It sucks when you can’t get something off your mind…. not all stuff mind you. Of course, when you’re thinking about really great stuff, you don’t have a problem with how your mind is behaving.
However, worrying about how you’re going to pay the bills, what they said about you at work, what are the kids up to, and did I lock the front door before going away on holiday…. well, that’s another story.
It’s at times like these that our minds seem to have a mind of their own! And we would like nothing better than to change the subject away from one that’s bringing us down. Fortunately, we can….. and there are several approaches you can take.
The first and easiest approach is just to distract your mind. And with this, there are many, many, things we can do. So I’ll list a few of the most obvious so you get the idea. Click HERE to go to the beginning of the list.
The second approach is more of a long-term solution and requires that we learn some mental discipline techniques. This is by far the best way as it establishes new beneficial habits that mean we will not keep having the same issues in the future.
So, if you’re serious about making your life better you should read to the end of this post for the best solutions.
7 Quick And Easy Ways To Get Something Off Your Mind
Before we get into the solutions you are seeking, it’s important to realize that sometimes dwelling on stuff that makes us feel sad, uncomfortable, and even angry, is actually of benefit to us.
Grief, for example, is a necessary experience for us to go through. It allows us to mentally and emotionally process the loss of something or someone loved and come to terms with a future without them. This is just a natural part of life for all of us.
However, if you are often ‘dwelling’ on problems/issues instead of actively seeking solutions, then this is destructive behavior. And it will turn you into the sort of person that healthy people will not want to be around….. (however, you will attract like-minded people into your experience so you can be miserable together!) Is this what you want?
If you don’t want to be miserable, sad, afraid, or angry… simply because of the thoughts your mind seems intent on thinking about, you need to learn some of these strategies to ‘change your mind.’ Why…..Because there is nothing more important for your health, well-being, success, and satisfaction with life that the way you feel….
…. and the way you feel is determined by the thoughts you are having. Then, your thoughts and feelings lead to your actions….. or your inability to act!
So, a healthy mind is the main key to living a healthy fulfilling life. And the good news about this is that Your Mind Is YOUR MIND! YES, it’s yours…. Nobody else is doing your thinking for you.
Therefore, if you’re not thinking thoughts that support your quest for a great life…. it’s because you haven’t learned to use your mind to your best advantage yet!
I say ‘YET’ because TODAY IS A NEW DAY AND WITH EVERY NEW DAY YOU HAVE NEW OPPORTUNITIES TO MAKE YOUR LIFE BETTER…. AND IT ALL BEGINS WITH THE WAY YOU ARE THINKING, WHICH LEADS TO HOW YOU FEEL AND THEN TO WHAT YOU DO OR DO NOT DO!
How Can You Distract Your Mind For Immediate Relief From Unwanted Thoughts?
Our minds, bodies, and emotions are intimately connected. When one aspect is changed, the others will synchronize. Therefore, if we are having angry thoughts, we will feel angry emotionally, our bodies will tense, and our breath will become shallower and quicker, etc.
If we are feeling love, our thoughts will be gentle and happy, and our bodies will show confidence, be relaxed, and be free. And physically, if we stub our toe and it hurts and bleeds…. this will lead to thoughts and emotions to match the condition….
So, my point is this: If you are trapped in a cycle of negative thoughts that you want to change, but you are having trouble changing your thoughts, you can do it in other ways.
1) Take 3 To 5 Slow Deep Breaths And Move On:
Changing the way you are breathing is one of the most effective ways to positively change the way you are thinking and feeling. It’s the act of having to focus your mind on your breath combined with the physical benefits of slow deep relaxed breathing that makes this distraction so effective.
Watch this video to learn 3 techniques that work to calm a busy mind… and no, you do not have to sit in a full lotus position to benefit from them.
Try them, and once you realize that your thoughts have improved, keep it up by consciously focusing your mind on thinking more beneficial thoughts for as long as you can.
2) Seek To Resolve Whatever Is Bothering You:
You are obviously thinking about something that is bothering you. So instead of stewing over it, take action and try to resolve the issue in the best way possible.
This may mean talking to someone you are having an issue with, beginning an exercise program to gain health and fitness, or moving out from an unhealthy relationship.
Whatever your issue, taking action toward some sort of resolution is satisfying and will help release your mind from the cycle of stress.
3) Do Some Exercise:
Movement, whether it’s exercise, yoga, dance, hiking, cooking, gardening, etc. causes your thoughts to be pulled toward what you are doing…. And therefore you won’t be thinking about the stuff you don’t want to think about. At best, it’s more of a temporary distraction, because you can’t keep it up all day. So at some point, your mind will probably return to what was bothering you. However, temporary relief is better than no relief, right?
