The average adult has nine things on their mind at any given moment – topped by grocery shopping, money worries and whether they made the right decision about something.
A poll of 2,000 adults found 62 per cent believe their mind is constantly running ‘a mile a minute’, while 83 per cent feel they often have lots going on in their head.
Worryingly, three quarters have so much on their mind they struggle to switch off, with the average adult facing poor sleep three nights a week as they can’t stop their minds racing.
Around one in four ‘often’ wonder whether they’ve locked their front door after leaving the house, while 12 per cent worry whether their cat or dog is truly happy at home.
And 22 per cent are often thinking about things they see in the news, such as the spread of Coronavirus, while just under a fifth say the environment and ongoing climate change discussion is a subject always on their mind.
Dr Meg Arroll, a chartered psychologist on behalf of vitamin and supplement brand Healthspan, which commissioned the research, said: “Mastering your mind is one of the most powerful tools you can own.
“Being able to ‘switch off’ and clear your mind of worries and concerns isn’t something that comes naturally to many people.
“Like most skills, it requires a lot of practise but can offer huge rewards, if you keep it up.
“It can often feel as though all the things flying around your head are chipping away at your mental defences, which can lead to feelings of fatigue and burnout.
“Being strong-minded doesn’t mean never changing your mind – our results show it’s more about being able to recognise and embrace our vulnerable side and be willing to ask for help when needed.”
The study also found that more than half of those polled would rather be mentally strong than physically strong.
And 52 per cent define ‘being strong’ as everything working well – both mentally and physically – to enable them to do what they need to do.
Being in nature is a top way for people to clear their mind, with four in 10 going outside for a walk to try and relax.
One in three choose to get lost in a book, while the same amount go by the adage of ‘a problem shared is a problem halved’.
Others try to switch off by spending time with loved ones (36 per cent), exercising (32 per cent) and even talking to a therapist (7 per cent).
Financial pressures and the cost of living is the most common reason people feel they have so much on their minds, with 44 per cent blaming it on a social media overload.
More than a quarter blame it on having too much choice while 37 per cent put their overloaded minds down to the pressure to ‘have it all’.
The study also revealed two thirds of those polled, via OnePoll, feel less able to handle everything on their mind when they’ve had a bad night’s sleep.
As a result, to try and improve their quality of sleep, 36 per cent try to unwind before bed by reading a book while 35 per cent avoid caffeine and 23 per cent cut back on their gadget use.
Others exercise (26 per cent), dim their lights (19 per cent) and have a set bedtime routine (22 per cent) to try and make sure they get some good sleep.
Rob Hobson, author of ‘The Art of Sleeping’, said: “Short-term sleep deprivation can impact on concentration, memory, learning, mood and relationships during the day.
“Long-term a lack of sleep can have much more serious effects centred around inflammation.
“Tackling the issue of sleep deprivation head on instead of pushing it to one side is the only way to deal with it.
“Exercising good sleep hygiene habits while eating a balanced diet is key, and there are plenty of supplements such as valerian and 5-HTP that may be useful additions to help you on your sleep quest.
“Studies have shown that people who have difficulty sleeping often have lower levels of magnesium and that increasing their intake can not only help them to nod off but improve the quality of sleep.”
Healthspan medical director Dr Sarah Brewer added: “There are plenty of options for improving your sleep and CBD oil could be one of them.
“Cannabidiol (CBD) is a popular treatment for insomnia and promotes refreshing REM sleep to reduce excessive daytime sleepiness.”
THE TOP 50 THINGS ON BRITS’ MINDS
1. What groceries I need to buy
2. Money worries
3. Did I make the right decision about something?
4. What’s for dinner?
5. My to-do list at work
6. Body weight issues
7. Do I have enough money to last until the end of the month?
8. The weather
9. If I’ve locked my front door before leaving the house
10. If I’ve made the right choices in life
11. My appearance (I don’t like it)
12. A story on the news
13. Is my partner happy?
14. Did I take my medication?
15. Relationship issues
16. Have a got everything I need for the day
17. Do I look old?
18. The environment and global warming
20. Where will I go on my next holiday?
21. Did I pay my bills?
22. My elderly/ aging parents
23. Did I make a mistake at work?
24. Did I turn off the lights?
25. How many calories did I eat?
26. What about my retirement?
27. Brexit and what does it mean?
28. What will I do this evening?
29. Am I coming down with something?
30. Did I do something I was supposed to do?
31. How I’m going to deal with plans for the weekend
32. Personal issues at work
33. If my cat/ dog is happy
34. If I’ve left my straighteners on
35. Am I wearing the right shoes / clothes?
36. When does my car/ home insurance need renewing?
37. What should I watch on Netflix?
38. Should I go to the gym?
39. Did I take my vitamin and supplements?
40. If I’ve packed everything I need for work?
41. Where I parked my car
42. Whether I gave my child everything they needed for school that day
43. If I’m drinking too much coffee
44. Are my children spending too long on their games and gadgets?
45. When can I fit in the gym this week?
46. Have my children done their homework
47. Did I bring lunch with me?
48. Did I leave my pet enough food?
49. When my milk expires
50. Did I lock my bike up?