Writer's Block? Take A Hike Or Laugh It Off

By Kimberly Gonzalez
SNPJ Associate Editor

Sometimes, when trying to come up with articles and topics for this blog or SNPJ’s The Voice of Youth, I find myself with writer’s block. As defined by Wikipedia, writer’s block is a “condition, primarily associated with typing, in which an author loses the ability to produce new work.” I’ll wrack my brain and search the Internet high and low for something, anything, of interest to write about, but turn up empty handed. It can be very frustrating! I eventually give up and turn my focus to another project, if for no other reason than to avoid wasting valuable time.

During my latest quest for inspiration, I came across an article on HealthCentral.com that shared the results of a recent scientific study. One hundred and seventy six college-aged participants were given the task of successfully and creatively solving various problems in a small amount of time. Participants were scored on the uniqueness and applicability of their answers. The catch: some were asked to sit during the questionnaire while others were asked to walk. According to the results, those who completed the test while walking scored, on average, 60 percent higher than those who were sitting. It was concluded that walking helped boost the participants’ thinking and creativity during the test, and it seemed that these levels remained heightened even after the walk ended.

If I still find myself battling writer’s block even after a little stroll, I could always try to laugh it off. It’s true; turns out that the old adage of “laughter is the best medicine” isn’t as far-fetched as it sounds. A second (unrelated) study from Loma Linda University in Southern California showed that incorporating laughter into your everyday routine can reduce stress, improve brain health and help keep you mentally sharp. Those big-belly, laugh-until-you-cry chuckles help exercise the brain and allow a person to “think more clearly and have more integrative thoughts,” according to the study’s co-author, Lee Berk.

Suffering from writer’s block probably isn’t the best excuse to spend an hour of my work day strolling the hallway or watching funny YouTube clips, but these little distractions might be just enough to power through those “creativity clouds” that I find hanging over my head every now and then.

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