227 Creative And Amazing Ways To Get Your Mind Off Something So You Can Move Forward

Last Updated on July 15, 2024

Have you ever been stuck? I don’t mean when your car tires are up to its hubcaps in snow, or you’re mired in mud. Sometimes, life throws us challenges that make us feel mentally stuck, unable to move forward. But fear not! There are ways to get your mind off those mental roadblocks and find clarity.

I mean stuck, as in you have something on your mind that you cannot seem to move away from. You know, those thoughts in your head that just won’t stop bothering you.

The inability to work through a thought lodged in our mind and move on from it can have serious results.

You can become consumed by the particular notion and it can render you incapable of moving forward with other things in your life.

This article explores 227 ideas for dislodging a thought to allow you to move on.

Mental Exercises To Distract Your Mind

The secret to dispelling a thought from your mind is to distract your mind away from the thought in some way.

Mental exercises are a great way to achieve this as they require some concentration. By challenging our mind to complete the mental exercise, we move the annoying thought out of the way.

Mental exercises will often include numbers. Doing some sort of basic mathematical calculation requires focus and concentration

This makes number exercises ideal for moving our mind away from the thought it was focusing on before.

Likewise, reciting a speech from a play or the lyrics of a song are also good options.

Another great mental exercise is to go through the directions, step by step, for completing a particular task.

This requires your mind to focus on two things, the steps themselves plus how to state them in a logical manner.

Try one of these ideas or another idea from the list below!

12 Mental Exercises To Distract Your Mind

1. “Create a mantra if you don’t have one and repeat it to yourself. (“I can do this”, “This too shall pass”) Literally spell it out if repeating is not enough”

2. “Choose a starting number and keep adding a number to it (15+7=22. 22+7=29…)”

3. “Observe something and describe it in extreme detail.”

4. “Count backward from a large number (999, 998, 997)”

5. “Choose a category of anything you can think of and list as many things as you can (countries, fruits, animals). You can make it harder by listing things from A to Z or using the last letter from the first word to create the next word.”

6. “Think of a common task and go through it step-by-step. Imagine you’re explaining the process to someone else.”

7. “Choose a number and think of various ways you can make that number (10: 5+5, 2×5…)”

8. “Memorize and recall everything you see in the room”

9. “Name all the colors in the room”

10. “Recite a passage, song, poem, or whatever else you know”

11. “Count how many of something there is in your environment (How many blue things? How many round items?)”

12. “Narrate to yourself what you are exactly doing at this moment”

Productive Ways To Distract Your Mind

In this list you will find no fewer than forty ways to distract your mind by doing something productive.

I always think of my mother when one of my kids leaves after a visit at home. It is so hard to see them go and I always shed some tears.

Mom said when she went through that, she would get at some house work. She dusted, scrubbed, vacuumed, and changed the sheets on the bed.

Being active helped distract her mind away from the sadness she was feeling.

This is a very beneficial way to deal with moving a thought out of your mind because you not only dislodge the thought, but you also get something done!

Check out these great ideas!

41 Productive Ways To Distract Your Mind

13. “Increase your knowledge about technology”

14. “Tend the yard”

15. “Clean the house (vacuum, sweep, wipe down windows, etc)”

16. “Learn how to give yourself a haircut”

17. “Learn a new skill”

18. “Learn how to play an instrument”

19. “Learn a language”

20. “Watch some TEDTalks”

21. “Make needed repairs or learn how to”

22. “Get your taxes in order”

23. “Make sure everything is running smoothly”

24. “Wash your car”

25. “Mow the lawn”

26. “Search for a useful app or program you can use”

“Search for a useful app or program you can use”

27. “Wash dishes”

28. “Take a class”

29. “Learn how to sew”

30. “Work on things you’ve been putting off”

31. “Organize old photos and videos”

32. “Create a record of your belongings for insurance”

33. “Reorganize things (books, kitchen, pantry, bathroom, desk)”

34. “Make a budget”

