Change your environment to interrupt your thought patterns

For the last few months, I’ve been feeling a bit out of sorts. My job is mostly remote and while working from home offers a lot of flexibility, it also keeps one at home for majority of the time. I find that when I spend the bulk of my time in the same place, it can be hard to break old thought patterns and get new ideas. Perhaps because our brains are wired to follow a certain routine in a place, we tend to do similar activities and have similar thoughts in the same place.

In my case, I’ve found that a change of environment can help a lot. Sometimes simply spending a few hours in a coffee shop can help. The general activity in a coffee shop coupled with a nice cup of coffee can feel energizing and uplifting. At other times though, you need more than just a few hours in a coffee shop. If you have a remote job, consider traveling to a different city and working from there for a few days. I find that traveling to a new place is one of the surest ways to break thought patterns and open up your mind to new perspectives. Perhaps because you’re in a new and unknown place and your mind can no longer fall into old habits, your mind is forced to think, to take in its surroundings, and to come up with new ideas and connections. From the moment you wake up, you have to decide what you’ll do afresh. Where do you get your morning cip of coffee? Where will you have breakfast? Where is the nearest grocery store? How do you get there? Where can you go for a walk? What’s a good place to relax? You’re forced to create new routines for yourself in a new place.

And this process for creating new routines helps break your old thought patterns. I don’t think travel can solve all your problems. But it can give you the space and the conditions to be able to think about things from a different perspective. If you’re going through a tough or stressful time and have the ability to work from a different place for even just a few days – give it a try.

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