Por: Brad HoefsHave you ever been intently focused on writing something when someone comes up behind you to ask you a question? Slightly startled, you answer the question and try to return to what you were writing, and because your train of thought was interrupted you can't get your creative writing juices going again! Staying focused is a necessary attribute when attempting to do many different types of things. And when our train of thought is interrupted, it is hard to continue to come back to that same focus. Think about it, It would be next to impossible as a parent of small children if you were attempting to read the instructions and put together your latest purchase from Ikea. Picture it, you're sitting in the middle of the room with all of the latest parts laid out for a new dresser, and the kids are consistently asking you questions about what you were doing and demanding your attention! It would try your patience. Chances are that you would give up because you wouldn't be able to focus on the task. Most likely you would come to the conclusion that the assembly process would be a lot easier if you weren't getting distracted by the kids. Being focused is essential for getting a lot of different types of tasks done in this life. However, sometimes being intensely focused or "stuck" in our thinking about something is not good and we end up needing to be distracted from it. We need to be interrupted! There are times we can become intensely focused, ruminating over and over on something negative. It's at that point that we need to interrupt and distract our thinking. Mastering the art of self-distraction is key to overcoming overthinking and negative ruminating. Lest our brain begins to get stuck like the needle of a record player within one of the groves of a vinyl record. (For those of you who might be too young to know what I'm talking about, you'll have to "Google-it." :) ) So, how does self-distraction work? The most important thing to do is to make a list of at least five to seven things that you like to do and refresh you, that requires you to focus on them that restores you. For example, one of these things for me is to do artwork. I like to paint or make things out of mixed mediums. So, whenever I do that, my mind resets. It's like a fresh reboot of my brain. The same thing happens if I get up and take a walk or a drive. It's these sorts of things you need to put on your list. What makes you happy? Baking? Art? Sports? A good movie? Reading? A walk? Helping someone else? Time with a friend? Crafts? As part of your list, include three friends that you enjoy being with that you could call and ask to do any one of these activities along with you. Then,
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