How to get something out of your head (How to)

How to get something out of your head

In this guide, we will discuss how to get something out of your head using a few tips and tricks to stop over worrying or overthinking about something. 

How to get something out of your head?

If you are wondering “How to get something out of your head” then you are in the right place. We have some tips and tricks that can help you to stop over worrying or overthinking about something you keep ruminating about in your head. 

Let’s start by mentioning some of those tips to let go of stuck thoughts:

  • Try not to talk back. This means when you get that intrusive thought, the best thing to do is respond to them using logic reasoning. By talking back the only thing you get is for the thought to keep “feeding”, growing and the more intense it gets.
  • It won’t last forever. Intrusive thoughts or most of them usually are said to have a lifespan of 2 to 3 days. Your intrusive thoughts are not meant to stay forever, they will be gone at some point. 
  • Be in the present moment. Most likely, the intrusive thought is associated with something in your past (feelings of guilt or regret) of the future. If we manage to think about the present moment then those intrusive thoughts will not torment us as much. 
  • Distract yourself, do something else. Try distracting yourself from watching TV or reading a book. This will help you divert from the recurrent thinking.
  • Admit there are things you can’t control. If you can’t get rid of the thought or you are obsessed about it, most likely it is because it is something you can’t control. We can’t control everything that happens and we need to admit it to ourselves and if you can’t then what is the point of thinking about it?
How to get something out of your head (How to)

Those thoughts can be in the form of bills that are due and you haven’t paid, why your partner behaved the way they did or how you forgot to study for that exam. They can take various forms and they can be very intrusive until the point they make us obsess about them, but, how do we make them go away? Well, let’s take a look. 

Tip 1: Acknowledge and confront your anxiety

Most of us don’t know how to get in touch with our internal “self” and we grew up with the philosophy that it is better to hide our feelings than to talk about them because people will judge and we don’t want to get hurt or humiliated. 

This will actually have the contrary effect, we will have a “pending” task and will keep delaying thinking about it but it will come back again and again until we actually deal with it, only making your anxiety grow stronger. 

When we think about something pervasively and consistently, spinning in our heads all day long, is something best known as ruminating. To begin managing it then we need to consider the trigger of the though, its very root cause. Sometimes it might not seem obvious but while we think about it, we will find all the clues that lead us to its root.

Knowing the root cause or after identifying it, let’s imagine ourselves in the worst-case scenario, the one that frightens us the most. Then, ask yourself how you would overcome that situation, what would you do? If it has a solution then it stops being a problem.   

Tip 2: It can’t stay forever

Worrying about problems is a very human thing to do. However, when we over worry about something, this thought becomes so powerful it starts controlling our lives. Set a time limit on worrying, let’s say you give the thought 20 minutes of your life while you were analyzing and coming up with solutions. After those 20 minutes trying to distract yourself from it, watch some TV, read the news or read a book. 

This will give you a sense of freedom the rest of your day and you may even forget about it or it may come back some other time but at least you were able to temporarily manage to go away and let you live. 

How to get something out of your head (How to)

Tip 3: Do not fall into the blame game

There we are, cherry-picking events from our past, trying to find someone to blame and this instead of being helpful is actually harmful. 

“Bad things and misunderstandings most often “happen” through a series of events, like a domino effect. No one person is entirely to blame for the end result”, as Donna Jackson Nakazawa from Psychology Today mentioned. 

Tip 4: Deal with the anger

Our anger is our biggest problem. When we get an intrusive thought, most of the time (if not all) it generates a cloud of emotions. Mostly perceived as negative so anger would be one of them. If we attempt to solve a problem while we are angry all we will do is something we might regret later and then we will have another problem to solve.

Deal with the anger so you can start thinking clearly to start finding ways to solve the problem. 

Tip 5: Thoughts are not facts

Don’t give your thoughts the ability to become facts to you. Thoughts will trigger a physiological response making them fool you into believing they are facts or the truth when it actually isn’t. At that moment we are “emotionally hijacked” by worry, regret, guilt, anger or anxiety. 

Even though what we are experiencing is real, it doesn’t mean it is true. Contrast the emotion and your physical reactions with the real world, with facts and with the truth by challenging them. 

