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Take a Break

Serena Mao

Running into problems can be frustrating, especially when it means we start obsessing indefinitely about them and see no end in sight. A problem we can’t seem to solve or an idea we can’t seem to squeeze out from our imagination can plague our daily lives. We may stay up late at night, unable to sleep, or be constantly distracted by a lingering feeling that we can’t find the solution we’re looking for. For example, if we can’t think of an answer to a prompt, or if we can’t seem to solve a math problem, we may become frustrated and frantic.

Many think that the solution to this problem is to keep thinking about the issue, digging through our brains to find an answer. After all, if we don’t consciously try to think, where is the idea going to come from? However, this tendency to pick apart our problems can drastically worsen our mental state. We may begin spiralling into feelings of confusion and enter loops of circular logic where we consider the same factors over and over again. This obsessive and recursive thought process is highly unproductive, failing to take us anywhere significant. Rather, it will only exacerbate feelings of failure which launches us into vicious cycles of frustration.

Instead, we need to face difficult problems by focusing on them only when we are alert and our minds are not fatigued. We should take breaks and switch subjects frequently rather than working on the same problem for hours on end, wearing out our mental state. Using this method, we can start fresh when approaching issues seemingly impossible to solve and make the most out of our time. This method would both save valuable time and increase the likelihood that we discover a successful and sufficient solution.

About Serena Mao

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