What activities can one do when they are overthinking?

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Posted 11/9/2013 by MyMindsEyedPea in NSBR Board

Thinking outside the bucket

PeaNut 80,947
April 2003
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Loc: Sacramento-bouts

Posted: 11/9/2013 5:26:42 PM
I'm looking for things I can do to "lower my awareness"
Everything I'm experiencing is too overwhelming because I'm overthinking. Maybe the term is heightened awareness?
Anyway, if I could think of things to do that don't involve much stimulation, maybe I could relax a little.
Meditation is hard when I'm like this.
I took something I didn't know had caffeine in it, and if I knew it had caffeine in it I wouldn't have taken it.
Maybe doing a crossword puzzle?

back to *pea*ality

PeaNut 471,633
June 2010
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Posted: 11/9/2013 5:30:07 PM
I find a glass of wine usually does it for me. I find thinking about having a glass of wine does it for me.


PeaNut 153,004
June 2004
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Posted: 11/9/2013 5:36:02 PM
Go clean something. Vacuum. Turn on some music really loud and dance around like a fool.


PeaNut 56,220
November 2002
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Loc: Illinois

Posted: 11/9/2013 5:42:11 PM
I clean or run!


PeaNut 288,074
December 2006
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Posted: 11/9/2013 5:47:34 PM
Clean house - that is what I do when I need to get my mind off things


PeaNut 24,564
November 2001
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Posted: 11/9/2013 5:51:17 PM
I quilt.... it takes concentration, so it takes my mind off of other things...but i also have to have music or the TV on in the background


PeaNut 101,638
August 2003
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Loc: New Hampshire

Posted: 11/9/2013 6:28:56 PM
That happened to me last week. It is really bad and I couldn't get out of my own head, I was making myself physically sick about it. So I called my best friend and told her to just tell me about anything. Ends up she had some dramatic stuff that totally got my mind out off of my own overthinking and obsessing.

froggy one

PeaNut 479,242
August 2010
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Loc: In my own mind

Posted: 11/9/2013 7:40:26 PM
Do you like crossword or word search puzzles? This way you are concentrating on something else. Perhaps polish your nails. Good luck!



PeaNut 259,367
April 2006
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Loc: Midwest

Posted: 11/9/2013 8:50:24 PM
word finds--I find them very calming---searching for a letter and then the second and third letters, etc.


PeaNut 79,871
April 2003
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Loc: Central CA

Posted: 11/9/2013 8:53:44 PM
Zentangle? Google it.

Thrift Ninja

PeaNut 226,011
October 2005
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Posted: 11/9/2013 9:36:17 PM
I like someone to explain something in complex detail to me. When I was a little girl and couldn't sleep, my dad would tell me "stories" that we're really physics experiments. Like filling boats with bricks, would it sink or float, etc.

I have this friend who overthinks as much as I do, so I get it. He's a finish carpenter and woodworker, so when I start spinning in my mind, I make him explain a carpentry something in detail from the type of wood, to measurements, to cuts and sanding, super specific, something to focus on. Whew. Makes me spin a little just thinking about it.

Running the Marathon, Not the Sprint

PeaNut 110,589
October 2003
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Loc: Texas

Posted: 11/9/2013 10:01:23 PM
Exercise of some sort will help calm the mind.

For crafts I would try knitting or crochet. Painting is good too. I can get totally absorbed while creating something new.

As for meditation, it is a "learned" skill. Keep practicing.

Pam in CA

PeaNut 249,852
February 2006
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Loc: So. Cal.

Posted: 11/9/2013 10:04:51 PM


PeaNut 407,791
January 2009
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Posted: 11/9/2013 10:09:50 PM
I usually just come here when I'm overthinking ! So many threads, it helps get me out of my own little world!

Other than that, light topic books, like Mary Kay Andrews "Hissy Fit " etc.

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Harley Riding Pea

PeaNut 10,051
January 2001
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Loc: 10,000 Lakes and Double Cities!

Posted: 11/9/2013 10:10:53 PM
Action plans. What is the feeling I have, what is concrete (I know is true), what can I do to change those things, if I can't change it how can I react differently. It helps me focus on the issue without building a big story in my head.


