Did you know that the average person processes up to 70,000 thoughts per day? Whoa! That is a lot of data and potential decisions to process. It’s no wonder when we add life or stress on top of that, that we can feel overwhelmed. Sometimes it can feel impossible to escape the repetitive thoughts in our heads. Do you find yourself thinking the same pattern or thought over and over? If so, you are not alone. Many people struggle with racing thoughts. When you add anxiety or stress to it, those racing thoughts can become negative anxious thoughts. Are you ready to read a few suggestions that could help you slow down your racing thoughts?
What Do Racing Thoughts Feel Like?
There are several reasons that we can experience racing thoughts. Some people are born to be detailed critical thinkers, so they tend to focus on deep details of what makes things work the way they do. Others may have a tendency for certain expectations, generating high levels of anxiety within them. There are also health and mental disorders that can make people prone to have more racing thoughts. Many find themselves asking “There has to be way to stop this, right?”. Regardless of what makes you have thoughts that send your mind spinning, it can be frustrating, exhaustive and discouraging to face. Below are some ways to recognize if you could be experiencing an increased number of racing thoughts.
- Fast moving, repetitive thoughts
- Excessive focus on one topic
- Not able to stop or slow your thoughts
- Difficulty focusing on anything else
- You mostly expect worst-case scenarios
Learning that there are people who truly are prone to have thoughts that race can be a relief for some. It can often feel like you are the only one who suffers through with no way stop them. You are not the only one and there are steps you can try to see if you can clear up some space in your mind for peaceful and positive thoughts.
How Can I Reduce Racing Thoughts?
Learning ways to create more peaceful thoughts in your mind is an important step to take for yourself. Studies have shown that life expectancy increases in those who minds are positive. It lowers depression, distress and pain as well. People with more positive outlook often have improved mental and physical health with reduced risks of heart disease or stroke. Does all of these life changes appeal to you? Below, we will talk about a few ways to help intervene your thoughts and thought patterns. Practicing this over time, can reduce the load of racing thoughts and improve your outlook on life.
- Practice deep breathing several times a day
- Focus on what’s actually happening right now
- Take a walk outside and see the trees and flowers
- Get creative – cook, paint, sing, listen to music
- Smell a pleasant scent, such as Lavender essential oil
- Use your senses to smell, see, feel or hear something
Practicing interrupting your thoughts with one of the above suggestions, over time, can help increase your ability to have positive mind space. Being intentional with recognizing racing thoughts taking over and then practicing one of the above steps will be needed to disrupt thoughts that take over your mind.
What If That Don’t Work?
There are sometimes physical or mental conditions that prevent us from being able to take control of our thoughts. Depression, mental health or anxiety can all lead to racing thoughts that take over. The help of a doctor or therapist may be needed. There are tools and options that counseling can teach you to better take control of your time and your thoughts. It’s ok to need help. You are not alone. We are here to help you.