23 Proven Ways To Get Your Mind Off Something

Do you have unwanted thoughts constantly spinning in your mind? Yep, me too. These thoughts can take over and prevent us from living the kind of life we dream of. So today we’re taking a deep dive into ways to get your mind off something.

woman looking stressed

Reducing or eliminating intrusive, persistent thoughts that are all-consuming is a powerful way to clear your mind and look after your mental health and overall well-being.

We’re discussing effective strategies (many I use) to reduce unpleasant thoughts and encourage positive thinking. 

Let’s get into it with my top 3 go-to’s when I need to shift my thinking.

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My Top 3 Ways To Get Your Mind Off Something

How to get your mind off something

The reason these 3 ways to get your mind off something are my favourite is that you have 100% control over doing them. You don’t need to wait on someone else to get started.

1. Play Some Music

Music has the power to take negative emotions and turn them into happy, pleasant feelings. In fact, you can control how you will feel simply by choosing the right song or playlist.

If you’re going through difficult times try listening to some feel-good music as often throughout the day as possible. And if you want to throw in some dance moves I completely welcome that too!

2. Read

An effective way to get something off your mind is to focus on something else, and reading, especially fiction, transports you to a different place and time. You can immerse yourself into other people’s stories which allows you to escape your own thoughts.

So if you want to control your thoughts a good way to do this is to pick up a good book (or audiobook) and immerse yourself into the story.

3. Release Your Thoughts, Then Reframe Them

When you’re having negative thoughts a great way to release them is to write it all down.

First step: Get a piece of paper and list everything that is worrying you, stressing you, and any intrusive thoughts that keep popping up.

Next: Look at each thought and think about how you can reframe the thought, in other words can you turn the thought into something positive.

For example: 

Negative thought: This upcoming work trip is stressing me out. I don’t know what to expect and feel anxious.

Reframed thought: I feel a little anxious about my work trip because I don’t know my full itinerary. I will learn about this today and also think about what I’m looking forward to doing, like seeing my colleagues.

As you can see the above reframed thought put a positive light on the situation and also looked for a solution.

More Powerful Ways To Get Your Mind Off Something

4. Journal

woman writing in journal

Putting pen to paper can be a great release and you can use journaling in many ways to get your mind off something.

Here are some ideas:

  • Release negative thoughts – write down all things stressful so you can release them onto paper and worry about them later
  • Write a to-do list of things that have been on your mind. When you see your to-do’s on paper they can look less overwhelming, which can make it easier to create a plan to complete them
  • Do some creative writing so you can create your own escape from your current thoughts
  • Use self-love journal prompts to look after yourself more.

5. Seek Out A Solution

Not always, but in many cases we can get our mind off something by dealing with the issue head-on.

It could be something as simple as procrastinating on doing your taxes. The best way to get it off your mind is to do your taxes! You see, these things that seem simple can still build up and create stress in our lives so the best way forward is to eliminate these kinds of tasks from building up.

Other situations may not be as easy to solve, but using brainstorming and creative problem-solving is a good step in the right direction. Once you have some ideas you can create a step-by-step plan to work through the situation.

6. Talk To Someone

Talk to a trusted friend or family member about what’s on your mind. The act of sharing may give you some insight into your concerns. 

Also remember that people who care about you rally around you, instilling a sense of encouragement that nurtures positivity in your thought patterns. Their support can give you a new perspective, which can help alleviate your worries.

7. Distract Yourself

There are so many ways we can distract ourselves these days, in fact, a lot of the time we are trying NOT to distract ourselves! However, when you are looking for ways to get something off your mind distractions are welcome.

You can do a hobby you love, work on a puzzle, word game or listen to a motivational podcast, whatever quick go-to thing you can do to create a distraction.

This won’t allow you to relieve the problem entirely, but it does give you a tool to release your thoughts in the moment.

8. Spend Time with a Positive People

Being around positive people can transform your outlook on life. They approach the world with optimism and by habit of association can gently shift your mindset into more positive thinking.

As the Tony Robbins quote goes, “Who you spend time with is who you become! Change your life by consciously choosing to surround yourself with people with higher standards!”

Positive people can also help you rethink things and help you see the worrisome citation in a different light.

9. Regular Exercise

Exercise is one of the best ways to ignite the feel-good chemicals in your brain (known as endorphins).

For example, the act of lacing up your sneakers sends a signal…it’s time to move, sweat, and release. 

When your thoughts run wild, a brisk jog or a series of squats can redirect their course. 

Exercise shifts your attention from mental noise to the rhythm of your breath and body. 

With physical activity you don’t just burn calories, you burn away worries and tension, allowing you to clear your mind. 

10. Work

No matter what I’m going through, if I immerse myself into work it really does help get my mind off something that’s bothering me – even the big stuff. 

You see, diving into work distracts from intrusive thoughts. Your job requires concentration, directing focus toward tasks at hand. This shift allows for engagement in a different kind of thinking. 

As you solve professional challenges, personal concerns can decrease, providing a reprieve from the constant churning of your thoughts. 

11. Practice Gratitude

woman holding hands in heart shape

By shifting your focus from something negative to something positive (gratitude) you’re able not to be as affected by the negative thing that’s happening in your life.

You can put a spotlight on life’s positives which can redirect your attention from worry. 

Try the following:

12. Help Someone

When you’re helping someone else you’re able to focus on them and their needs, hence getting your mind off whatever has been bothering you.

