31 "Hyperfixation" Ideas:
To cope with your mental health
What is hyperfixation?
Hyperfixation is an attention deficit hyperactive disorder. A person will find themselves with hyperfocus and completely immersed in different actions in a day.
Some areas you might find yourself hyperfocused on are reading, fandom, video games, cleaning and much more.
31 ‘Hyperfixation’ Ideas You Can use to Cope with Mental Health Struggles
Do you often become so immersed in one thing that you lose track of time and anything else going on around you? Hyperfixation is being profoundly and intensely concentrated on or absorbed in something. With hyperfocus being a common symptom of ADHD and autism, one may have trouble focusing on certain desired activities or tasks but become emerged in unproductive ones.
Although hyperfixation can pull you away from essential responsibilities, it is not always counterproductive, nor is it only limited to those with ADHD or autism. Some people with mental health conditions use hyperfixations as a coping mechanism because sometimes becoming wholly immersed in a task or hobby is better than being immersed in your intrusive thoughts or excessive worries.
What does Hyperfixation mean?
Hyperfixation is being completely absorbed in an action or mental focus. While hyperfixation is typically associated with autism and ADHD, those struggling with mental health issues can also experience hyperfixation. Hyperfixation habits can include video games, cleaning, painting, social media, and much more.
Here are 31 hyperfixation ideas people use to cope with their mental health:
It is a special feeling to nurture something from the ground up and watch it grow. Even caring for an indoor plant or two can remind you that there are bigger things in the world than your problems – that you are a part of something bigger.
Reading is a hyperfixation habit that pushes the brain to new heights. Not only are you focusing closely word afterword, but your mind simultaneously creates visuals. Reading puts your brain into a trance-like state that is comparable to meditation, helping to relieve stress.
3. Wedding Planning
It’s a positive thing to have something to look forward to! Whether it is your wedding or that of someone you know, one way to manage anxiety or depression is by looking up items of interest or generating ideas that remind you of what you have to look forward to.
4. T.V. Shows
The multi-sensory experience of watching T.V. can relieve stress and worries by pulling your focus away from your busy mind. Your hyperfocus might be on one show that you repeatedly watch because it calms you, makes you laugh, or you connect with it on some level. Or, you might find that T.V. relaxes you despite the particular show, and it does this by reducing your beta waves – the waves of active thought and learning.
5. Crocheting or Knitting
The repetitive movement of activities such as crochet and knitting is a helpful and soothing way to direct your focus and channel nervous energy and hyperfixate. Maintaining fine motor skills requires great focus and coordination. Crocheting and knitting are also an opportunity to express your creativity and create something beautiful and useful.
Clothes can be quite calming. Whether it’s scrolling through recycled clothing online and drawing fashion inspiration from your favorites or sifting through the racks at a thrift store to find things that are unique or that you can potentially upcycle or resell can be exciting! With thrifted items, you can find inspiration in the old or use your creativity to give something a second life.
Cleaning is an effective way to let off steam when you feel angry or stressed, and the endorphins you release from moving around will help boost your mood. Plus, you will have a clean space to focus and a sense of accomplishment once you’re done.
Pokemon is a fun and stress-relieving activity for many people. It is easy to hyperfixate on Pokemon hunting (buying cards) when working to build or complete a collection. You could spend hours looking at the condition of cards and determining their value or, in terms of playing, picking one to breed it for specific stats or moves.
9. Fantasy Book Series
Books like ‘Harry Potter’, ‘The Alchemyst’, “The Golden Compass’ and many more have made it possible for many readers to become absorbed in a world of fantasy and magic, rather than their current undesired situation. While one book can be enough to carry you away into a world of possibility, the series can really pull you in as the whole story unfolds and expands.
If you are dealing with anxious or busy thoughts, creating projects out of Legos can refocus your attention. Between problem-solving, spatial awareness, visualization, and experimentation, building 3-dimensional objects pulls your focus into the project at hand and leaves you with a sense of achievement.
Minecraft is known to help people think outside of the box and be creative. At other times players can enjoy farming crops without having to think as much. In either case, this is a game that can keep you from dwelling on your thoughts, whether in creative or survival mode.
Painting requires focus on everything from colors, lines, brushstrokes to shading. Not only does it keep busy thoughts or fidgety hands concentrated on small sections at a time, but there is also a focus on the picture as a whole as you aim to achieve what you want it to look like in the end. Then, when you’re done with a piece, you hang it up and get lost in the design or recall your experience.
Bird watching can reduce depression, stress, and anxiety by having beautiful birds to look at and even track in a bird book. It’s easy to forget about everything else when trying to identify a bird based on its call or appearance.