35. “Earn a license or certification”

36. “Learn new ways to save money”

37. “Plan for a future trip”

38. “Sort through papers (mails, documents, paperwork…)”

39. “Grocery shop”

40. “Organize everything digitally”

41. “Plan your meals in advance”

42. “Attend a workshop or seminar”

43. “Clean out filters”

44. “Scrub toilets, tubs, and sinks”

45. “Do laundry”

46. “Digitize important documents”

47. “Create an emergency plan”

48. “Make a list of goals”

49. “Declutter (home, room, closet, car, garage, etc)”

50. “Do a digital declutter for your devices, emails, and social media”

“Do a digital declutter for your devices, emails, and social media”

51. “Create, renew, or update legal documents”

52. “Shop for presents early”

53. “Make a financial plan”

Start Self-Care To Distract The Mind

Self-care is a great way to distract your mind away from a thought that wants to take up permanent residence in your frontal lobe.

We often neglect self-care, feeling that we are way too busy with other things that we give precedence to.

Yet, we know that self-care is extremely important. The benefits of looking after ourselves are enormous.

Taking a little time for ourselves can improve our self-esteem, make us healthier physically, and increase our emotional as well as mental health.

With all of these incredible benefits, why not devote some time to self-care as a means of dislodging that annoying thought?

Take a look at the great list of self-care ideas below and get started on doing something great for yourself!

13 Start Self-Care To Distract Your Mind

54. “Give yourself a makeover”

55. “Learn to play a sport”

56. “Try guided imagery”

57. “Create a workout routine”

58. “Do yoga”

59. “Go for a run”

60. “Jumprope”

61. “Take a warm bath”

62. “Get or give yourself a mani or pedi”

63. “Take a long shower”

64. “Create a space for yourself to relax, work, meditate, or get creative. Make it your space.”

65. “Connect with nature”

66. “Get a facial”

Find New Routines To Distract Your Mind

If you want to jolt that thought out of your mind so you can think about other things and move forward, try establishing a new routine.

For people who are routine-driven, this can be highly effective.

When we have a routine that we follow faithfully, our mind and our body anticipate what is coming next. 

Our brain is comfortable and goes through the steps of the routine with little stress, knowing what’s next on the agenda.

By shaking up that routine, we give our brain a jolt, like boosting your car engine.

Suddenly, your mind is being challenged to focus on a new routine

This will require greater focus and attention, making it necessary to get out of the way the thought that was plaguing you constantly.

Take a look at this list and shake up your routine!

20 Find New routines To Distract Your Mind

67. “Practice mindfulness”

68. “Mute out negativity online: Block, delete, or unfollow pages or communities that seem to spread toxicity.”

69. “Read, watch, or play something”

70. “Take a bubble bath”

71. “Treat yourself to something nice”

72. “Do the body scan practice”

73. “Try Stretching”

74. “Go biking”

75. “Take a walk outside”

76. “Practice deep breathing”

77. “Meditate”

78. “Unplug: Devote a period to be away from your devices.”

"Unplug: Devote a period to be away from your devices.”-Mental Exercises To Distract Your Mind

79. “Lift weights”

80. “Have a spa day”

81. “Get a massage”

82. “Listen to soothing music”

83. “Go hiking”

84. “Dress up”

85. “Journal”

86. “Go stargazing”

Be Creative To Distract Your Mind

Engaging in creative activities has been shown to challenge the brain and extend our capacity to think and learn.

This is a wonderful way to get your mind off something it has been stuck on, and it doesn’t matter if you are an established artist or have achieved a certain level in piano.

Creativity is available to everyone!

If you have ever wanted to learn an instrument, this is a great time to do it! There are lots of platforms online that teach how to play an instrument.

If sketching or painting is more your thing, get out a piece of paper and your paint brushes and get started!

If you love to garden, get out there, dig in the dirt, and create a lovely flower bed or vegetable garden.

We have oodles of marvelous, creative ideas for you to consider.

