Getting unstuck can be as easy as changing channels. We’ve all experienced the insights, solutions, and inspirations that occur at odd moments when we’ve forgotten or finally surrendered a problem that had been plaguing us. Why not cultivate these “Aha’s” by learning to change channels on purpose?
Here are ten ways to change channels ranging from the reasonably conservative to the moderately outrageous. Next time you find yourself stuck, try changing channels. What have you got to lose?
1. Move. Take a walk. (A little water never hurt anyone except the Wicked Witch of the West, so “bad” weather is rarely a good reason for not going outside.)
2. Listen. Play music to lighten your mood, raise your energy, or soften your heart. Better yet: play music and move to it. Yes, some people call that dancing.
3. Look. Rest your eyes on something beautiful. Visit an art gallery or museum or page through a beautiful book or a photo album.
4. Sound. Make some. Instead of talking, try letting your voice lead you on a treasure hunt, lettings squeals, squeaks, or squawks out without censoring or even interpreting them. (Best done in a sound-proof office or the privacy of your own home.)
5. Role play. When you just can’t see the other guy’s point of view, try arguing it yourself for a while.
6. Meditate. Ten minutes of simply sitting still, quieting your mind, and connecting with your breath may not solve your problem and is virtually guaranteed not to complicate it.
7. Comedy. Just when you think you can’t take it anymore, turn your sad story into a nightclub act. Seriously, life is funny.
8. Draw. No one ever needs to see this, and you don’t ever have to look at it again. Spend ten minutes with a pencil and some paper and scribble to your heart’s content.
9. De-clutter. Spend ten minutes filing, recycling, or sweeping. A little order is a marvelous thing.
10. Reach out. Dip into a wise book, call a friend, talk to a co-worker. Sometimes a random comment is a more likely source of wisdom than the thoughts we’ve been wrestling with.
Changing channels need not be a big deal. Each of the above suggestions can be employed in under 30 minutes, most in five or ten. What’s more, the benefits of channel changing are cumulative. Every time you practice you not only get respite from being stuck, you cultivate resilience and flexibility.