There are times when you wish you were thinking of something else other than that nagging, annoying thought running through your head. Maybe it’s something serious, like debts or a sick family member. Maybe it’s something funny, like what would happen if you said the word “underwear” out loud 10 times. Or maybe it’s the really memory of a really bad experience you had when you were a kid. It can even be a song stuck in your head. As much as you try to, you just can’t let the unwanted thought out of your mind.
Unwanted thoughts and memories are like tattoos. While it’s difficult to get rid of them, they’re not impossible to eliminate. Thoughts tattooed on your mind can distract you from your daily tasks and responsibilities. Often, unwanted thoughts can just be extremely annoying.
The good news is that you don’t have to put up with annoying, nagging, unwanted thoughts anymore. Here are some tips to help you free your mind.
When it comes to unwanted thoughts, you have to fight fire with fire. You can get rid of a distracting thought by distracting yourself with engaging activities that make the best use of free or idle time. You can try some of the following activities to prevent yourself from getting preoccupied with unwanted thoughts:
- Watch a movie. The movie may be a Hollywood blockbuster, a rented DVD, or a nice movie on cable TV. The trick is to see a movie that does not remind you of your unwanted thought. Preoccupied with bad romantic experiences? Watch an action flick. Have a song stuck in your head? Watch a musical.
- Play sports. Sports that challenge both the body and the mind can help clear your mind of unwanted, negative thoughts. A few frames of bowling, half-court basketball, racquetball, or a few rounds of badminton can help you focus your energies and thoughts somewhere else.
- Read a book. Books, magazines, or even the backs of breakfast cereal boxes are a great help for eliminating persistent unwanted thoughts. Instead of unwanted thoughts, feed your mind some valuable and interesting food for thought.
- Take a walk. Nature is a great way to get rid of unwanted thoughts. Tall trees, fresh air, and the chirping of birds in the air have a soothing and calming effect. The great outdoors can help you take a break and think of positive thoughts for a change.
Clear Your Mind of Worry
Most of the time, persistent unwanted thoughts are caused by stress. Worrisome thoughts like debt and mortgage payments can get really stuck in your head. You may even be worried about deadlines. It’s okay to worry about a lot of needs, but not when they start to interfere with your daily routines and work.
If you’re a compulsive or constant worrier, you may have far too many unwanted and unnecessary thoughts. There’s no need to worry if you failed to meet the payment deadlines, or if you just started the week at work. Worry is never helpful in accomplishing tasks and meet deadlines. Self-discipline and positive thinking can help you overcome your worry, and help get rid of your unwanted thoughts.
Keep a Journal
Writing is good therapy, especially for those who are preoccupied by unwanted thoughts. Writing on a diary or a notebook is very soothing and relaxing. Think of writing as a way to transfer your unwanted thoughts from your mind to paper. Writing is especially effective if you have bad memories of a previous relationship, childhood experience, or a love that was not meant to be.
Whenever you write about your unwanted thoughts, write as freely as you can. Write to express, and not to impress. Don’t mind making too many erasures, grammatical errors, or mistakes. Let your thoughts flow freely into what you write, and let those bad memories flow out and away from your mind.
Getting Rid of Last Song Syndrome
Some unwanted thoughts need not be as serious as financial or health worries. One of the most common unwanted thoughts is Last Song Syndrome (LSS), or a song that gets stuck in your head no matter how much you want to forget about it. It may be the catchy melody or the bad lyrics, but you end up singing that song over and over again. Here are some ways to get rid of an annoying episode of LSS:
- Listen to other songs. Chances are you got LSS because you heard a quirky or extremely popular song on public radio. You can get rid of LSS by bringing along a portable music player (like a portable CD player or an MP3 player), and listen to songs you like.
- Keep singing the song. If the song is already stuck in your head, you might as well keep humming or singing the song out of your head. It will take a bit of time before you can really get rid of a bad song, but it beats the thought of listening to the song over and over again.
- Have a few moments of silence. The less opportunities you have to listen to bad, irritating music, the more you can get the song out of your head. Take some quiet time, like a walk in the park or reading a book in peace and quiet.
Sleep Through It
A nap or a good night’s sleep is often enough to get rid of unwanted and pestering thoughts. Deep sleep shuts down your thought processes, and allows you to regain and recover some lost energy from thinking and worrying too much. Sleep is also a good way to spend eight hours of time, especially if you feel a bit obsessed and delirious about negative thoughts. After a night of good rest and peaceful relaxation, your unwanted thoughts may be gone for good.
Consult a Psychiatrist
Some unwanted thoughts may be serious. Psychologists and psychiatrists may diagnose your obsessive thoughts as a mild or even a serious mental disorder. Persistent unwanted thoughts syndrome is often associated with childhood trauma, emotional instability, or an imbalance in chemicals found in the brain. You may need to spend some money on a psychiatric appointment or a session with a psychoanalyst. Many remedies are available to get rid of your persistent unwanted thoughts, like:
- Group therapy
- Individual counseling.
Treatments for a disorder can be expensive. You don’t need to be ashamed to go to a psychiatrist for help, because persistent unwanted thoughts syndrome is a relatively common disorder.
While there are things you can’t help but think about, they don’t have to get in the way of everyday routines. Now that you know how to get rid of unwanted thoughts, you can think of thoughts that make your life happier and much more productive.
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