How To Take Your Mind Off Something
We have all experienced a time when it seems impossible to stop thoughts whirling around in our heads preventing us from getting any peace. Those thoughts might be about something we have done wrong, a break-up, or even something we are worried about in the future. These thoughts can upset us, make us stressed and preoccupy every waking moment. So learning how to take your mind off something can be a key skill that you need to learn to help you switch off from the negative thoughts in your mind.
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Stop Thinking About Something
Learning how to take your mind off something isn’t however always as easy as you think. A perfect example of this might be a person who is experiencing problems with sleep. They worry about not being able to sleep at night, they fret about not performing the next day at work and they head to bed early because they believe that will resolve their insomnia and make up for the lost sleep they have been experiencing. Their heads hit the pillow and their worries are floating around in their mind and of course, no sleep comes.
A better way of tackling the problem is to accept that you have problems sleeping and that you might be awake for part of the night. Say to yourself it is ok if I can’t switch off as the worst thing that will happen is that I am tired the following day. The pressure to sleep has now been taken away. Head to bed much later as well to make sure you really are tired and now when you curl up in bed you fall fast asleep. This seems a counter-intuitive approach but it tends to work beautifully for most of our clients.
So what other approaches can you take to learn how to take your mind off something? Well here are ten ways we help our clients to alter their mindset and get some peace.
How to Clear Your Mind – Mindfulness
Our first approach to clear your mind is the use of mindfulness as a tool to take away the mind chatter. Mindfulness is a fantastic tool to help you learn how to take your mind off something but it requires regular practice. The idea behind the practice is that you teach your mind to focus on the here and now rather than thinking about the past or the future.
Mindfulness is a relatively new tool to help anxiety and negative thinking but it has made a big impact. When it is used daily it can really help to focus your mind on what is going on right now rather than worrying about things that may never happen or you can’t change. We recommend that our clients read Mindfulness: An Eight-Week Plan for Finding Peace in a Frantic World to help get them started on a new way of thinking.
Occupy Your Mind – Hobbies
If you don’t have a hobby this is probably the time to get one. Hobbies are a fantastic way of getting you engaged in doing something that you love. When you are involved in an activity that you enjoy your mind is totally focused on the task at hand meaning that other thoughts go to the back of your mind.
We have compiled a list of ten relaxing hobbies that are fantastic for helping reduce anxiety and are also interesting and entertaining. If these are not suitable then seek out something that speaks to you. Whatever you do don’t just sit there and do nothing because when your mind has time on its hands it will start to focus on any anxiety or worries.
How to Stop Thinking About Something – Self-Hypnosis
We know exactly how powerful self-hypnosis can be at helping our clients to switch off and relax completely. This isn’t the sort of relaxation that you get when you are sitting down watching television. Instead, it is almost like a total brain reboot where your mind stops focusing on what it is your head and either listens to alternative suggestions or goes blank.
Self-hypnosis is the perfect tool to learn how to take your mind off something and think differently. We use it for everything from anxiety and worrying to sleep problems and weight loss.
Just remember to ensure that you are not doing anything else whilst you are practising it. Head on over to our online store to see the full range of our titles and see what is most suitable for your particular circumstances.
How to Get Something Out of Your Head – Exercise
If you want to learn how to take your mind off something then start to use exercise as a way of helping yourself to switch off and relax. It is well known that exercise is a great activity for helping good mental health and has been shown to reduce anxiety and depression.
Obviously, the exercise you take will depend on your age and abilities. Walking is something that most able-bodied people are able to do relatively easily and it costs absolutely nothing to do. If you want to make it a little more vigorous use Nordic Walking poles to get your heart rate up. If you are unable to walk easily them swimming can be a great low impact exercise that you can do to clear your mind.
How to Stop Living in Your Head – Distraction
Distracting yourself is a great way of forgetting about what is bothering you and focusing on another activity to help divert your attention. It is also something that you can put in place almost immediately to take you out of your headspace.
So what can you do to distract yourself that will help you to stop thinking about whatever is bugging you? Well, the list is endless but here are some things you could do straight away:
- Cook something new
- Play a computer game
- Phone a friend
- Do some gardening
- Clean or tidy an area of your house
- Watch a film
- Read a book
- Do a jigsaw or crossword puzzle
- Look at Instagram or Pinterest
- Decorate a room
How to Get Someone Off Your Mind – Deal with the Problem
Ok, this might sound obvious but in fact, most people think they are taking the easy way out by avoiding their problems. If you want to take your mind off something sometimes the only thing that you can do is confront your problem head-on.
That means if you have a worry about work talking to your manager or supervisor might be a far better way of resolving the problem rather than stewing on it for months on end. If you have a problem with your partner then speak to them about what is on your mind rather than locking your thoughts up and allowing them to drive you crazy.
Getting something off your chest at least lets you know where you are rather than you second-guessing and worrying. Even if the outcome isn’t exactly what you desire at least you can start to move on rather than spending your life worrying about something or not knowing where you stand.
Take Your Mind Off Something – Write Down Your Thoughts
When you are learning how to talk your mind off something you actually need to hone in on what your problem actually is. Most people are aware that thoughts are buzzing around in their minds but very few take a step back to assess what they are and what they can do about them.
We ask our clients to start to take what is in their head and place it on paper so that they can start to look at what is really bothering them. Our anxiety tracker printable PDF is a great tool that you can use to track what you are thinking and feeling. Once you become aware of what is causing you a problem the printables give you suggestions on how you can change your thoughts to something more useful instead.
Free Your Mind – Stress Reduction
When you are under more stress your worries become larger and feel more out of control. When the stress is reduced they tend to fade into the background where they don’t bother you in the same way.
If you find that you are constantly thinking too much and it is impacting your life then think about how you can reduce your stress levels. That means staying far away from arguments, getting a good work/life balance and taking time out for self-care. Make a list of areas in your life which could be causing you a problem and start to think of ways that you could try and adjust what you are doing to take the pressure off.
Plus think about using our guided meditation for relaxation and stress reduction to help you let go of your stress at the end of a busy day.
How to Empty Your Mind – Understanding
If you really want to learn how to take your mind off something you need to understand what your mind is doing and learn tips and strategies to change your old thought processes. Our suggestions are just some examples of what you can do but, of course, there are many others out there.
Learning from others and hearing what they suggest can help to change the way in which you think. Get Out of Your Head by Jennie Allen is a great book at helping you to remove what she calls toxic thinking patterns. Alternatively, if you are not so interested in the Christian approach you could use Fear is Not the Boss of You by Jennifer Allwood. Both books help you to understand what your mind is actually up to and give you strategies for positive change.
Release Negative Thoughts – See a Therapist
Finally, if self-help methods are not enough to learn how to take your mind off something then you may need to get a little extra help. Therapists such as ourselves spend our lives helping others manage negative thought patterns and reducing anxiety. All you need to do is contact us at the form below to ask about our programs and we will be in touch.
Remember therapy helps you to see things that you might miss and also gives you a different perspective from your own. That can make a world of difference to how you think, feel and behave and create life-changing results.
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