We’ve all had “a ha” moments. We don’t necessarily know how or why, but solutions appear almost out of thin air, and there is an inner knowing that they are accurate.
As a child, I recall having numerous insights or intuitions that were dismissed by family members because there was no logical way to deduce the solution (and yes, the little girl in me would smile when they were later proven true). I share this anecdote since I have experienced a world pre-disposed to logic over intuition or insight.
Next time you have a particularly vexing challenge consider these two alternative strategies. The first is metacognition. This is thinking about how you are thinking of the problem, rather than thinking about the problem itself. In essence, you are opening or exploring alternative ways to think through the challenge at hand.
The second strategy is insight. Often thought of as an “a ha” moment, when insight happens we suddenly find a solution, or we recognize a new idea, or we understand the complexity of the situation.
Too often, insight is dismissed as unpredictable and not controllable, but it is real, and neuroscience research highlights tools and actionable strategies for increasing insight. Here are three of the strategies:
1. Generate a positive mood. The better your mood, the more creativity and insights you will have.
2. Presuppose you know the solution. Individuals with a hunch that they could solve a problem were more likely to solve it.
3. Relax. Although easier said than done, research consistently shows that alpha waves (associated with relaxation) precede gamma waves (associates with insights).
Skeptical? Try it. You might have an “a ha” moment about insight…