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AI James Altucher


10 techniques to overcome distracting thoughts

These can be any type of thoughts. From manually reviewing a to do list while you're trying to accomplish something at work, obsessing about food or drugs or sex or thinking about depressing thoughts.

    1. Label it

    Whatever thought you are having, label it as a Thought. Like, “I am having the thought that I am fat.” Or, “I am having the thought that I should call my parents.” Or, “I am having the thought that I need to check Twitter.”

    2. Don’t fight it

    Don't try to stop or change the thought. The mind is always going to be thinking something. You can't stop it so don't even try. Fighting thoughts only makes them stronger and more persistent.

    For instance, if you are sitting at your desk trying to focus on work and you are obsessing about food or some other distraction, don’t say to yourself, “Stop thinking about food!” because then you will just keep thinking about food and now you have added shame (for being weak) into the mix which will make things worse.

    Label it and move on to the next step.

    3. Go back in time before this thought arose in your mind and ask, what was I doing? What was I feeling? Who was I with? What was happening around me? What were my intentions when I started down this path of distracting thoughts?

    Sometimes we get distracted by thoughts because we want to avoid what is happening in front of us right now or what we were doing before this thought came up .

    So go back in time and figure out where you were going when this distracting thought came up .

    Maybe there is something else going on at that moment that is causing some discomfort or sadness or fear or anger. Maybe there's a way for you to deal with those feelings right then instead of distracting yourself with thoughts later on .

    This also helps with labeling because now you know what exactly triggered your thoughts .

    For instance , if you are trying to work but keep getting distracted by thoughts of food , maybe it's hunger pangs so go eat something instead of fighting these thoughts .

    Or if you're trying to talk with someone but keep getting distracted by thoughts of sex , maybe there's an issue between you and that person so deal with those issues instead of avoiding them via distracting sexual thoughts later on .
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