View profile

Say NO to Scattered Thinking and Racing Thoughts

This happened to me just now. I was trying to settle on one topic for this issue of the newsletter, b
Say NO to Scattered Thinking and Racing Thoughts
By Jordan Brown • Issue #191 • View online
This happened to me just now.
I was trying to settle on one topic for this issue of the newsletter, but my mind was all over the place.
I thought, Maybe I can fit this topic in along with that topic as well? That’s a great idea. I could cover everything!
But that approach is problematic.
Scattered thinking and racing thoughts seem like they can work.
They feel like they can cover a lot of ground.
But in the end, something sinister happens. You’re going to need to know about it–and what you can do to avoid it.

Scattered Thinking and Racing Thoughts
“A mile wide and an inch deep.”
I hadn’t heard that somewhat goofy phrase until I moved to Montana. But as goofy as I first found it, it’s actually a pretty apt description of what happens with scattered thinking and racing thoughts.
It’s like multitasking.
You think you’re getting so much done by working on 45 tasks at once at once, but you’re actually doing 45 things very poorly. The benefits of multitasking? Well, it’s been proven that they just aren’t there after all. And at the core of multitasking is a scattered way of thinking. You have one idea that zips and zags through your mind before it crashes into another idea and then ricochets into a third.
This can be great for creativity, but it’s not so great for getting things done. Racing thoughts will not help you race through your day in an effective way. In fact, they will pummel your mind and drain your emotional and physical energy. This is the sinister effect that I referred to above. It’s a recipe for extreme emotional fatigue. It will deplete your mental health.
So what is a frustrated human to do about it?
You’re in luck. There are some strategies you can use to save your day.
"I will read all of these at once."
"I will read all of these at once."
Strategies to Stop Scattered Thinking
Now, some of these strategies take time. That’s just life. But if you want to clear your mind and get through your day in peace and productivity, I’ve found that they’re well worth the effort.
Let’s dive in. Here are the strategies.
  1. Learn to meditate - This has been one of the biggest game-changers in my life. Meditation has transformed the quality of my life for the better. Google “how to meditate” and click around a bit until you find something that resonates with you. And then try it out! And it doesn’t have to be hours upon hours of meditation to reap the rewards. I’ve found that a few minutes a day can be enough to clear your mind and focus on one task at a time.
  2. Speaking of one task at a time, focus on one task at a time - Make a list of the things you want to do during the day. Start simple. Pick something on your list and commit to working on it for 25 minutes. This time frame is commonly used in the pomodoro technique. You’ll be amazed by what you can get done in 25 minutes. Once you’ve finished one task, cross it off your list, take a short break, and then move on to the next one. Simplicity is the key to productivity and happiness.
  3. Change your body to change your mind. Have you ever noticed that when your mind is racing and your thoughts are scattered, it’s often because you’ve worked yourself into a contorted frenzy with your physical position? When I’m anxious and my thinking is all over the place, I check in with my body. Usually, it’s hunched over in an uncomfortable position, or my hand is on my face or neck, or I’m not breathing as deeply as I should be. When this happens, I change my posture or move around. Simply changing my physical state changes my mental state.
And that’s it, folks. One of these simple strategies should give you something to work with. Give ONE strategy a try for one week straight and see what happens.
Scattered thinking and racing thoughts have wreaked havoc on my life. But, over time, and with lots of practice, I’ve found a way out.
You can too.

Don’t beat yourself up if this happens to you. It happens to almost everyone at some point. Just keep working at it.

You are stronger than you realize,
Jordan

P.S. Did this help you? Share it with a friend! Did a friend send you this and it helped YOU? You can sign up for the newsletter to get more helpful articles here.
Did you enjoy this issue?
Become a member for $10 per month
Don’t miss out on the other issues by Jordan Brown
Jordan Brown

The Mental Health Update is a weekly email newsletter with mental health articles that make mental / emotional / behavioral health meaningful and accessible.

It's timeless mental health wisdom and inspiration to start your day in a thoughtful, uplifting way.

It's like a caring friend that just wants you to feel better.

Mental health awareness articles don't need to be doom and gloom and filled with jargon.

With The Mental Health Update, you'll get practical tips and new ways to view the world.

We discuss topics like anxiety, depression, OCD, social and communication skills, and much more.

You deserve to get helpful mental health information that you can actually apply to your life.

This is what one subscriber had to say:

"If you haven't yet subscribed to Jordan's daily newsletter, you absolutely should. It's chock full of good stuff to read and will help make your day better. Not unlike a daily vitamin for your mental health and soul..." - JR

You can manage your subscription here
If you were forwarded this newsletter and you like it, you can subscribe here.
Powered by Revue
Missoula, MT