Getting Out of Your Head

Updated: Dec 18, 2019


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Sometimes you might feel your thoughts getting out of control. They might start going on a journey, turning in circles, as you ruminate on things, analysing them to death and torturing yourself in the process. When this is the case you probably feel in desperate need of a way to stop them and get out of your head for a bit because overthinking can cause stress.



Sometimes you might feel your thoughts getting out of control. They might start going on a journey, turning in circles, as you ruminate on things, analysing them to death and torturing yourself in the process. When this is the case you probably feel in desperate need of a way to stop them and get out of your head for a bit because overthinking can cause stress.


One method to deal with this is to try and control your thoughts. This is possible but takes a lot more practice over time before it can become effective. Our brains slip easily into revisiting familiar thinking patterns. The more you’ve visited a thought, the more likely you are to visit it again. So it becomes increasingly difficult to adjust this kind of thought process. There are ways you can do this, replacing an unwanted thought with another, or with positive affirmations. But this can be frustrating the first time you attempt it.


Focusing on a more physical activity can be an excellent way of ridding yourself of unwanted thoughts and toning that voice down. Here are some suggestions for how you could find a quick fix if you’re dwelling on something for too long. It’s not always easy, sometimes you might feel too drained to make this move. But once you’re ready these tips can bring some relief, even if it’s only temporary.


Allow yourself time

Firstly, when your mind is going around in circles it can be extremely difficult just to take the plunge and choose to do something else. But ultimately you know that you need to distract yourself. Go slowly and don’t be hard on yourself if you can’t immediately leap into action. Just by realising you need to do something else and choosing a strategy to quieten your mind, you are already doing yourself a massive favour. When you are ready you will act and it doesn’t matter if that takes time.


Meditation

The deep breathing and mindfulness of meditation is an effective way of relieving yourself from unwanted thoughts and stress. But don’t worry, it doesn’t require years of training in a monastery to be effective. Simply take yourself to a space you know you can be relatively undisturbed for a moment. Find a comfortable position; it can be sitting, standing or lying. Relax your muscles and soften your gaze or close your eyes completely. Then focus on your breathing. Your mind might continue to whirl a bit and return to what you were thinking about previously, but if this happens don’t worry. Just return your focus to your breathing and how your body feels. You might want to find a guided meditation video or podcast to help you with this as it can sometimes be difficult to refocus independently.


Reading

It is easy to forget how satisfying it can be to dive into a good book. If you are feeling stressed it might be difficult initially to focus on the words on the page. But try not to get frustrated if this happens. Just go back to the top of the page and return to the story. Reading works best if you have a gripping narrative to read. So maybe when you are feeling better go to the library or a local book store and browse the shelves till you find a book you know would suit you personally.


Yoga

Similar to meditation, yoga is a brilliant way to destress. It helps by calming frayed nerves and training your focus on your breathing instead of letting your mind get lost in unhelpful thoughts. It has the added dimension of stretching your body out and getting into different positions. This will not only help with your flexibility in the long term, but will also help enormously to pay attention to how your body feels rather than what’s going on in your mind.


Go for a walk

If you are feeling strong enough to go outside, a walk in the elements, be it in the park or countryside, can be brilliant to calm a wild mind. The exercise and fresh air do you good, helping to release endorphins and improve your mood. You might also be distracted by the sights you see along the way. Keep your eyes open and you might be pleasantly surprised by a hidden delight you’ve never noticed in an area you thought you knew like the back of your hand.


A workout video

Find the cheesiest, eighties-style workout video you can and it is sure to brighten the gloomiest of days. Seriously, they're hilarious! It might be raining outside, but you won’t be dwelling on your misery for long with bopping tunes and colourful lycra. Jumping around it doesn’t matter what you look like if it makes you feel better and your inside anyway.


Watch a film

One of the easier options if you’re low on energy, watching a movie is certain to distract you from your thoughts. Pick one you know you’ll like, grab the popcorn or chocolate and let yourself be carried away. This kind of escapism is good once in a while, especially when things feel to much. It can help you forget about your problems and tune out completely.


Speak to someone

If your thoughts are particularly painful it might be helpful to find someone to talk to. Sharing your problems can sometimes feel like you are expelling them from your mind. If you can access a mental health professional you might find counseling is the best option for you. Otherwise you can phone a helpline or chat online with volunteers who will be happy to listen to you without judgement.




How do you get out of your head?




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