Life is a constant challenge, and that means that from time to time, inevitably, you’ll find yourself feeling stuck. Maybe you’re facing a creative roadblock or having trouble focusing in order to fix a problem, or maybe you’re dealing with a huge life decision or struggling to figure out what to do in a serious relationship or in your career. In any case, it’s easy to get stuck and feel like there’s no way out. But the truth is, there are things you can do to find a new perspective and the answer or path you’re looking for.
So, if you’re feeling stuck—be it on a small work problem or a major life crossroads—here are a few simple methods you can use to help you figure things out.
First and Foremost: Take a Break
When you find yourself feeling stuck and like you can’t find the solution to your problems, your reaction is probably to force yourself to focus on it even more and brainstorm more ideas, right? This may be the instinct we have, but according to the Harvard Business Review, some psychological distance from the problem may actually be the thing that helps you more than anything.
Research shows that taking a temporary break from the task can help you be more creative and find a new perspective on things. Depending on what you’re dealing with, different breaks can help—if you’re at work and on a deadline but struggling creatively, for example, try switching tasks for a bit, then go back to it. Major life decisions may require a bit more of a break though—a short vacation or a long weekend might help in those cases.
Download the Unstuck App
Unstuck is an iPad app and website that is designed specifically to help you when you’re feeling stuck, whether that means you can’t focus on a particular task or you can’t solve a major problem in your relationship, and pretty much everything in between. It helps you evaluate and understand what kind of stuck you are (for example: are you a Waffler or a Reluctant Adapter, or one of the other stuck archetypes?) then gives you corresponding actions to help you get in the right frame of mind to fix the issue at hand. An Avoider—you know, when you keep putting the issue or task off—for example, then Unstuck says it’s best to jump right in instead of easing into a situation—once you’re in it, you’ll get some momentum going and it’ll be easier to figure it out.
Unstuck also has a few different card decks with helpful actions and advice, and offers life courses as well. You can find out more about how the app works on the Unstuck website.
Follow the 27 Things Principle
The practice of feng shui might also help you get unstuck, especially in your home. The idea here is to move 27 things in your home or surroundings—the action is meant to help you exert control, focus your attention and better connect you with your space. According to Lonny, in traditional schools of feng shui, 9 is an auspicious number—27 works in this case because it’s both a multiple of 9 and the two digits 2 and 7 add up to 9 as well. You don’t have to make big moves or changes; small things will do just fine. The point is to change the energy in your space to help you be more connected and productive.