How to beat racing thoughts

 

Racing thoughts are fast and repetitive thoughts about a particular topic.  They often occur when you are anxious, depressed, or stressed.  It seems like your mind is going 700 miles an hour with a string of thoughts that are blown out of proportion.   Here are 7 tips to help you calm your racing thoughts.

  1.  Breathe.  I can not say enough how beneficial deep breathing is.  What it does is create a calming and relaxing effect.    Focusing on the sensation and the speed of your breathing can help with racing thoughts.  Breathing helps you to focus on the moment.
  2. Write it down.  Often these thoughts are disjointed in our heads, this gives you the opportunity to organize them.   If these thoughts keeping you from sleeping, writing them down will allow you to remember them and address them later.
  3. Repeat a phrase.   Doing this will help you reduce the activity of the part of your brain that is responsible for judgement and worrying.  Your favorite Scripture may also be used and repeated.
  4. Focus on your senses.  Notice how you feel in your body.  The bed that you are laying on, the chair that you are sitting on, how you shoes feel on your feet.  Notice what the air feels like when you inhale and exhale.
  5. Consider a positive outcome for the things that you are worrying about.
  6. Create a distraction.   TV, music, podcasts, sermons, etc.  I often advise to listen to instrumental music and pick out one instrument and focus on the sound of it.
  7. Address the anxiety, which may be at the base of the racing thoughts.  Consider professional help.
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