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How can I stop thinking and shut my brain off?

159 Answers
Last Updated: 10/04/2019 at 4:46am
1 Tip to Feel Better
South Africa
Moderated by

Lisa De Regt, BSc Psychology (Honours)

Counselor

Hello, I am Lisa and I work in a person-centred approach mixed with cognitive behavioural therapy. I believe we all have the potential to be the best we can be.

Top Rated Answers
patientWaves84
December 20th, 2015 11:47am
You can't, :), But you could manage it, Try For about 10 to 15 minutes a day, “Write down what’s on your mind at an earlier time and what you’re doing about it,” distract yourself from your worries with so mental exercises, Focus on the positive, Try walking to clear your mind "beach, forest",
Anonymous
December 20th, 2015 6:10pm
One thing to keep in mind is that trying to not think about something is the worst possible way to avoid it. The best thing to do is to tell yourself that you are aware of all the thoughts you could be having at this particular moment, but that you can think about them later.
Flinch59
December 20th, 2015 8:57pm
Stopping thoughts altogether is easier said than done. Instead, try to disengage from the thinking, and objectively observe the thoughts, like cars on a highway. Just sit back and let them whizz around the highways of your subconscious. Sometimes it will be a clown car, and other times a garbage truck. The important thing is to not get too carried away with any one car. So keep thinking, but don’t get too carried away :)
Anonymous
December 23rd, 2015 1:23pm
Some people may find this very hard to do, while others may find it very easy. However to do this i would recommend simply trying to do a mindless task such as doodling whilst listening to some relaxing music or music which you find enjoyable. Meditation is also a good way to relax and not to think about things. But in my opinion the ultimate way to achieve this would be through practicing mindfulness.
SpookyBlue
December 23rd, 2015 7:51pm
Meditation is a good way to stop the mind from racing. Meditation takes practice, however, so it does not work immediately. There are many resources online, and mobile apps as well, that help you learn how to meditate and encourage practice. Meditation helps clear your mind of intrusive thoughts, and is scientifically proven to help with stress and anxiety!
Sharada
December 24th, 2015 2:48pm
Personally I use meditation or yoga to do this. Just put on some relaxing instrumental music, sit comfortably and concentrate on your breathing. It might help clear the clutter of thoughts in your brain.
tranquilBerry61
December 24th, 2015 4:24pm
Try relaxing, breathing techniques can be helpful or you can search up relaxing music on you tube. If this doesn't work try writing down or talking about how you feel.
politeDreamer76
December 25th, 2015 5:48pm
You can try meditating or yoga which can teach you how to relax your body and mind. Trying some of these may allow you to learn how to control your thoughts and how to prevent you from dwelling on things you would rather not think about
divinetrust
December 27th, 2015 12:41am
Meditation sounds like something you should look into. You can meditate to help ease overwhelming burdens. If you need advice on how to start you can always message me.
Anonymous
December 30th, 2015 6:10am
Try meditating! Focus on your breathing. Take a walk through nature, or focus on a specific object for a while.
makis
December 31st, 2015 10:21am
Sometimes it's difficult to avoid overthinking.A good tip is to always remember that these thoughts are your own,you are the one who has the control over them and nobody else.Also,doing some creative activities,that keep your mind focused,such as drawing,are really helpfull.
Katiee3
December 31st, 2015 5:07pm
You could try deep breathing exercises to calm you? Breathe in for 4, hold the breath for 7 then breath out for 8 :)
Nithou
January 3rd, 2016 12:54pm
Learn to practice meditation (Headspace makes it really easy, OMG I can meditate too), get out for a walk / run, write your thoughts down, ... Don't try to push them away as it'll make it harder for you. Embrace your thoughts, understand them, and then you'll be able to let them go :)
Anonymous
January 3rd, 2016 7:39pm
Mindfulness techniques like listening to guided meditation work at times, and distracting myself, be it tasks that have to be done, random busywork, or passing time doing something like watching a movie or listening to music. Basically, something to occupy the mind. Therapy and medication for me, the latter being the most effective.