Twitter can be a helpful platform for learning information in small bits, without the stress of reading long articles or seeing all the unrealistic images on platforms like Instagram (our Instagram is the one variable that stays honest). Scrolling through a Twitter feed can be relaxing. You will likely learn a lot of new facts and current events along the way – you may even discover something you are interested in that could turn into a more productive passion or hobby.
Check the latest thread from our founder Paul, there is a lot of information here. If you check it out and enjoy it, a retweet would be a big help, thanks!
15. Potential Purchases
Hyperfixating on potential purchases is a useful and often fun method for stepping outside of your depressing, harmful, or anxious thoughts. You don’t have to buy anything for this hyperfixation to be productive. By simply reading reviews and looking at product details, you can learn a lot about what you do or don’t need or want in this life. You might also end up creating a wish list, so when the time comes that you do need something, you already know where to look!
Fashion is a form of self-expression. Just sifting through magazines or online stores is like a form of therapy that focuses your attention on self-evaluation and grasping a better idea of what makes, or would make, you
happy. When you shop around for or wear what you love, it will increase your self-esteem and allow you to feel more content with the authenticity of your self-image.
The great thing about cars as a hyperfixation habit is that there are many ways you can hyperfixate on vehicles. Some people relieve stress by learning about parts, installing gadgets, or building cars from the ground up. Cars can also attract you to a community of other car lovers, such as at a car show, where you don’t have to have an affinity for building but simply appreciate the aesthetics and evolution of cars.
Exercise is a healthy way to release pent-up negative energy, anger, anxiety, or stress, and fitness makes you feel good. You can focus on creating routines in advance or do helpful research. In this way, you further reduce anxiety by preparing for your next gym session and knowing how the exercise impacts your body to avoid injury or make it more efficient.
19. Fostering Animals
Cats and dogs help boost your mood and manage emotional pain. Not only will fostering pets keep you busy and distracted by something cute, but you will feel good about taking care of something in need!
Focusing on your schoolwork is an effective way to take your mind off other things. Between problem-solving and memorization skills, hyperfixating on your homework is like replacing your negative thoughts with new and useful information.
21. To-Do Lists or Budgeting
One of the most effective ways to reduce anxiety is through planning. When you focus on making lists or budgeting, you will feel in control and limit the potential for anxiety-causing problems down the road, such as missed deadlines or overspending.
If you are feeling depressed and anxious, shopping can shift your mindset. Even if you look at it from a pure enjoyment standpoint, there’s no denying that piecing together an outfit or finding the best deal takes time and concentration.
Planning out your days and weeks can help you redirect anxious energy and worries to help you feel more in control. When you are prepared for what is ahead and have important dates written down, worrying about missing something is the fraction of your anxiety that you can control and let go of.
24. Star Wars
Star Wars is a multi-media franchise that has been around since the ’70s, which means there are many ways to interact or connect with Star Wars, and many people still do. By watching the movies, you can easily get lost in the cinematography or music or connect with their complex characters that some people with mental health issues say they can relate to.
25. College and Future Plans
Investing your energy and focus into your passions and plans is a productive way to avoid stress over other things in your life. For the most part, school keeps people incredibly busy, but apart from using it to cope, you will also end up feeling fulfilled and successful.
Running or even jogging is no walk in the park. It forces you to focus your mindset and develop a “can do” attitude if you want to keep going. It’s a healthy way to release tension and anger that also leaves you with a sense of achievement – and endorphins.
Do you ever notice how when your space is less cluttered, your mind feels that way too? Organization requires your full attention, whether working with limited space or trying to place things more strategically. Consider organizing your kitchen cabinets according to what gets used the most – same thing with your clothes. It will save you time and anxiety later on too.
You may already be thinking, wouldn’t something as busy as antique mall trigger stress or anxiety? and for some people, it might. But for others, having so many things to look through, learn about, collect, or potentially upcycle is a hyperfixation hobby that has the opposite effect for them.
The next time you feel stressed or anxious, consider passing the time with a puzzle and notice how much of your attention it demands. Even connecting two pieces can provide a sense of pride and excitement.
It’s possible to end up working on one pottery piece for several weeks. Pottery eases stress because there are multiple steps to follow and opportunities to work on the slightest details. You can create something both beautiful and useful.
31. Video Games
People who play video games can interact with and become lost in virtual worlds – a story other than their own. The gameplay (focusing on the plot and tactical skills) can help you forget about your mental struggles for a while.
Now, these are only 31 ‘Hyperfixation’ ideas you can use to Cope with mental health struggles, and I know there are 1,000+ more!
What is one hyperfixation we missed that you use?
Please leave your hyperfixation action in the comments below so our readers can learn from your addition to this blog.
We will add your hyperfixation as the comments grow!