58 Be Creative To Distract Your Mind

87. “Make a family tree”

88. “Build a model”

89. “Try woodworking or metalwork”

90. “Decorate desserts”

91. “Start Write”

92. “Personalize something”

93. “Edit photos using Photoshop”

94. “Draw or doodle”

95. “Write a poem or short story”

96. “Do a DIY project”

97. “Try blind contour drawing”

98. “Film a cooking tutorial or lesson”

99. “Take on a creative project”

100. “Try different hairstyles”

101. “Put together a meaningful photo album”

102. “Recreate a dish you like”

103. “Try knitting, crocheting, or embroidery”

104. “Do simple arts and crafts using kits or materials found at home”

“Do simple arts and crafts using kits or materials found at home”-Mental Exercises To Distract Your Mind

105. “Make music”

106. “Try a new recipe”

107. “Try photography”

108. “Work on a novel”

109. “Make an inspirational poster”

110. “Make candles”

111. “Make a time capsule”

112. “Cook or bake something”

113. “Make a mocktail”

114. “Redesign something”

115. “Invent something”

116. “Create a smoothie”

117. “Draw comics”

118. “Make a stop-motion animation”

119. “Learn calligraphy”

120. “Experiment with different food combinations”

121. “Make videos”

122. “Make a scrapbook”

123. “Rearrange furniture at home”

124. “Sculpt something out of clay, dough, or foil”

125. “Pick up a new creative hobby”

126. “Design a tattoo”

127. “Paint something”

128. “Upcycle something”

129. “Draw your dream home”

130. “Experiment with existing ingredients at home”

“Experiment with existing ingredients at home”-Mental Exercises To Distract Your Mind

131. “Create a logo”

132. “Draw a map of your home or neighborhood”

133. “Plant something”

134. “Redecorate something”

135. “Do nail art”

136. “Make jewelry”

137. “Make greeting cards”

138. “Make your own cleaning or beauty product”

139. “Build a birdhouse”

140. “Make decorations for an upcoming event, season, or holiday”

141. “Try paper art”

142. “Fashion design”

143. “Start a blog”

144. “Start a garden”

Entertain Yourself To Distract Your Mind

Entertainment can also provide an effective as well as fun way to distract your mind away from a thought that you have been stuck on.

The added bonus with entertainment is the enjoyment factor.

You could take in a play at your neighborhood theater or watch a movie.

If you like to be social, call up your friends and get together at your place for some drinks and chat time.

Even watching TV or listening to a podcast will do the trick.

Entertainment focuses our mind on something other than the thought and once you have dislodged the thought, you free your mind to move on.

Consider these great ideas and enjoy!

24 Entertain Yourself To Distract Your Mind

145. “Make lists (to read, to watch, to do, to listen, to play, etc)”

146. “Look at memes”

147. “Read some blog posts”

148. “Dance”

149. “Play a card game by yourself or with someone else”

150. “Go shopping, even if it’s just window shopping”

151. “Play brain games online”

152. “Rank things (top 10 movies, best cuisines, top 5 musical artists, etc)”

153. “Throw a party”

154. “Watch sports”

155. “Binge Youtube”

156. “Discuss what you watched, read, or played with someone”

“Discuss what you watched, read, or played with someone”-Mental Exercises To Distract Your Mind

157. “Browse blogs that interest you”

158. “Sing or do karaoke”

159. “Watch a movie, TV show, reality show, cooking show, or documentary”

160. “Play video games”

161. “Read a poem, short story, or book”

162. “Listen to music”

163. “Browse social media”

164. “Discover new music

165. “Listen to a podcast”

166. “Make music playlists for different occasions (songs to dance to, relaxing music, bops, etc)”

167. “Watch trailers or music videos”

168. “Play a game on your phone”

Quality Ways To Distract Your Mind

The list that follows provides oodles of quality ways to kick-start your brain and get it unstuck.

Why not do a Sudoku puzzle or take a virtual tour?

