Ever crash into that big, blank writing wall and feel like every ounce of imagination is just out of reach? Don’t panic, that’s normal and there’s an extremely easy way to fix this brain malfunction: positivity.

A study published in the Psychological Science journal found that staying positive allows the brain to think more creatively and flexibly. The study manipulated participants’ moods by exposing half to upbeat Mozart pieces and the other half to the forlorn soundtrack to Schindler’s List. After listening to the music, both groups were instructed to classify particular, complex patterns. The happy volunteers were better at finding the rule to the patterns than the sad or neutral groups. So, next time you need to sit down to start an essay for that tough class, keep anoptimistic attitude. Here are some suggestions to keep you positive:

You don’t just have to listen to peppy Mozart pieces to put yourself in a good mood. Pick songs that make you feel like you can take on the world. Some suggestions:

  • Eye of the Tiger
  • Gonna Fly Now (Theme From Rocky)
  • Survivor by Destiny’s Child
  • Hawaii Five-O Theme Song

Funny videos
Short, comedy sketches can change your mood instantly. They aren’t too difficult to find with Youtube and all. One of my personal favorites: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tM_UtrUXPPc&feature=relmfu

Pep talks
Keep the future outcome in mind and how you will feel when you finally finish the assignment. Tell yourself you can do it. You’ve written plenty of essays before. Here’s a good pep talk to help you out.

Exercising releases endorphins in the brain that naturally cheer you up and give you more confidence. This doesn’t mean you have to hit the gym every time you have to write an essay. You can do pretty much any form of movement to get the blood flowing. Try some fun yoga positions.

More information about the study.

Categories: Study Abroad

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