What Is hyperfixation?
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.
Here is 42 ‘Hyperfixation’ Ideas You Can use to Cope with Mental Health Struggles
In this blog I am going to go over 31 hyperfixation ideas you can use to cope with mental health struggles.
It can be a pleasant distraction to have a single focus that you can put a few hour into, helping you forget about the anxiety or depression. I broke the hyperfixation ideas into four main categories to help you.
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.
Hyperxfixation is where a person is completely fixated on something. They become so interested in a task or chore that they are usually not interested in anything else until its complete. They tend to hyperfocus on things like cleaning, fixing, reading or anything else that can be repeated over and over. People with autism and ADHD tend to hyper fixate on areas in their life. It also can be used as a coping mechanism with those who are dealing with mental health struggles like anxiety and depression.
42 hyperfixation ideas to cope with 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.
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.
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.
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.
5. SCAVENGER HUNTS
You don’t have to be a kid to go on a scavenger hunt. As a hyperfixation idea, rather than bringing a checklist to mark items off, you might instead leave your huntopen-response and open ended. Choose a category of things you want to write down, describe,or even draw. Or, do a sensory scavenger hunt, using your senses to note what grabs your attention and why. This is a great way to reconnect with your environment and learn new things.
6. TRAIL OR RIVER CLEANUP
Get involved in local environmental efforts within your community. Where there is a trail, there is a cleanup crew. Even if you don’t live near a trail or body of water, you could do this in your neighborhood. Because where there are people, there is always trash. Just be safe about it. Wear gloves and avoid walking along busy roads.
Events & Activities
7. 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.
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.
10. 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.
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.
14. 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.
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.
16. 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.
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.
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.
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.
20. 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.
21. 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.
22. GRAPHIC DESIGN
Try your hand at some digital art,whether on a tablet or computer. There are countless free and affordable programs you can try, along with tutorials on YouTube. This is especially helpful for beginners and those who consider themselves less artsy because you can just trace and recreate a design. In some ways, graphic design is easier than other art forms because the computer can make straight lines and perfect circles for you. Still, it takes time to learn the tools and the creative routes you take are endless.
You might not be from the Polaroid era, but we all have documents ordoctor’s recordsthat could use somebacking-up. In either case, you likely have photos and filesthat are already digitalbut need some serious organizing. This might not seem like everyone’s hyperfixation cup-of-tea, but once you dive in, you might not want to stop until it’s done. It helps me tremendously to alleviate some anxiety when I have a rapid-fire filing system in place, digital or not.
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.
25. 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.
26. 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.
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.
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.
30. 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!
31. Schoolwork / Homework
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.
32. 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.
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.
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.
It’s hard to run out of ideas for what to do with your excess baked goods. There’s almost always a friend, neighbor, or social gathering that will appreciate some sweet treats at any given time. I say this because a hyperfixation with baking can be a slippery slope if you’re the only one eating your creations. That said, there are tons of ways to be a healthy baker, like substituting butter with applesauce. No matter what, baking can be quite atherapeutic multi-step process.
37. MAKE PASTA FROM SCRATCH
You could spend hours in the kitchen making homemade pasta. The entire dish could be homemade, from the cheese filling to the sauce. There are countless time-intensive pasta recipes out there to find one that suits your tastes. And by the end of it,you will have created something delicious and worth sharing.
38. BRAIN GAMES
Find a book that has a variety of short brain games that you can flip through. They don’t have to be overly challenging or stimulatingand may even include some pages for coloringin the mix. Think word jumbles, word searches, and crossword puzzles. Alternatively, you can dive intoone bigger crossword puzzle or a game of sudoku.
Candle-making is an excellent way to hyperfocus. Not only is it a multi-step process that smells nice, but it allows you to be creative and make thoughtful gifts. One day it couldevenlead to a profitable business!
40. SOLVE A RUBIK’S CUBE
If you have never played with or solved a Rubik’s Cube, it’s worth trying. You might end up spending hours feeling like you only fidgeted with it.But it’s okay if you don’t solve it; it’s still a significant workoutfor your mental acuity. It’s no wonder a Rubik’s Cubeis the best-selling toy of all time.
41. LEARN A NEW LANGUAGE
Use your mental muscles to start learning a new language. There are tons of apps and programs you can try,like Duolingo. Pick a languagethat excites you or one that is the native language of a country you hope to visit one day. Don’t just pick one because everyone else says it could be useful.
42. LEARN ABOUT A SUBJECT OF INTEREST
Is there a topic that you have always wanted to learn more about? Maybe it’s whales or sea turtles that pique your interest, and if so,there are countless documentaries, books, and online sources you can dive into (no pun intended)
Now, these are only 42 ‘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!