How to get something out of your head (How to)

Tip 6: Forgive yourself

Forgiveness is not only something we do for others and we tend to forget about forgiving ourselves. Sometimes it is harder than forgiving someone else. 

When we are thinking about what we could have done differently and those “What ifs” then we are ruminating about the past that is we are not able to modify anymore. If we learn to forgive and let go we can stop suffering and we can live a healthier and happy life free of that thought. 

Tip 7: Take some time out

Freeing your mind involves breaking the pattern, which is not always easy but it is not impossible. 

Neuropsychiatrist Dan Siegel says “After 90 seconds, an emotion will arise and fall like a wave on the shore.” It only takes 90 seconds to shift out of a mood state, including anger. Give yourself 90 seconds—about 15 deep in and out breaths—to not think about that person or situation. You’ve broken that thought cycle—and the hold your thoughts had on you.” (Psychology Today)

How to get something out of your head (How to)

Why is this blog about “How to get something out of your head” important?


Having a thought stuck in your head can be very annoying and it seems that the more you try to ignore or neutralize, the more it grows. We have discussed some tips and techniques on how to get something out of your head, those intrusive thoughts that tend to control and dictate your life. 

Practice makes perfect so don’t be discouraged or disappointed if at first everything is just the same. Keep trying, eventually, they will be gone. 

Please feel free to comment in the comments section below!

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about How to get something out of your head

How do you get your mind off things that are bothering you?

There are several ways to get your mind off things that are bothering you for example:

  • Breathing. Consciously taking deep breaths and exhaling slowly can help you calm your mind and brain. If you concentrate on how the air goes in and then out it can actually distract you from the thought and bring you to the present moment.
  • Shift your attention. You are in charge of controlling your thoughts and you may forget about this but if you shift your attention to something else that actually needs your cognitive resources can help you get your mind off it. 
  • Visualize. Imagine yourself in the scenario facing the problem and think about all the possible ways you can overcome and solve it.
  • Keep a worry diary. This can help you write down your thoughts and see how easy it is to solve them if you concentrate on one at a time and the possible solutions.
  • Use your logic. Most of our thoughts are moved by fear and irrational thinking. We tend to think about the worst-case scenario and catastrophic outcome when none of it has happened yet. Use your logic to go demystify the problem. 

How do you stop thinking about something?

You can stop thinking about something by:

  • Writing your thoughts, those that are distracting and disengaging from your daily life activities causing anxiety or over worrying. Put them on paper and analyze one by one trying to come up with possible solutions.
  • Imagine the thought or situation. Sit or lie down with your eyes closed imagining the situation as if it is happening at that exact moment and think about how you would react to it. 
  • Stop the thought. Give the thought 3 minutes, set an alarm to make sure you focus on your unwanted thought for that set amount of time. When the alarm goes off just shout out loud “stop” that is the way your program your brain to stop thinking about it. If the thought comes back shout again “stop”. Also, try alternating this with meditation or yoga. 

Recommended reading

  • Master your Emotions: Stop Overthinking, Reduce Stress and Anxiety. Learn How to Overcome Negative Thoughts developing Emotional Intelligence. A complete beginner’s guide to change your life
  • Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff: Simple ways to Keep the Little Things from Overtaking Your Life: Simple Ways to Keep the Little Things from Taking Over Your Life
  • Stop Overthinking: How to Bеаt Overthinking Through Ѕіmрlе Ѕtерѕ: The Ultimate Guide to Boost Your Self-Esteem – Awakening Your Positive Thoughts
  • Stop Thinking, Start Living: Discover Lifelong Happiness (Book Artwork May Vary)
  • How to Stop Overthinking: Escape Anxiety and Overwhelm by Quitting Goal Setting

References

Psychcentral.com 

Wikihow.com

Psychologytoday.com

Forbes.com

How to get something out of your head (How to)

Juanita Agboola

Juanita Agboola is the editor in chief of HFNE and an expert in mental health online. She has been writing about online behavior, mental health and psychology issues since 2012. All Guides are reviewed by our editorial team which constitutes various clinical psychologists, PhD and PsyD colleagues.