7 WAYS TO OUTRUN RACING THOUGHTS AND LEAVE 'EM IN THE DUST
Struggling with how to stop racing thoughts and self-doubt? Here are 7 tips to help change your reality!
If your mind is always running, you’re probably also dealing with sleep trouble, tension in relationships, and low self-esteem. And you’re not alone. Many people deal with racing thoughts—and consistent and severe problems can even spiral into diagnosable panic disorder, which affects “6 million adults in the U.S.”
But if you’re merely suffering from occasional bouts of runaway worry, check out these 7 tips that may slow things down and help take charge of how you feel:
1. Focus on the present
When we find our thoughts racing, they often spiral down a path to the past or the future. This is why staying in the here and now can help. You can’t control what already happened, and you don’t know what the future holds. Prioritize what you can control.
Mindfulness is a tactic that helps you focus on the present. You can practice it each morning or sporadically throughout the day whenever you feel your mind begin to run off in a bad direction.
2. Racing thoughts run from positive thinking
Easier said than done, right? Changing our thoughts takes work, and doing this isn’t about ignoring problems. Becoming a person who thinks more positively means not beating yourself up for making mistakes or accepting blame for things that are beyond your control.
No matter how bad the situation seems, there is always a light somewhere—whether it’s you learning a tough lesson or finding out you’re more adaptable than you thought.
Thinking positively can also help you become better at problem-solving. Negative thoughts will have you harping on your inability to achieve a goal, while a positive mindset pushes you to come up with a solution.
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3. Take deep breaths
Simple breathing exercises can have a huge impact on relaxing the mind and chasing away negative thoughts.
When we are in our most relaxed states (like first thing in the morning or right before falling asleep), our breathing is even and calm. Training yourself to breathe like that whenever you're feeling overwhelmed can help relax your body on command.
Yoga breathing, known as pranayama, is an example of how concentrating on breathing can calm the mind. It employs tactics like focused breathing, “ocean” breathing, nostril breathing, and breath-holding to take control and drive focus.
You can do many of these techniques sitting at a desk or in the middle of a party, which is great for unexpected situations that make you anxious.
4. Find a mantra
Mantras are simple phrases or sometimes even a word or two that you memorize and repeat to help quiet racing thoughts. Everyone is unique about the mantras that resonate the most—partly because it depends on what kind of thoughts you’re struggling with.
For example, if you are a person who has trouble making decisions because you constantly second-guess yourself, then a great mantra might be, “What is my path to happiness?” The simple act of repeating a calming phrase can quiet racing thoughts, achieve clarity, and allow you to make a decision.
While mantras are not effective for everyone or in all situations, it’s never a bad thing to tell yourself something nice or uplifting throughout the day.
5. Exercise your body and mind to stop racing thoughts
It's evident that physical exercise is good for the body. But lots of new research is showing how it’s also great for your emotional and mental state.
Any kind of physical activity is better than none, but some exercise routines have been specifically shown to improve mood as well as reduce stress and racing thoughts:
- Yoga (we’ve discussed how yoga breathing helps!)
- Tai Chiinvolves slow motions and deep breathing
- Aerobic exercises such as swimming, walking/running, and cycling
Getting the heart rate up and sweating a little helps take your mind off its troubles. Many gym enthusiasts say their outlook is clearer, and their problems seem less severe after a good workout. So, try and get moving the next time you feel anxious.
6. Find a soothing distraction
You’ve probably heard the saying that “somebody needs to get a hobby,” referring to a person who is overly concerned about something. It’s not a particularly nice thing to say—but it’s not always wrong, either.
If you find yourself obsessing over things that you know don’t really matter, then you just might need to get yourself a hobby. Finding a new interest and activity that you enjoy can reduce stress and help your mind relax after a pressure-filled day.
A hobby can be anything—it doesn’t have to be crafting, biking, or collecting Star Wars figurines (although those are great!). Some relaxing options are listening to music, reading, spending time with animals, photography, and cooking. But really— anything that you enjoy that’s not for work or another person is a hobby. It should be something that solely makes you happy.
7. Take CBD oil
All of the above tips are great ways to help battle racing thoughts, but an extra tool may provide an assist. Hemp-derived CBD oil could slow those raising thoughts and, well, simply let you chill the &^%$ out. Many users swear by its ability to help them maintain calm, get collected, slow or stop runaway thoughts, and concentrate on what matters.
Try the simple lifestyle changes above to get your chill on every day. And if you’d like to give CBD a shot, check out Sunday Scaries’ selection of tinctures, gummies, and candy! Our CBD is sourced from only the best locally-grown Colorado hemp, and every batch is tested to ensure quality.