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Mental blockage and stress: the fish that bites its tail

Mental blockage and stress: the fish that bites its tail

April 30, 2024

Today, few people can claim never to have suffered a mental or emotional block. The frantic pace of life and exposure to stressful situations mean that, at times, we notice that our brain does not give more than itself.

Let's see what exactly that is about the mental block and how it relates to stress.

What is mental block?

Let's first develop the mental lock concept itself.

In the words of the psychiatrist Manuel Escudero, the mental block is defined as "an interruption of a brain process that does not allow us to initiate or terminate any activity or situation. This phenomenon can be considered as the impossibility of following a line of thought that affects our behaviors, reduces our effectiveness and limits our potential to achieve our final objective. "


  • Related article: "Emotional blocks: what are they and how can we overcome them?"

So the mental block is good or bad?

It is neither good nor bad. In the world of psychology there is no talk of blacks and whites, you have to move more by nuances.

In the case of mental blocks, if we stick to the definition, we speak of a defense mechanism whose objective is to protect us from a situation that surpasses us. Therefore it is something that protects us, is good for us and exists for a reason ...

But like so many things, good in excess can be dangerous, and these mechanisms are no exception. The problem comes when they are used excessively or at times when not only are they not necessary, but make it difficult for us to get out of a relatively easy situation .


What happens when we feel blocked?

The blockage has a multi-causal origin : traumatic experiences, lack of self-esteem, anxiety, depression, lack of confidence or knowledge ... All this leads to a lack of response to any situation, which in turn leads to more anxiety, frustration, and stress.

At the brain level, a University of Canada conducted a study where they showed how hormones that are released under stress affect the brain regions related to memory and spatial orientation , and influence the imbalance of neurotransmitters. This fact, at the same time, influences the moments in which we feel that we are left blank and can not remember meaningful ideas or objectives to pursue.

At the same time, the fact of feeling vulnerable and not knowing what to do leads us to feel more anxious, which in turn feeds the mental block, etc. It creates a loop of indecision that sometimes difficult to break.


How to get out of that jam

As for the proposals for improvements in these situations, most have to do with a healthy lifestyle, balanced diet, rest and physical exercise . It is something so basic that it may sound like a joke, but there are several studies that give truth to this simple recipe.

For example, a study conducted on people with mental disorders indicates the ability to physically remodel the brain structure just by talking to themselves in a more positive way.

The words activate amygdalin nuclei. Scientists from the University of Harward have shown that, when a person reduces his inner cacophony (or as my psychology professor called it, the mental centrifuge) and we find silence, migraines and coronary pain can be reduced by 80%.

On the other hand, people who carry out some kind of physical activity in a habitual way they have lower levels of anxiety and stress . It has been seen in several studies how exercise increases the concentration of norepinephrine in the regions of the brain involved with the body's response to stress. This has a direct effect on the frequency of episodes of mental blockage. Finally, according to scientific research on the subject, our immune system responds equally to lack of sleep than to exposure to stress.

Since we live in a society where the rhythms of life dislocate us and mental disorders could become our daily bread, it seems unequivocal to say that part of the solution lies in ourselves, which is a matter of attitude.

Dare to manage stress

First we should not crush when we are going through a stage of mental block. It is very easy to fall into the "I should not complain, there are people who are much worse" and feel guilty and more frustrated by not being able to control that emotion .

There will always be people who are having a worse time, but there will also be people who are better; We have the full right to feel lost in some moments of our life.The important thing is not to fall into the "comfort" of becoming a passive subject, bask in our own discomfort and take an attitude of laissez faire in which we do not try to get out of that bad patch.

Each option that occurs to us, however ridiculous it may seem, is a decision and, therefore, an opportunity. You have to try your luck, and bad luck, and repeat again . The important thing is to participate, right? And go out; escape from the mental labyrinth in which we are sometimes trapped.

And as Santiago Ramón y Cajal said, "every human being, if he proposes it, can be a sculptor of his own brain".


Buford T Justice - Quotes 1 (April 2024).


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