Ever get caught in a rabbit hole of your own thoughts? I am a serial over-thinker. Throughout the day I struggle with losing my focus to tomorrow’s issues, or better yet problems I cannot solve. You could be thinking of the worse case scenario or the hundreds of different possible outcomes of a situation. Over-thinking can lead to anxiety, and it doesn’t promote productivity. The best general treatment advice to keep yourself from spacing out is to immediately distract yourself with something else – anything else. Here are a few ways to help to clear your mind.
Put yourself on a time limit
Call this your “thinking time”. Don’t complain or stress about your situation a minute more than you’ve dedicated. If you just shift your thoughts for a few moments, this could turn into a form of meditation, also great for countering the anxious feelings over-thinking can bring.
Get some exercise
Doing something physical is a great way to distract your mind and your body. Running particularly gets you to focus on finishing that proverbial race against yourself. Your entire body is in-sync and focused on one task: to keep going.
Stop talking to friends about your frustrations
When we’re over-thinking a decision, it’s easy to want to call your closest friends to get their input. This can actually add to frustrations or anxiety because hearing so many opinions will just leave your confused. Instead try writing your thoughts down and go back to reflect on them after a day or two.
Throw yourself into work or a hobby
There is nothing wrong with refocusing those excess thoughts to help your paycheck. Musician friends might tell you they compose their best work under pressure or deeply effected by something going on in their personal lives. Conflict is a breeding ground for over-thinking, but it’s all energy anyways. Take on some extra time at work or a new project, and watch how your thoughts shift into productive mode.
Remember a few steps up when I mentioned meditation? Well sometimes the best way to clear your mind is relax and let them take their course. The simplicity in closing your eyes and sitting still in a quiet space will settle those thoughts, allows you to see solutions more clearly.