5 Effective Ways to Stop Your Racing Thoughts

When you have a thought pattern that is fast and repetitive, it is considered a racing thought. Those who suffer from anxiety often experience this, but other mental health conditions can also trigger these racing thoughts. When you begin having these thoughts, they can increase stress and anxiety to the point they become overwhelming.

Racing thoughts are often linked to past events that have created a great deal of anxiety or sadness for you. In some cases, they are a way for you mind to blow things out of proportion and to cause you to have a thought process that leads to a conclusion that is not based on reality.

If you allow these thoughts to continue to dominate your attention, they will begin to drain your energy. They can keep you on edge and make it feel like it is impossible to escape the world. Eventually, your sleep will be affected by this and you’ll ultimately wonder what options you have. Before you allow things to continue to progress out of control, it can be useful to explore the ways you can stop this stressful event from taking place. After all, you have the power to reclaim your life and to break free from the binds of this form of anxiety.

  1. One way to do this is by using a technique called cognitive distancing. With this, you think about reality, rather than the unrealistic outcome your mind wants you to believe. You can explore different scenarios. For example, your spouse has been distant and keeps sending out e-mails. You feel there is an affair, when in reality they are just working on a project for work. When you think about what is going on and realizing they are at home when they are not at work, you can conclude that perhaps things are not as bad as you once imagined.
  2. Another exceptional tool is the mantra. This is the process of using a word or phrase that you repeat, until you have calmed yourself down. Research has proven that this technique actually works, as it has the ability to sooth yourself. While you can use common options like, “Om” or reminding yourself “everything is fine”, you have other options. Think about something that you can repeat that will hold bearing to you. It might be a phrase from a song, or your favorite quote. It doesn’t matter what it is as long as you can remember it and it brings you some internal peace.
  3. If you are living on the past, or what could potentially happen in the future, you are stressing about things you have no control over. Instead, realize that you need to let go of the mistakes you have made in the past and to live in the moment and make the best decisions now. No one will ever know what is in store for you in the future and you can’t waste your life away trying to fret over it. The here and now is where things happen and you have the potential to change any of the fates that you might have.
  4. Sometimes it can also help to write things down. This is where you place all the concerns in your mind and list them in order of the perceived threat on paper. When you are in a better frame of mind, you can review them again. Often, if you let it go and then return, you’ll discover the concerns and anxieties you had in that moment weren’t as horrific as you thought they were. In most cases, they have already worked themselves out by the time you returned to them.
  5. It’s with that in mind that you will want to consider one of the other essential items to remember. You just need to breathe. When your flight or fight response kicks in and your nerves are tense, just a few deep breaths can help to settle you down. It doesn’t take more than just counting to three and holding your breath as needed. By the time you are done, you can take a step back with a clear mind and realize that your racing mind didn’t define who you are.

Each of these ways to stop a racing mind can be incredibly effective for you. While you might need to take some time working on each of them until you find the right combination for you, there will be one that delivers results. Then remain consistent and patient when your mind races and turn back to these items and work through them. You’ll find that this can be incredibly effective and when combined with psychotherapy and certain prescription medications, you are able to reclaim control of your life.

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Latest update: June 10, 2016
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