Why does your mind go blank

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blank mind
It's embarrassing when your mind goes blank but it happens to everyone at one time or another so don't sweat the small stuff
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When your mind goes blank, admit it. Joke about it. Everyone's been there.

Fortunately, it does not happen too often but, when it does, it is mighty embarrassing. We have all experienced it: Our minds go blank. Zap! We stand there thinking duh. Just like that, our minds are completely void and we could not utter a coherence response if our life depended on it.

Assuming that we do not have rapid onset dementia, there must be another reason for this sudden evisceration of brain cells and thought processes that were functioning quite nicely just a few minutes before. One of those reasons is just the natural aging process. Simple exercises, like word puzzles, playing trivia and working with memory-developing devices can help as we get older.

Besides the natural aging process, there are other reasons our brain just seems to shut down. Why does your mind go blank?

If you have social anxiety this can shut down your brain in a New York minute. When we get anxious, our thought processes change. We segue into a reactive state rather than a reflective state and our conscious mind starts to close down shop.

When we are in reactive mode, our muscles get tight, our senses heighten and we move into a state of keen readiness. Adrenaline engulfs us and we are in the fight or flight mode, which is wonderful if you are being attacked by a pack of junkyard dogs and have to react quickly but it is not so great when it comes to issuing verbal and intelligible responses.

When a person is terribly self-critical, he thinks everything he has to say is dumb or somehow inferior. There is a lot of negative self-talk going on in his head and the person assumes that whatever he says is going to be met with scorn and ridicule. Because the person is afraid to speak in fear that he will be mocked, rejecting everything thought, word and phrase that comes to mind, he does not say anything because his mind has turned up blank as a result of his inferiority complex.

If you are in the middle of a conversation or giving a speech and your mind suddenly goes blank address it. Cop to it. Announce: My mind just went blank ... why does your mind go blank? Laugh about it. Everyone can relate. Do not give yourself a hard time because over your blank state because that is only going to make it worse and harder for you to recover.

A technique that you can use that may prevent your mind from going blank is focusing on the individual that you are talking to or to the group rather than on yourself. Focus your mental energy on the other person or person, on what is being said, how they look, what their mannerisms are and do not overly concern yourself with whether they like you.

Sometimes our minds go blank when we hear a word or see a symbol that we do not understand. Have you read an entire page of a book and then gotten to the final sentence and realize that you cannot remember a single word that you have just read? That may be because you have encountered a word somewhere on the page that you did not understand and your mind subsequently blanked out.

When your mind disconnects from the subject matter at hand because you do not understand it, this can cause you to become distracted, irritated and impatient. Go back and read over the word that you do not understand. Look it up. Find out what it means so this disconnect does not occur the next time you encounter the word.

One of the worst times to experience a blank mind is when you are taking a test. It happens. When it does, take a deep breath and try not to panic. Breathing deeply keeps oxygen flowing to your blank brain and will help you maintain your composure.

Look at your test. If you do not know the answer to a question. Skip it. Perhaps you will have time to go back later. Sometimes, when you return to a question the answer will come to you whereas you could not drag the information out of your brain the first time around. If you are dealing with multiple-choice, use the process of elimination. Even if you are unsure, you can probably eliminate at least one of the options. Proceed from there. A good guess is better than no guess at all.

Resources: help for when your mind goes blank pitfalls of learning

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