Racing thoughts are common: We all have them from time to time. They can be quite a distraction to our every day life preventing us from relaxing and focusing.
Dealing with unwanted thoughts can be exhausting, once you manage to pull yourself out of it. If you have them frequently, as I do, you start to learn tiny little tips and tricks to help calm the maelstrom inside your brain.
If you start researching anxiety and depression online, there’s no shortage of advice there. My problem has always been they are rarely actionable.
While I can’t take your anxiety away, I can let you in on what I have learned over the years to help quell the ongoing storm. It all comes down to forming your own habits helping you to cope with nagging negative thoughts.
Here are three quick tips to free your mind of unwanted thoughts right NOW, each of them taking no more than a minute to try!
1. Take a breath now
Sometimes when you’re in the midst of an episode, one of the first things to eclipse your notice is your ability to breathe. In, out, in, out. Take it slow. If you still have trouble keeping it slow, there are apps out there to help.
- Free your mind using phone apps: My personal favorite is actually a feature on my productivity app, Tide. Pacifica, available for both Android and IOS is also a favorite. Both have features that help guide you through breathing to help calm you.
- OR free your mind NOW (nothing to download or install): Open xhalr.com and follow instructions on the page.
2. Try meditation to free your mind now
Being stuck in the technological age can be terrible for your self-esteem and mood, so says science. Keep away from toxic social media if you can to help alleviate the tension and the constant flood of everything. But, with the accessibility of phones these days, DO keep up with ways to help manage the stress and to help silence your mind. Apps are becoming a godsend on the anxiety management front. They’re right at your fingertips and available just when you need them.
- Free your mind using phone apps: I prefer Headspace, gifting myself a subscription for the new year. With a subscription, you have access to a dozen different meditation series focusing on problem areas, like focus and relaxation. There is also short meditations for kids and teens as well.
- OR free your mind NOW (nothing to download or install): Play this video now and try to go with the flow. Get yourself immersed into what the calming voice is saying:
3. Listen to stress-relieving ambient sounds
Ambient noise and soft music are great at easing the mind and slowing the swirling in your head. There are dozens of apps with an insane variety of sounds to fit any mood.
Whether it is the sounds of rain, waves on a beach, or the ambient noise of a cafe. Everyone has their own preference, but sometimes the sounds of library sounds can be a soothing backdrop and help to further yourself from the craziness of your thoughts.
- Free your mind using phone apps: Good options include Take a Break! (iOS) and Atmosphere (Android)
- OR free your mind NOW (nothing to download or install): Here, I’ve created a Youtube playlist of all kinds of music and sounds that have been scientifically proven to free your mind of racing thoughts. Keep clicking through videos until you find the one that seems to be helping:
Bad thoughts come and go: If you learn to practice mindfulness, dealing with intrusive thoughts will become doable.
Don’t expect negative emotions to disappear for good though. No matter how much you try, disturbing thoughts will likely remain recurrent. Don’t give up: Simply open the list above and grab the first technique you see. It will take you no more than a minute to feel better!
When your thoughts culminate in a seemingly endless storm that you can’t quell entirely on your own, there are a few things that you can do to help yourself. None of these are foolproof and follow your instincts.
If your thoughts are persistent and ongoing, you should reach out and speak to a licensed therapist or your doctor. While small periods of stress is normal in life if it’s severe or any of your thoughts are of harming yourself or others, please reach out and get help.
Experiencing stress is normal: We’ve all been there. There’s no shame in that. It’s all about finding your own way to deal with stress matching your personality.
Do you have your own tricks on getting rid of obsessive thoughts quickly and easily? Share them here in the comments. Your input may help someone in the world!