4) Join In With What Someone Else Is Doing:
You can talk to someone else about your issue… which will either prolong it or may lead to a solution, OR join in with what family or friends are doing. And this will get your mind off the topic altogether (temporarily anyway.)
5) Remove Any Things That Are ‘Triggering’ You Into A Negative State:
It’s easy to remove an object associated with bad memories from your presence, and if you don’t see it, hear it, or feel it, your thoughts are less likely to be drawn toward those particular negative thoughts. However, it’s more difficult when it’s your partner, a family member, or a co-worker that makes your mind nosedive into a chaotic state every time you see them.
However, you are never without options…. and they range from trying to limit contact with who’s triggering you, to removing yourself from their presence altogether.
In between these extremes is the best option for your overall mental health, and that is to learn how not to let other people bring you down. You can read my popular post about this here: Don’t Let People Bring You Down.
6) Get Out Into Nature:
Unfortunately, our busy modern lifestyles mean that many of us are stuffed inside offices, in cars, on the phone, looking at screens, etc. for much of our days.
As humans, we are complex bio-electrical beings, and as such we are negatively affected by the many man-made EMFs (electromagnetic radiation) that surround us at all times. Our bodies, minds, and emotions are adversely thrown out from their natural balanced states and are being negatively affected in numerous ways.
We have evolved with nature over hundreds of thousands of years and it is in nature that we can find relief from these modern stresses. So, go to the beach, go for a hike in the mountains, go to the local park, walk barefoot on the grass, or just stand in the rain… you will find that your body and mind will naturally re-tune into a state of well-being and health with long periods of exposure to the natural world.
7) Talk To A Professional:
If you have a habitual problem with overthinking negatively and the above solutions have not helped you, maybe it’s time to talk to a therapist or a counselor…. someone who is experienced in dealing with anxiety and depression.
Because if you don’t get help, you may eventually talk yourself into such a bad state that your mental, emotional, and physical health will suffer. The longer you leave it, the stronger the habit of negative thinking becomes…. And the harder the cycle is to break.
So, do yourself a favor and start doing something to break out of your negative thinking bad-habits now.
There you have it. 7 ways of distracting yourself to bring temporary relief from thinking thoughts that you don’t want to be thinking. I suggest you play with them and find a combination of techniques that work best for you and use them!
However, at the same time, I suggest, for your health, success, and overall well-being, that you also work on more permanent solutions.
The solutions above mostly work on the premise that the quality of your life is dependent on circumstances, events, and people outside of you that you have no or little control over…. and you, like most people, are just reacting to this stuff as best as you can.
However, what if this premise is flawed…. What if you have much more control over the quality of your life than you could have previously imagined? What if life is really an internal experience…. and your thoughts and emotions are actually things that you have complete control over?
Well, this is actually how it is for many people…. and those who have taken the time to train their brains to work for them, instead of against them, regularly achieve their goals and dreams…. AND THEY HAVE wonderful fulfilling and successful lives!
So, how did they do it, and can you also make your life better by copying them?
Techniques That Create New Beneficial Habits And Improve ALL Aspects Of Your Life Include…
We live our lives through our senses. It is our sight, hearing, touch, taste, and smell that connect us to our environment and to everything that is happening in OUR world. After we sense something, anything, and everything, we generally have thoughts about it. And these thoughts invariably lead to how we feel and then also to how we act.
So, while we may believe that what we are thinking, feeling, and acting upon is external to us and out of our control, IT IS THE THOUGHTS THAT WE HAVE ABOUT WHAT WE ARE EXPERIENCING WITH OUR SENSES THAT ARE RESPONSIBLE FOR OUR FEELINGS AND OUR ACTIONS OR INACTION.
Yes, our thoughts are creating our lives. Therefore, if you want to change your life in any way whatsoever (including getting something negative off your mind) you need to change your thinking patterns/habits/programs.
And what are the best ways to change a negative pattern of thinking that has been allowed to exist, by you, for maybe years already? We have the ways……
1) Learn to Meditate:
There are many different forms of meditation and many teachers, all of whom swear that their way is the best. However, any technique that allows you to quiet your mind or redirect your thoughts toward positive outcomes is of benefit.
If you have tried meditation and it hasn’t worked for you before, maybe check out one of my many posts on how to get the best out of your meditation practice HERE.
Or, if you are new to meditating, check out this post to learn how to quickly and easily establish a beneficial meditation habit: Learn to meditate: The 2 biggest secrets that actually work!
2) Practice Mindfulness:
Mindfulness requires that you bring your mind to the present moment. And how can this be of benefit???? Because when you decide to do something that is beneficial and actively think about it, your mind cannot dwell on the stuff that you don’t want to be thinking about.
