The Finger Switch Challenge: ‘This simple hand exercise could help break the overthinking cycle’

Updated: Sep 9




It’s all too easy sometimes, for thoughts, stress and worries to take over, leaving us trapped on the hamster wheel of rumination, going nowhere fast.


This vicious cycle can be at the expense of productivity and logic, not to mention creativity and wellbeing, so it often pays to have an exit strategy for whenever thoughts show signs of starting to run away with themselves.


Breaking the cycle, though seemingly out of our control, can often be helped by consciously applying the mind to another task - the ‘finger switch challenge’ being a fitting example.


If nothing else, this little exercise can be enough to stop the cogs whirring, and give your mind a much-needed breather...even if only temporarily.


All you have to do, is put a thumb up on one hand, and a pinky on the other (fold the other fingers down) then swap the protruding digits from one hand to the other.


In other words, as one thumb goes up, the other one has to go down, and as one little finger goes in, the other one must go out.


The task seems easy, and perhaps trivial, but it does serve a very useful purpose... and that is DISTRACTION.


If distraction does nothing else, it allows some respite from the noise of all that might clutter (or should it be clatter!?), so that when we do return to old thoughts... it’s hopefully with fresh eyes, and a renewed perspective!


To reference a quote used by Coach Claire Nicole Stansfield, ‘we can’t see the picture when we are standing in the frame’


From this regard, anything which forces us out of said frame might just play a SMALL part of the much (much) bigger picture of mental well-being, offering a potential escape hatch from overwhelm, and putting some degree of control, at least, at our fingertips.