PeaNut 333,903
August 2007
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Loc: In the Hinterland

Posted: 11/9/2013 10:12:18 PM
I do online jigsaw puzzles - I called it realigning the neurons of my brain. There is something so soothing about creating order out of chaos.



PeaNut 77,792
March 2003
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Loc: Orange County, California

Posted: 11/9/2013 10:34:11 PM
I deep clean. I've been experiencing a lot of insomnia and instead of just laying there, I've been getting up and choosing a room to deep clean.

I empty the drawer or cupboard and wipe off the inside surface with a Clorox wipe, then reorganize everything as I put things away again. No surface is left untouched. I get down to the tiniest spots with q-tips. It is such mindless work, yet very detailed, and anything I've been worrying about goes away.

I can exhaust myself pretty well and will sleep in the next day since I was up so late, but it sure feels good to have these really cleaned rooms. I'm hoping to keep it up during the day until the whole house has received this treatment.

Good luck!

Oh, I have also tried taking a Melatonin to help me relax to sleep and sometimes that is all it takes and I drop off.

Does this happen often? If so, I'd recommend talking to your doctor to get something like lorazepam to relax you.


PeaNut 185,753
January 2005
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Loc: Expat Aussie in CT

Posted: 11/10/2013 7:33:21 AM
Ditto zentangle

Pinterest is a great resource for zentangle patterns

Compact Only does NOT mean Park Your Hummer Here

PeaNut 212,896
July 2005
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Posted: 11/10/2013 7:44:27 AM
You should do mandalas. Google them. My patients at work love them! You can draw them or print out pre made ones and color them in. I could go into my long speech about them and why/how they are awesome if you want or you could google it.

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PeaNut 229,470
October 2005
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Loc: My DH's heart

Posted: 11/10/2013 9:11:50 AM
I focus my mind on one letter (like A) or one thing (like birds) and I try to think of as many things that start with that letter or category. It also works to think of my blessings. Both of those calm me down.

Long ago Barney
Ancient Ancestor of Pea

PeaNut 141,410
April 2004
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Loc: Arizona

Posted: 11/10/2013 10:03:28 AM
I work on memorization I have things n my church I made a goal of memorizing. And sometimes I mentally work on remodeling my kitchen. My next big project. Ana ing how it helps.

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Donna in GA
Ancient Ancestor of Pea

PeaNut 60,695
January 2003
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Posted: 11/10/2013 10:23:37 AM
I love some of these ideas! Sometimes my mind gets so overloaded and it feels like it is spinning like a top. (I am not talking about the vertigo kind of spinning.)


PeaNut 343,879
October 2007
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Posted: 11/10/2013 12:59:33 PM



PeaNut 219,829
August 2005
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Posted: 11/10/2013 1:10:31 PM
Exercise, read, craft or clean . Or all them in a really stressful time period!

I hope you can find what works for you.
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Cindy M of LI

PeaNut 487,105
November 2010
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Posted: 11/10/2013 5:44:11 PM
Crocheting works for me.

from New York
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Thinking outside the bucket

PeaNut 80,947
April 2003
Posts: 5,902
Layouts: 183
Loc: Sacramento-bouts

Posted: 11/13/2013 6:10:40 PM
wow thank you so much for all the replies.
I went to the dr yesterday and even though I am so much against meds I asked them to give me some xannax. She said it's addicting so only gave me 5 to help me sleep cause I'm so stuck in my mind. Too much analyzing. I forgot about zentangle, I've done one before. Tell me about the mandalas. To tell you the truth I haven't been fully engaged in doing something (that is, doing something without thinking) for a long time.


PeaNut 428,650
July 2009
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Loc: Columbus, Ohio

Posted: 11/13/2013 6:19:19 PM
This is kind of offbeat but I cut things out of magazines. I'm a collage artist and I teach mixed media projects at school. For some reason I find it really soothing to get my scissors out and destroy a magazine. You can always tell if I've had a mentally exhausting day at work because I'll be sitting there cutting out stuff after the kids go home. I'm sure the custodian thinks I'm weird.


