Chasing Focus! 6 Practical Ways to Get Rid of Distracting Thoughts
I have made some interesting discoveries about myself recently (and by recently, I mean today!). One thing that I frequently find myself doing is — mind wandering. Now, I know mind wandering can have its benefits, but when you constantly let your mind wander and feel stuck in a loop of distracting thoughts, that’s when it’s a cause for concern.
I’m sure you know this feeling, and it feels like trying to juggle a dozen pin bottles at once. But fret not, because today I have the answers to this dilemma. We’re going to find answers about why our mind tends to wander so much, and more importantly, how we can get rid of distracting thoughts fast and furiously…I mean, effectively.
So, brace your minds to go on a discovery journey about yourself and why you get distracted easily!
Why Do We Get Distracting Thoughts?
When we think of distractions, we think of external factors (mostly). But distractions aren’t always external ones; sometimes it’s your thoughts that can be distracting. The question is; why do we get distracting thoughts?
Well, if you’re the one who responds to emails while finishing a report and answering a call, then your multitasking could be one of the reasons you get distracting thoughts frequently. Not only that, but when you don’t address stress, distracting thoughts can follow. The mind likes to race with worries about the future, what-if scenarios, and worst-case situations, making it even harder to concentrate.
Moreover, if something doesn’t spark curiosity, your mind can find it easy to drift away and wander aimlessly until it finds something to latch on. Finding ways to make your tasks engaging can help you stop distracting thoughts.
And let’s not forget this. With this age of social media and constant connectivity, we’ve entered a new dimension of distractions. Social media notifications, emails, and app alerts can interrupt your thoughts and lead you down the rabbit hole of endless scrolling.
So, how to get rid of distracting thoughts and focus on one thing at a time? Here are some practical tips and tricks for you.
How to Get Rid of Distracting Thoughts?
1. Take a Breather
Seems like a no-brainer, right? In our pursuit of whatnot, we forget to take a moment for ourselves. So, slow down. Take a moment to focus on your breath. This deep breathing exercise can help you keep your attention on the present and anchor you so that you don’t give in to your distracting thoughts.
2. Prioritize Your List
Create a to-do list and prioritize the list, ranking from the most important to the least important. Tackling one thing at a time can help prevent your mind from wandering too far and wide to other, more tantalizing responsibilities.
3. Schedule a Time for Them
Now, the best part about this is scheduling a time to think about these thoughts. You acknowledge these thoughts when there’s time to think about them. Reflect on these thoughts and think about whether you can take action about them or if you can do something about them.
4. Don’t Think About Them
Despite popular belief, trying to avoid distracting thoughts will make it worse. It’s like when you’re told not to do something, but that’s the first thing you want to do. So, try not to think about them too much. Only dwell on your thoughts when you’ve scheduled time for them.
5. Take a Break!
Your brain needs downtime too. Schedule short breaks during work or study sessions to recharge, prevent burnout, and keep your focus. I like to take a short walk and pay attention to my surroundings. Physical activity, I’ve realized, combined with mindfulness, can clear your mind and improve concentration.
6. Avoid Social Media as a Distraction
Turn off your social media notifications! This small adjustment can significantly reduce the allure of digital distractions. Moreover, if you go to social media for distractions, then stop that too. The news highlights on social media, looking at others’ posts, and spending time mindlessly scrolling can only worsen your thoughts and make it harder to manage your time.
Getting rid of distracting thoughts can take some time and it takes some experimenting to figure out what strategy works best for you. Don’t be afraid to take part in trial and error. If you make a mistake, then it’s OK. It’s not a race, right? If you still find yourself facing distracting thoughts, then remind yourself that it’s the human psyche.
If you feel like seeking help will work, then don’t hesitate to seek professional help and support. With the right help and the right strategies, you can create a more focused and productive mindset.
So, take a deep breath — in and out — face forward, and carry on! Let’s conquer our distracting thoughts together!
Did this article help you learn how to get rid of distracting thoughts? Let me know if I missed anything or if you have some tips to share in the comments below.