• Michael Dahdal

The Zeigarnik Effect


The Zeigarnik effect is a psychological phenomenal that can teach you a little something about how to settle your unsettled mind.


How to break those thought loops, cut the chord, so you can start thinking forward again


In essence, the Zeigarnik effect suggests that there is a tendency for your brain to remember and prioritise, interrupted or incomplete tasks.


The implication is, if you’ve got something that’s unresolved, your brain just won’t let it go.


That’s the relationship status that’s complicated


The job search that’s waning


The new project you started but never finished


The lifestyle changes you set out to make but didn’t follow through on


The conversation you know needs to be had, but you’ve been avoiding


It’s also hesitation,


Delaying or procrastinating


Not making a decision or delivering on a promise


It could be an idea or opinion that hasn’t been fully formed, or properly thought through


And so it goes on.


The point is that your mind craves certainty;


The need for certainty is a survival mechanism that’s ingrained in all of us.


Uncertainty, ambiguity or lack of clarity is processed as a potential threat; because you just don’t know what could be lurking around the corner.


With our caveman ancestors, this could have been a saber-toothed tiger!