes you just can’t think straight because your brain is exhausted. 
  1. Connect with why – sometimes a part of us forgets WHY we are trying to do a certain task or why it is important. This is where self-motivation comes in, reminding yourself of why it is important to write your blog post or get your social media posts done. Our ego/primitive brain often can’t see the bigger picture or the impact doing that task will have; all it sees is that it’s not fun. 
  1. One step at a time – be kind to yourself. The task may simply be too big for a part of us to comprehend. We’ve all heard that phrase “making a mountain out of molehill” and that may be true for you here. Take a moment to break your task down. Do step one. Not all of it just step one. Walk away. Come back and do one more step. Repeat this process until you are happy to continue or you are finished. Don’t force it. Baby steps. 
  1. Take a break – simply go and do something different. Stimulate a different part of your brain and let the part that can’t focus switch off. Don’t just sit there hoping and praying that your brain will suddenly knock back into gear, we all know that leads to a lot of wasted time. Perhaps you make a cup of tea or go for a wander down the garden; just allow yourself/give yourself permission to take a break. You can even set a time boundary: I’m going to walk around the garden with the dogs for 15 mins, checking out all the flowers and then I’m back to it. 

Remember you don’t need to do all 7 things. 
Pick one. 
But ultimately remember, the decision is yours. 
You decide. 
You can choose to stay in that space of not thinking straight. A part of you may like it there for a while. Another part of you may want to move forward. 
Be compassionate with yourself. Be curious.
Let me know how you get on. 
Until next time, 
Best wishes
Philippa x