You can help a loved one, a neighbor, or volunteer for a local non-profit.

13. Identify Your Triggers and Avoid Them

If you’re trying to get someone off your mind and you keep seeing their content pop up on social media, social media is your trigger.

To avoid this trigger, you can mute them, unfollow them, or stop using social media for a specified period of time.

When you avoid triggers that bring up specific feelings you are being kind to yourself and taking control of the situation. Sure, you can’t completely block out your feelings, but limiting triggers is a big step in the right direction.

👉 To help you identify triggers, download my free mood tracker.

14. Get Professional Help

Coping with persistent racing thoughts can feel like an uphill battle. If such experiences affect day-to-day functioning, it could signal a deeper issue. In these scenarios, reaching out to a mental health professional isn’t just a good step; it’s a critical one. 

Trained therapists have the tools and expertise to uncover underlying causes and offer coping mechanisms. They provide a safe space to explore these challenges and work toward a calmer, more controlled mental landscape.

If you’re looking for a resource to start therapy I highly recommend BetterHelp. They have over 30,000 mental health professionals who can support you right away. No long wait times and you’ll be able to connect with them online in the comfort of your own home. Fill out the form to get partnered with the best therapist for you (and get 20% off your first month).

15. Laugh

Sometimes laughter is the best medicine, so do something that makes you laugh. It might be a funny movie, a YouTube video or getting together with a good friend.

Allowing yourself to have a good laugh can reset your emotional state, giving you a break from the weight of your worries. Choose laughter, it’s like a free therapy session for the soul. 🙂

16. Make a New Recipe

Following the instructions of a new recipe means your focus is 100% on the job at hand. It’s a simple way to release your unwanted thoughts and eat some great food at the same time.

17. Change Your Environment

Often our feelings and thoughts are connected to where we physically are. Our environments can be a trigger like many other things. 

Just as a particular song can transport you back to a moment in time, locations too are connected to memories and emotions. When you recognize that some spaces may trigger racing thoughts or stress, you can alter your setting to reduce this.

If you find yourself triggered by your environment try moving to a calming environment as soon as possible; a place that brings you peace and positive feelings.

18. Learn a New Skill

Picking up a new skill does more than just teach you something fresh, it captures your attention and transports it to a new place. 

Whether you decide to master a musical instrument, dive into a foreign language, or cultivate your culinary prowess, immersing yourself in the learning process can break the cycle of overthinking

19. Practice Positive Affirmations

affirmations written in a notebook

Affirmations can act as a mental filter for your inner dialogue. Repeating these little uplifting statements encourages a positive mindset, training your brain to embrace a can-do attitude. 

Speak kind words to yourself; it’s like planting seeds that gradually grow into a garden of self-confidence.

Using a positive affirmation like “I am capable”, “I welcome challenges”or “I deserve peace of mind” is a fantastic way to shift your perspective.

It forms a habit of self-support that can crowd out negative self-talk. You gain mastery over your inner conversation, and this positive spin can lead to enhanced motivation and a robust sense of self-worth.

Related: 50 Positive Morning Affirmations for Success, Confidence & Happiness

20. Try Body Scan Meditation

This type of meditation involves a mental sweep through the body, focusing attention from head to toe. 

  • Start by finding a quiet place. 
  • Lie down, close your eyes, and take steady, deep breaths. 
  • Then, proceed to tune into each part of your body, one at a time. 
  • Acknowledge any sensation you feel without judgment. The goal here is to increase awareness, allowing you to pinpoint and release tension. 

The body scan meditation practice leads to improved mindfulness and is a great form of stress relief. 

Check out this body scan meditation video to help you along.

21. Work on a Goal

Have a certain goal you’re currently working on? If so, distract yourself from current worries by working on your goal. This can work for all types of goals from career, to personal growth to financial goals.

If you’re still identifying your goal, check out this SMART goals worksheet to help you get started.

22. Try the 5-4-3-2-1 Method

The 5-4-3-2-1 method is a simple grounding technique that allows you to focus on the present moment and release anxiety. It’s a quick way to help you get something off your mind quickly.

Here’s how it works. Identify…

  • 5 things you can see
  • 4 things you can touch
  • 3 things you can hear
  • 2 things you can smell
  • 1 thing you can taste

A similar activity is the 5-sense Method, where you focus on your 5 senses.

23. Schedule Worry Time

So often we have things playing in our minds over and over again because we don’t give ourselves time to process what’s going on. So a good thing you can do is to schedule time to think about what’s going on. 

You may find that perhaps what seemed really big is more manageable now that you’ve given yourself time to delve into the issue. You may end up with a completely different perspective altogether.

Final Thoughts

I hope you found these simple ways to get something off your mind to be helpful. 

As a next step choose 3 to 5 of the above tactics and give them a try. Add them into your daily routine and see which solutions work best for you, and if you need, move on to other strategies over time.

When you learn how to get something off your mind you’ll discover what a powerful tool it is so you can feel more in control of your thoughts and feelings in daily life.

Here’s to a peaceful, clear mind and living your best life. xo

Related Resources To Help You Get Something Off Your Mind:

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About Yolanda

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I’m passionate about helping you live life to the fullest so you can choose to find happiness and purpose. Learn how to CREATE THE LIFE YOU LOVE with intentional living and discovery of the simple things life has to offer. Learn more…

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