Contrary to popular belief, we cannot multitask, or should I say that our minds cannot have two thoughts active at the same time. Therefore, when you are focusing on a task or concept that pleases you, the other stuff that you didn’t want to think about is no longer occupying your mind.
Practicing being more mindful is a great way of strengthening your brain’s neural connections so that, with time, it becomes easier and easier to remain positive under all circumstances.
To learn more about mindfulness, check out my post: What is mindfulness: The benefits of becoming more mindful
I know many people teach you to visualize the thing you don’t want floating away beyond your reach. Or, they teach you to write it down, screw up the paper and burn it, or imagine it getting smaller and losing its power over you. And yes, while these things can work, I believe they are the hard way to do it.
My way of thinking about it is like this. If you are in a dark place in your mind, rather than fighting the darkness, isn’t it easier to simply turn on the light? By this, I mean to ‘illuminate your mind by visualizing a better life by utilizing positive beneficial thoughts and feelings……
So, the choice is: You can think thoughts you don’t want to try and eliminate them…. (It’s sort of a contradiction,) or you can 100% focus on better thoughts and feelings that benefit you…
As you get good at this, through The Law Of Attraction, more beneficial thoughts will begin to automatically be ‘attracted’ to your mind…. and your life WILL transform for the better.
Hypnosis has been used and proven to work in helping people overcome many diverse conditions. Weight control, giving up smoking, sleeping better, confidence boosting, etc… and yes it can help you gain control over the types of thoughts you are thinking.
There are many programs available that can help you retrain your negatively biased mind into a mind that is wired for success, abundance, and a great life.
Hypnosis Live, from Inspire3, is a program I continue to use and am happy to recommend because it helped me reprogram my mind so I could achieve the awesome life I am now living.
5) Practice Yoga, Thai Chi, Chi Gong, or Traditional Martial Arts:
In my post: Meaningful Ways To Connect To Our Spiritual SELF, I mentioned:
“It is through awareness of the ‘subtle shifts’ of energy that occur when practicing meditation, breathing exercises, or physical exercises, like yoga and tai chi, etc. that new perceptions about daily challenges can be realized.”
…. and the most important thing that we can ever come to realize is that we are not our problems, and we are not our thoughts….
The reality is that our minds are just a ‘receiving mechanism’ in which thoughts happen. And the thoughts that we habitually have, we are continuing to have because they vibrate at a frequency that aligns with how our receiver (our mind) is tuned. This is pure Law of Vibration/Attraction stuff…..
…. And if we change the frequency of the thoughts we are having (from fear, stress, doubt, anger, etc. to thoughts of love, appreciation, gratitude, etc.) we will automatically beneficially change the quality of our life experience.
These practices, mentioned above, are based on thousands of years of knowledge of the human condition…. and they are designed to bring our mental, emotional, physical, and spiritual aspects into alignment with the Divine so that WE WILL BEGIN LIVING MORE SATISFYING AND FULFILLING LIVES.
“If we practice the science of yoga which is useful to the entire human community and which yields happiness both here and hereafter if we practice it without fail, we will then attain physical, mental and spiritual happiness and our minds will flood towards the SELF.” – Sri K. Pattabhi Jois
So, How Do You Get Something Off Your Mind That’s Been Bothering You?
I’ve never yet met anyone that has told me that they want to live a crappy life, a life of hardship and suffering. However, I’ve talked with many people that want to improve the quality of their lives. However, most of them had no idea how to start!
The quality of our lives begins and ends with the quality of our thoughts…… so this is where you start, and this is where you focus every day for the rest of your lives. Why? Because without thought, you are not having a life experience!
– If you are thinking, but not in a positive constructive way, you’re not fully engaging your potential to create a great life.
– If you’re reacting to the crap that’s happening around you, you will be having crappy thoughts, and therefore your life will suck more than it needs to.
– When you decide to reprogram your mind to a frequency of better thoughts, you will begin having a better life….
– However, it does take time to undo the previous 10, 20, 30, or more years of crappy thinking you have been having.
– Beginning NOW is as easy as ‘turning on the light’ and having better thoughts and feelings NOW!
– Life is a journey. And if you ‘get’ everything you want immediately, you will not benefit from the progression of learning that the school of life is designed to give you…..
…. So, suck it up, accept who you currently are, and realize that you can change your mind to have the better life you want, any time you choose. And it can begin NOW by you deciding to enjoy all the good stuff that is currently in your life….. and if you can’t see anything good, you need to change what you are doing to bring some good in…. because no one else is going to do it for you…..