Business HeartBeat: Protect Yourself from Business Brain Freeze

| September 25, 2017 | 0 Comments | Bristow Biz

By All Things Writing, LLC

It doesn’t have to be winter for us to freeze – our brains, that is.

You’ve heard of information overload, right? Well, the way our brains react to it in the workplace is what we’re calling Business Brain Freeze. Today, we’re offering more than an ounce of prevention and perhaps a bit of a cure for business owners and professionals who might be having a hard time warming things up.

Define the Freeze, please

Okay, think back to the last time you tried to eat ice cream, drink an icy beverage or suck down a frosty dessert really fast. Did you get brain freeze – you know, that nasty, “OMG someone is trying to rip my skull open” headache that comes from taking in too much cold too fast? If you did, you’re a pretty typical mammal.

In one British study, nearly 40 percent of the human participants experienced brain freeze (officially called sphenopalatine ganglioneuralgia, unofficially “ice-cream headache”) after consuming hefty amounts of ice-cream in 30 seconds. Another part of the study showed animals having similar reactions.

In addition to pain, brain freeze has been shown to encourage brief episodes of numbness, paralysis, spasms, grimacing and jumping up and down, some of which are typically more psychological responses than anything else. But who cares if it’s all in your head when your head hurts that much?

In business, it’s easy to get brain freeze with or without the ice cream. When we try to take in too many facts, figures and ideas (“cold data,” if you will) in a short period, we sometimes have a reaction metaphorically similar to sphenopalatine ganglioneuralgia.

Pass the anti-freeze, please

You’d think it would be easy to avoid brain freeze of any kind, right? Just. Slow. Down.

Uh huh. Most of us can’t.

Business demands our brains be busy constantly. Bits and bytes of information flood in all day long, all night long, too, for many of us. We’re expected to consume it, process it, spit out a reasonable response to it and move on to the next piece of data, like we’re iHumans.

But we’re not. So our brain freezes up. It ceases to function normally. We might feel physically exhausted, experience racing thoughts or go blank. We might even literally get a headache.

Of course, that doesn’t stop many of us from trying chug info. So if you’re one of those professionals, we’re not going to tell you to stop. But you might want to give some of these tactics a try, too. At least the headaches won’t last so long, and the twisted expression on your face won’t be so horrifying.

Look up – If you’re experiencing business brain freeze or know you are about to, raise your head slowly. Then look around. Move both your head and your eyes. Looking out a window is preferable, but sometimes one isn’t available. No worries. Whatever your eyes settle on, take in as much detail as possible. It’s more than a distraction. A change in view can change our perspective and psyche.

Get up – Walking away isn’t just for taking a break. It gets the blood moving, the breathing booted and the heart pumping. All that equals a physical and psychological warming up, which is what you want when brain freeze is lurking.

Shut up – Rude, huh? Well, we’re not telling you to can it. We’re telling you what to tell your brain. Give it a try. See what happens. Maybe it provides you a moment of reprieve. Maybe it makes you laugh. Maybe it just reminds you that it’s time to look up or get up. No matter. Commanding your brain to shut up is like pouring a teaspoon of boiling water on an icicle. That tiny reaction can make a big difference and weaken the power of a freeze.

Keep it up – Slow and steady wins the race.  But if you can’t slow down, at least try to be steady. Just like taking a big gulp of ice cream will freeze your brain, so will taking big, erratic gulps of information. Get yourself in a groove when you’re trying to absorb information and watch how your brain functions more smoothly.

But wait, you might be saying. You’re content development folks, right? Writers, editors, graphic designers, that kind of thing? How do you know all this?

Well, we like to think we’re pretty good at using our own decades of experience, intertwining them with research, identifying a topic and going for it. And because we are business owners and eclectic professionals with curious minds and a hefty dose of creativity, we can adapt to our audience as well as our clients’ audiences.

Give these tactics a try. See what happens. Then contact us and let us know how it goes.

Business HeartBeat aims to encourage business owners and professionals to think in different ways about their industry. Look for more columns by All Things Writing, LLC, your Bristow-based, full-service content development and marketing partner.

© 2017, Bristow Beat. All rights reserved.

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Category: Bristow Biz

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