Activities & writing prompts for cognition & problem-solving


Try one of the following strategies to help yourself cope with cognitive problems:


When you have a complex problem, break it into the following chunks to make it more manageable:

  • First define the problem. 
  • Next define the goal(s). 
  • Then brainstorm all possible solutions. 
  • Evaluate each solution and select the most appropriate one.


Practice the STOP skill to connect with your learning brain.

  • S—Stop: Notice when you’re acting from your survival brain (based on defensive instincts) or emotional brain (based on emotion), not your learning brain (based on thought).
  • T—Take a step back: It can be hard to evaluate a problem or make a decision when you’re in the heat of a moment. Give yourself some space to properly evaluate what is going on.
  • O—Observe: Notice what’s going on around you and inside of you.
  • P—Proceed thoughtfully: Ask yourself “What do I want from this situation?” or “What are my goals?” or “What choice might make this situation better or worse?” or “What act will allow for success?”

Writing prompts

Think of a challenging situation you recently experienced and write a description of the event from the perspective of each of your three brain layers:

  1. Survival brain
  2. Emotional brain
  3. Learning brain