Perhaps observing wildlife or taking some selfies with your pet is more appealing to you.

This list is varied and there is truly something for everyone, so what are you waiting for? 

Check out this list, and choose whatever strikes your fancy!

31 Quality Ways To Distract Your Mind

169. “Do Sudoku puzzles”

170. “Play Scrabble”

171. “Read a graphic novel or comics”

172. “Play a memory game”

173. “Make a bucket list”

174. “Catch up on your favorite celebrities”

175. “Play a simple word game”

176. “Have a photoshoot with your pet”

177. “Take some selfies”

178. “Read some jokes”

179. “Make memes”

180. “Observe wildlife”

181. “Do a crossword puzzle or word search”

182. “Write a positive review for something you enjoyed”

“Write a positive review for something you enjoyed”

183. “Catch up on current events”

184. “Travel the world using Google Earth”

185. “Go to a virtual escape room”

186. “Take a virtual tour”

187. “Learn about a culture”

188. “Teach your pet a new trick”

189. “Watch a foreign film or drama”

190. “Create a game”

191. “Spend time with your pet”

192. “Research your ancestry”

193. “Explore Wikipedia”

194. “Take silly quizzes online”

195. “Watch anime”

196. “Do a jigsaw puzzle”

197. “Attend a virtual concert”

198. “Read articles on things you’re interested in”

199. “Start a collection”

Social Activities To Distract Your Mind

When we’re social our brain is busy with a lot of things. We are taking in the faces of the people we are talking to as well as their name.

Our mind also works on recognizing social cues as well as responding appropriately in a conversation.

All of these factors make engaging in a social activity a terrific and effective way of moving away from that annoying thought that has had you stuck.

Plan something yourself or participate in a social activity that has been planned by someone else.

Get unstuck and have fun, too!

28 Social Activities To Distract Your Mind

200. “Call, text, or video chat with a loved one”

201. “Make a date to hang out to grab a coffee, go bowling, or watch a movie”

202. “Spend time with a loved one physically or virtually”

203. “Write a letter to a family or friend”

204. “Chat with a stranger online”

205. “Join an online community”

206. “Join a support group”

207. “Participate in an online discussion that interests you”

208. “Join a club”

209. “Play a game with someone online”

210. “Watch something with someone online”

211. “Explore a virtual world”

212. “Visit a local community center”

213. “Participate in your local religious institution”

214. “Make a gift or care package for someone”

215. “Cuddle with pets”

216. “Eat your favorite snack or have a cup of tea”

“Eat your favorite snack or have a cup of tea”-Mental Exercises To Distract Your Mind

217. “Take a long walk”

218. “Start Exercising”

219. “Play some sports”

220. “Read a book or magazine”

221. “Writing and journaling”

222. “Color adult coloring books”

223. “Watch Netflix or other entertaining programS”

224. “Practice positive thoughts and visualization”

225. “Get out of the house (and shop, socialize or simply enjoy the day)”

226. “Humor and laughter”

227. “Nap, or lay down for a while”

Frequently Asked Questions

What Are Mental Exercises To Distract Your Mind?

Mental exercises to distract your mind are activities or techniques designed to redirect your thoughts away from stressors or negative thinking patterns. They include mindfulness meditation, cognitive puzzles, visualization techniques, and deep breathing exercises.

How Do Mental Exercises Help Distract Your Mind?

Mental exercises help distract your mind by engaging your cognitive faculties in activities that require focus and attention. They interrupt rumination and redirect your thoughts towards more positive or neutral stimuli, promoting relaxation and mental clarity.

What Are Some Examples Of Mental Exercises To Distract Your Mind?

Examples of mental exercises to distract your mind include mindfulness meditation, guided imagery, progressive muscle relaxation, Sudoku puzzles, crossword puzzles, journaling, and visualization techniques.

Continue Reading 👉: 65 Varied And Helpful Ways To Keep Your Mind Calm For A Productive And Peaceful Life

Dr. Emily Harris