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Get Around a Mental Roadblock With This Mind Trick

Get Around a Mental Roadblock With This Mind Trick

The hardest part of growing up is getting stuck in situations you cannot resolve or accept. You are stuck in a mental roadblock and cannot figure a way out. That is when you understand the power of psychological distance.

Psychological distance is often an interesting hack suggested by many psychologists. It is when you distance yourself from the current event or person or ideas that are troubling you. You look at the abstract, which means, the bigger picture and take a mental vacation from your current stress giving situation.

According to scholars Manoj Thomas and Claire I. Tsai, "Psychological distance can reduce the subjective experience of difficulty caused by task complexity and task anxiety."

They conducted four experiments to analyse several related hypotheses. Psychological distance was altered by activating a construal mind-set and by varying bodily distance from a given task. When they were distanced, there was a lessened feeling of stress. Also, any task was found to be less difficult with mental distancing for a while. When you lean back during a difficult situation, you feel at ease and thus positive.

Vanessa Van Edwards, a behavioural investigator and author of Captivate: Use Science to Succeed with People, says in her blog, "Distancing yourself psychologically from these types of emotionally-reactive situations allows you to reflect upon yourself, your surroundings and you'll be able to understand the why of what's going on. Being immersed in negative autobiographical experiences is linked to intrusive and ruminating thoughts and high emotional and cardiovascular reactivity."

She adds, "When it all seems too overwhelming, take a deep breath and step back. View the situation from an outside, objective perspective-as if it's not actually happening to you. How would you react if you were your friend trying to help you, instead of yourself in this moment? The answers you find once you reflect upon this will lead you in a whole new direction."

(Also read: Improve Your Memory By Focusing On What You Want To Remember For 10 Seconds)

(Image Credit: Thinkstock)

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