When times are tough, it’s hard to banish difficult thoughts from our heads, especially when we can’t change the situation. At such times, it is very important to be able to distract ourselves.
How to distract yourself from sad thoughts when you can’t change anything: 11 proven ways with a consultation with experts from PaperHelp.
You can do this in different ways: load the brain, muscles, hands. In this selection, we have collected several activities that will help to forget about the negativity, at least for a while.
Many psychologists believe that activities involving fine motor skills, such as knitting or needlework, cross-stitch, and sewing, help treat psychological trauma. And handicrafts are also good by the fact that a person is completely focused on the process.
Crosswords also require concentration, but in this case, it is better to pay attention to their non-standard varieties, such as Japanese crossword puzzles, Sudoku – those in which you have to make calculations. When solving the standard crossword puzzles, there is a chance that in search of a “difficult” word, you will go to the Internet and will not hold back from checking the news feed.
Chess, the game of kings, pumps the logic, keeps the brain from degrading, and makes you fully immersed in the battle unfolding on the board. Due to the high involvement, chess is often advised for people suffering from panic attacks. It’s also a great excuse to spend time with a loved one.
Choose a few favorite poets whose poems have always given you the strength to go forward and try to learn them by heart. Memorizing poems forms new neural connections in the brain and keeps it toned down, positively affects imaginative thinking, and expands vocabulary.
There are many variations of art therapy, but if you haven’t drawn or picked up a pencil and paints since high school and are afraid of a blank page, you can start with coloring for adults. During this type of creativity, the brain switches to small details, helping you to forget “the elephant in the room.” In addition, coloring books are firmly associated with our childhood, return to the carefree times.
This is a great way to give your brain a break from the triggers of depression. Doing sports, we concentrate on the proper work of the muscles and breathing, the sensations in the body come to the fore, and the smartphone with social networks and messengers will not be at hand. Of course, vigorous power training and a calm swim in the pool affect the well-being differently: the first helps to drain the anger, the second – to charge with calmness, so choose the activity to your taste.
Back during the coronavirus self-isolation, many people who had a hard time being confined within four walls found that cleaning helps with stress. It’s a kind of calming ritual that gives a sense of control, albeit only within the confines of personal space and gives positive reinforcement when the process is complete.
Cooking is a process that requires involvement and activates the parts of the brain responsible for creativity, especially if the dish is challenging and unusual. Like cleaning, cooking gives you a sense of control; you do it at your own pace, the way you like it. And your brain also anticipates the result – tangible and delicious – during the cooking process. The important thing is not to shift the focus from the process to the finished dish and start “gorging” on stress.
Disassemble the closet, sort out the photos in the family album, put in order the home library, get rid of accumulated junk, clean the computer from unnecessary files. By creating a space “for yourself,” you get rid of negativity and create a personal comfort zone.
Selling Your Stuff
Unwanted items left over from the previous point can be sold online: on Avito, Yule, in a group of tenants of your house. Yes, that helps too! All things should be beautifully photographed, come up with a description, set a price, and put on the site – all this is quite a pleasant hassle and useful in financial terms.
A diary is worth keeping for at least two reasons. Writing down your experiences on paper, you can look at them “from the outside”, analyze them, and perhaps make a plan of action. It is valuable historical material for posterity – and who knows, what if you have a writing talent, and in the future, you will publish a memoir? Be sure to write by hand, not on a computer, because writing is a fine motor skill that helps fight depression.
Simple steps help you get back to life, to feel ground beneath your feet. As clinical psychologists say: when you’re feeling depressed, it’s helpful to activate a behavioral response, that is, just get up and do something. Take control of what you can take.