igetcha
January 6th, 2016 12:28am
Physical activities take your energy off your mind & put it on your body. Plus it helps get rid of that nervous energy. Or even just thinking about the physical world around you-what you see through your senses at that moment-helps you get your mind off your past & future worries
Anonymous
January 6th, 2016 3:22pm
I usually go swimming. It makes me feel free. Keeping busy is useful to stop thinking, even hanging out with a friend and laugh may help
Andrei2090
January 7th, 2016 6:24pm
Oh dear why would you do such a thing! Too many people do the complete opposite. If you are going into overdrive unwillingly, organizing your thoughts is one of the best ways to "make the voices stop". I personally begin writing the subject of my thoughts down on paper in random places (use a blank paper). Then i link them together in ways that one is related with the other. For example: I am down about my grades but its because i procrastinate. I procrastinate by playing games. I play because im not happy. Etc. Eventually you will find a pattern and an order in your thoughts. Then you can start handling them individually and make progress ;)
SmilingMeow
January 9th, 2016 10:47am
Technically you cant shut your brain off we are not computer so we don't have any switch to turn it of when you brain shuts down it means you are a zombie LOL . the only thing humans are different from other animals we have a attitude and a behavior and your brains controls it and if you think you dont have attitude or a behavior you are nothing but a chimpanzee :P
Anonymous
January 9th, 2016 11:28am
Do things that are relaxing for you.Watch some tv or listen to music.Those two can easily take your mind off.
Enchantedx
January 10th, 2016 1:47pm
I advice you to listen to some good music. It has always got me through a lot of hard times, so this is great.
Anonymous
January 21st, 2016 12:08pm
Find an activity you enjoy. For me it's baking. It requires my complete concentration and it helps if you're listening to your favorite music at the same time. It really takes my mind off of everything.
Anonymous
January 21st, 2016 5:35pm
Sleeping its a matter of how I go to sleep this is why its hard for people to sleep because their brain is constantly working
saturatedsunrise86
January 22nd, 2016 7:42pm
Meditation, listening to soft music and focusing on the lyrics, yoga, breathing exercises, running/exercise
owenlang
January 28th, 2016 1:49pm
It's not thinking that's the problem, It's negative pessimistic thinking. What you should try and do is think positive or distract yourself; in a healthy way. If you can train yourself to think more positive then you will eventually have no problems with your thought process.
FaithGreen16
January 28th, 2016 5:51pm
Try to picture something incredibly plain, like a piece of paper with a black dot on it. imagine the paper and dot as clearly as you can and think only of the boring paper and dot. imagine getting closer and then further away from the paper and the dot, and try to imagine this all incredibly vividly only focusing on these 2 simple things.
Anonymous
January 29th, 2016 5:43am
try meditation :) or physical exercise.
Anonymous
January 29th, 2016 12:10pm
You should never wish to shut your brain off. but to reduce thinking you can sleep or talk to people about your experiences
Anonymous
January 31st, 2016 2:55pm
Try focusing on something like your breathing this way you will be thinking of nothing but your breathing
Anonymous
February 3rd, 2016 9:42pm
Music. Try to find a song that 1)understands you or 2) keeps you distracted
thoughtRecognizer
February 6th, 2016 6:57am
If you feel overwhelmed by certain thoughts, self-distraction is the natural way to deal with it. Children are usually expert at distracting themselves, and as adults we still have this ability even though we may not be aware of it, and even though we may not use it when needed. Distracting yourself typically changes your thoughts, and as your thoughts change your emotions also change. How to distract yourself? It can be as easy as walking over to another place, or going outside, or doing something practical, or taking with someone. Basically anything that takes your mind off the current issue that is occupying it. Distracting yourself gives yourself a little breathing room and may make it easier to deal with the issues that are so challenging.