I put my heart and soul into my work, & have lost my mind in the process. Vincent van Gogh


PeaNut 216,153
July 2005
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Loc: Texas

Posted: 11/13/2013 6:42:42 PM
For me, it needs to be something that keeps the thinking part of my mind preoccupied while keeping the creative/learning part also occupied. Tae kwon do does it for me as exercise, and scrapbooking does it creatively. (Sorry to mention scrapping on NSBR!



PeaNut 567,278
September 2012
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Posted: 11/13/2013 9:25:36 PM
My mind is usually doing 5-6 things at once so insomnia due to a busy mind is something I'm familiar with. It's much worse if I use electronics before bed. Otherwise I read, craft, make lists, clean, watch something cute sleeping. Seriously, watching my 1 year old grandson, our rabbits, guinea pigs or our dogs sleeping is so relaxing. There's so much to focus on; their breathing pattern, whether they snore, the way their hair or fur lies. Just lovely. Great mindfulness.


PeaNut 7,161
October 2000
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Loc: NW Washington-No Not Seattle :)

Posted: 11/13/2013 11:06:00 PM
I have that issue where something "wrong" gets into my mind and anxiety kicks in. Sometime I can get control right away and "flip" the topic and other times I can't and I have issues with what my therapist has dubbed "Ruinous Ruminations" (try saying THAT 5 times in a row...fast!)
I've gotten to the point that either I try to avoid my Xanax or need to quickly get control of the situation and have found the first thing I do is a CBT (Cognitive Behavioral Therapy) trick.
My favorite one is to play the Alphabet Game. I start with the letter A and the typical one is to list the letters of the alphabet with an animal that starts with it. Sometimes I will list places or things in general. The other day I did a silly run on sentence using words in the order having to do with the situation at the moment and ran it through that way.
And then at the end? Take a deep cleansing breath...and then typically it has turned into a giggle moment.

Chicks Dig Giant Robots

PeaNut 79,113
April 2003
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Loc: Pennsylvania Dutch country

Posted: 11/13/2013 11:48:17 PM
I play the piano or the recorder. I find playing music keeps me in the moment better than anything else. It requires the perfect amount of concentration-- it allows me to relax but not enough to get my mind wandering again.


Ancient Ancestor of Pea

PeaNut 37,012
April 2002
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Loc: Lehigh Valley, PA

Posted: 11/14/2013 5:32:21 AM
I would either knit or sometimes color. There are some very intricate adult coloring books and I find that relaxes me. You can find them at Barnes and Noble or Amazon. Then get a really big set of colored pencils and have at it.

Um, this is Two Peas. First world problems are the subject of approximately 93.17% of the threads here. It's our specialty. -Busypea

Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you've always imagined. ~Thoreau

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Thinking outside the bucket

PeaNut 80,947
April 2003
Posts: 5,902
Layouts: 183
Loc: Sacramento-bouts

Posted: 11/14/2013 10:46:54 AM
my neighbor just said that if I am stuck inside my hide I need to do something for someone else. I told her I was going to play the piano for a retirement home last year, and her eyes brightened up and said "yeah do that" ... so I will try to do that. Thanks for all the suggestions.
Yes ruinous ruminations.. that's what is kicking in is my ruminating thoughts, and I despise repetitivity. OCD,ADD are not a good combo, and then add a little caffeine to the bunch with massive creativity = a poisonous reaction.


PeaNut 138,670
March 2004
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Loc: Oregon

Posted: 11/14/2013 11:16:10 AM
If you're wanting something before bed look for am/pm yoga.

Thinking outside the bucket

PeaNut 80,947
April 2003
Posts: 5,902
Layouts: 183
Loc: Sacramento-bouts

Posted: 11/16/2013 12:52:25 PM
ok I'm going to answer my own post and that's to work your way back to living in the now and to your present self.
If you have ever rejected your self over something or thought of the how or why of your reality you are most likely not in the present moment or your present self.. Eckhart Tole is right on the number
Work your way back by living in love, allowance, and faith.

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