Mental block and stress: the fish that bite its tail

Few today can claim to have never experienced a mental or emotional blockage. The hectic pace of life and exposure to stressful situations sometimes makes us notice that our brain doesn’t give a damn.

Let’s see what exactly this mental block is and how it relates to stress.

What is mental block?

We first develop the concept of mind blocking itself.

According to psychiatrist Manuel Escudero, mental block is defined as “an interruption of a brain process that does not allow us to start or end any activity or situation. This phenomenon can be seen as the inability to follow a line of thought that affects our behaviors, decreases our efficiency and limits our potential to achieve our ultimate goal. “

    So, is mental blocking good or bad?

    It is neither good nor bad. In the world of psychology, we don’t talk about black and white, we have to move more through the nuances.

    In the case of mental blockages, if we stick to the definition, we are talking about a defense mechanism whose goal is to protect us from a situation that overwhelms us. So it’s something that protects us, it’s good for us and there is a reason …

    But like so many things, too much good can be dangerous, and these mechanisms are no exception. The problem arises when they are overused or at times when not only are they not needed, but they prevent us from getting out of a relatively easy situation that we inadvertently prolong.

    What happens when we feel blocked?

    The block has a multicausal origin: Traumatic experiences, lack of self-esteem, anxiety, depression, lack of confidence or knowledge … All of this leads to a lack of response to a situation, which in turn leads to more anxiety, frustration and of stress.

    In the brain, a Canadian university conducted a study in which they showed how hormones are released under the effect of stress they affect brain regions related to memory and spatial orientation, And influence the imbalance of neurotransmitters. This fact, in turn, influences the times when we feel like we are left blank and cannot remember meaningful ideas or goals to pursue.

    At the same time, noticing ourselves vulnerable and not knowing what to do makes us feel more anxious, which in turn fuels mental blockage, and so on. This creates a loop of indecision that is sometimes difficult to break.

    How to get out of this traffic jam

    As for the suggestions for improvement in these situations, most have to do with a healthy lifestyle, a balanced diet, rest and exercise. It’s such a basic thing that it might sound like a joke, but there are several studies that give this simple recipe some truth.

    For example, a study in people with mental disorders highlights the ability to physically reshape the structure of the brain by simply talking to themselves in a more positive way.

    The words activate the nuclei of the tonsils. Scientists at Harvard University have shown that when a person reduces their inner cacophony (or as my psychology professor said, the mental centrifuge) and we find that silence, migraines, and coronary pain can be reduced by 80%.

    On the other hand, people who regularly engage in physical activity they have lower anxiety and stress levels. Several studies have shown how exercise increases the concentration of norepinephrine in areas of the brain involved in the body’s response to stress. This has a direct effect on the frequency of mental blocking episodes. Finally, according to scientific research on the subject, our immune system responds to lack of sleep as well as exposure to stress.

    Since we live in a society where the rhythms of life disrupt us and where mental disorders could become our daily bread and butter, 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 must not sting when we are going through a stage of mental blocking. It’s very easy to fall into the “I shouldn’t be complaining, there are people who are much worse” and feeling guilty and more frustrated at not being able to control this emotion.

    There will always be people who are going through a worse time, but there will also be people who are better off; we have every right to feel lost at some point in our life. The important thing is not to fall into the “comfort” of becoming a passive subject, to revel in your own discomfort, and to adopt a laissez-faire attitude in which we are not trying to get out of this bad sequence. .

    Every choice that comes to mind, ridiculous as it may sound, is a decision and therefore an opportunity. You must try your luck and your bad luck and repeat it. The important thing is to participate, right? And leaves; escape the mental labyrinth in which we sometimes find ourselves trapped.

    And as Santiago Ramón i Cajal said, “any human being, if he proposes it, can be a sculptor of his own brain”.

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