Racing mind is an occasional annoyance and can be commonly experienced by anyone at some point of time. Racing thoughts can cause a lot of distraction and discomfort. These thoughts are generally triggered by some negative circumstances or disturbing events.Racing mind can be harmful especially while operating a machinery or driving.Someone with a racing thought may find it difficult to read, concentrate, be calm or even hold a conversation, and, of course, lose appetite.
Some subjects may even get obsessed with racing thoughts and develop eating or sleep disorders overtime. Racing thoughts are common among subjects that are prone to stress and anxiety. These emotionally sensitive subjects tend to present with underlying psychological conditions such as ADHD, bipolar disorder, anxiety disorder and depression.
Racing mindset can be confusing, overwhelming and distressing. It compromises one’s ability to remain focused and accomplish daily tasks. It is associated with a string of worries that can have a negative impact on appetite, memory, digestion, and sleep. Fortunately, there are various strategies that can quieten a racing mindset and calm down one’s mental spirit in two minutes.
1. Mindfulness meditation
Deep diaphragmatic breathing is the most commonly used effective meditative technique. It involves concentrating on breath by inhaling slowly and deeply, filling the belly first and later up to the chest. Gently hold the breath for a count of five. Slowly exhale and the cycle should be repeated several times.A deep, cleansing breath initiates relaxation, works on both sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous system which reset fight-or-flight response to the balanced, relaxed state. Engaging in yoga and meditation can relieve from stress, anxiety and improve memory problems.
2. Keep a journal
Mind can get into overdrive when one tries to catalog ideas or remember certain memories. Discussing these memories with closed ones can make one feel lighter and avoid bottling up sad events. Sometimes, these memories may not be shared with everyone. Writing down whatever pops into head can relieve one’s mind. Writing non-stop on paper or a journal, reading it and discarding it could help.
3. Pet therapy
It is a well-known fact that domestic animals are wonderful gifts to mankind. Playing with a dog or any pet can divert one’s mind away from racing thoughts and help feel positive. It has been demonstrated by researchers that pet therapy prevents racing thoughts and lowers stress. Racing thoughts can trigger a wide range of physical and psychological conditions as they can hinder one’s positive outlook towards life. Pet therapy is recommended by expert physicians for an overall state of well-being which can help prevent certain medical conditions.
4.Plan some challenging task
Performing a fairly challenging task could be a counteractive approach towards reversing racing thoughts and calm down oneself. One should choose some interesting, attention capturing game such asset of math problems, a crossword puzzle or jigsaw puzzle and become completely absorbed in solving the riddle. Other things such as planning a vacation with family, participating in an adventurous game or sport, mountain trekking can all divert one’s mind from racing thoughts. Certain distractions and activities such as cooking, painting and other hobbies can channel the mind away from racing thoughts too.
5. Listen to refreshing sounds
Listen to music or natural sounds. One can sit close to a river or hear sounds of ocean waves, rain, slow tumbling winds, or a chirping bird. All these sounds are natural and have a soothing effect on the mind. Relax your mind and listen to these sounds for at least 15 to 20 minutes. Alternatively, one can benefit from guided imagery relaxation technique that helps the mind focus on positive images which can aid in reducing pain and stress.
Racing mind can hinder sleep and it can be diminished by exercise. A workout tires out both the body and mind, thus improving sleep. Progressive muscle relaxation technique relaxes the entire body and helps to fall asleep. It makes one feel comfortable and aids in attaining a more relaxing and restful sleep. It involves tensing and relaxing each group of muscles in a head to toe order. Racing thoughts triggered by anxiety or panic attacks can be eliminated by slowly calming down the mind.
7. Voluntarily detach from thoughts
It is imperative to realize that racing mind does no good and can take a serious toll on one’s health. Rapid, racing thoughts can be associated with anxiety disorder, bipolar disorder, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, amphetamine dependence, sleep deprivation and hyperthyroidism. One should determine whether their racing thoughts are caused by any of these conditions. If not, they should control their mind and detach from a racing thought through will-power.
In conclusion, one should try to quieten racing thoughts without medication. Medical attention and counsel helps in case of racing thoughts associated with an underlying psychiatric condition. Racing thoughts are best prevented on long-term by determining an underlying defect.
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