Are you often overwhelmed by anxiety that it gets in the way of letting you enjoy your life?
And are you looking for better coping techniques rather than having to resort to meditation to cure it?
Plus, does it make it really difficult to make decisions, take action, or deal with anything that frustrates you head-on when those anxious moments occur?
At the end of the day, there is simply no human being who can guarantee that they have not been overcome by a nervous thought or two.
And if you answered yes to any of these questions, then you need a better coping strategy!
This is why these soon to be mentioned ways to relax your mind, won’t require that you try yoga or light candles in order to cure it.
They actually work and that means that you won’t have to sit alone for 20 minutes with those thoughts that are making you feel anxious either.
These clever tips are how to handle your anxiety (within your lifestyle) so you can have control over them at the moment they strike.
So get ready because you are 9 steps ways away from calming down your anxious mind and thoughts for good.
When you learn to calm down the winds of your mind, you will enjoy great inner peace. Remez Sasson
1. Try to see your anxious thoughts as assumptions (not as evidence!).
First off, it’s best to know that anxiety is all about protection. That is, that anxiety, at its very core, is all about keeping you safe.
You see, when we are feeling anxious and nervous our brain is actively trying to shield us from certain pain by imagining what can happen and it does this all to avoid risk. But it doesn’t guarantee that what you are thinking will actually happen!
That’s why it’s safe to say that you probably assumed the worst-case scenario if you have no clear evidence that the results of your overwhelming thoughts will ever occur.
And if your thoughts are actually evidence?
Know that you may spiral out of control even further if you hang on to every single one of your assumptions as actual evidence.
So what’s the very best thing that you can do when your anxiety is feeling overwhelming? Try asking yourself… “Is this true?” or, “Will this actually happen to me?“
If your response to these questions is; it’s not true, or it’s likely not to happen at all, then you can safely agree that you have just imagined your worst-case scenario.
Also when you start to feel these moments heading in the wrong direction, start saying mantras that will calm you like… “I am enough” or “This too shall pass“…
Your anxiety needs a leader and you can lead it down the right path simply by seeing if your anxious thoughts are assumptions — not evidence.
2. A guaranteed way to get out of your head — stay in gratitude.
We all know this, but we don’t actively follow it. And that is that feeling grateful can really combat any stress that life throws at us.
You see, when we have a racing and anxious mind, feeling grateful is one of the best things that you can do and life coaches can’t stress this enough.
That simply holding a daily log of appreciation will really let you take some of your burdens of life away and help you view them from a perspective of both love and gratitude.
Plus, when we adopt this habit of feeling grateful, the beauty of life will really stand a fighting chance and start to reveal itself to us even more!
You’ll start to see the very best in everyday little things and you will start feeling more motivated to cultivate more things to feel grateful for because you’re retraining your mind to see the good in life.
And here’s the thing, your brain likes it!
Your brain wants to feel really good and it doesn’t want to feel nervous and anxious just as much as you do.
So if you push yourself through the uncomfortable pain, by always remaining in a state of gratitude, you will start to take your stressful thoughts away and return yourself back to the driver’s seat of your life.
And whether this pressure comes from stress, resentment, or sadness — being thankful will truly allow you to look at the glass half full instead of half empty.
Listography One List a Day: A Three Year Journal
3. Write out your most dominant worries and fears so you can see them and acknowledge them on paper.
In a wide range of research, it has been found that emotional writing and writing about the difficult emotions that you have about your life (or a specific situation) is going to be the most beneficial thing to not only calming down an anxious mind but also allowing your brain a chance to separate it.
You see, most fears are recurring thoughts and to better work out those recurring thoughts — you have to actively tell your brain that you are aware of them!
So if you’d like to calm the winds of your mind, set a specific amount of time to write down how you feel. Write about all the unpleasant things that are happening in your world (right now), or what had happened, and start being truthful.
If you do this, this has been shown to tremendously help with anxiety and also help mild to moderate depression.
4. Maybe it’s time to reduce your caffeine intake to see if it’s inducing more anxiety for you.
Do you often feel jittery just after you drink caffeine? Do you also feel amped up, anxious way too often, or have trouble falling asleep?
If so, then it’s best to check your caffeine intake because you may have just found your culprit.
For many of us, caffeine can be okay, but for a few, it can make us feel all too nervous, jittery, and that in turn can lead to overwhelming anxiety and of course, fearful thoughts.
Try cutting back on some caffeine sources, such as chocolate, coffee, and tea, and gradually see if your anxious thoughts start to disappear.
5. Get out of your head and call someone or socialize when your anxiety is really out of hand.
At times, too much alone time can lead to anxious thinking and a racing mind.
And this rings true whether you are an introvert or an extrovert.
But a common wide belief says that introverts are exhausted by their energy when they are interacting with other people and that’s why they tend to be more isolated.
But this is also the case for anyone if they’re interacting with the wrong people, personalities, and/or environments.
So if you have an anxious and racing mind, now is the time to take a look at who you are socializing with or if you are not socializing enough.
Know that anxiety and anxious thinking are both intertwined if you’re in your head too much OR if have limited/wrong social interactions with others.
You can easily overcome your fear and anxious thinking by getting out of your comfort zone, talking to someone else, separating yourself from what’s always playing in your mind, or figuring out if you need to separate yourself from someone who is bringing up those anxious feelings within you.
And there is no better time, in the midst of a racing mind, than to call your closest ally to help relieve you or to figure out if you need to drop a toxic person in your life.
6. Stay away from alcohol for a while to see if it relieves some extra pressure & stress.
It comes as no surprise that alcohol disturbs a lot in life. For some it can be a joyous thing, for others, it very well could be adding to the problem.
Plus you won’t relax sufficiently if you get disrupted sleep!
According to studies, it has been shown that when our sleep cycle gets disrupted (which alcohol does) this can increase fear, anxiety, and depression during the day.
Not only that, but it also disrupts your hormones, increases your blood sugar, and makes you eat highly processed unhealthy foods (to cure the hangover), which all in all is horrible for your waistline.
So, if you are drinking too much alcohol and are simultaneously suffering from anxious thinking? OR if you are really keen to make your mind run more smoothly during the day?
Know that alcohol plays an important factor in your feelings if you’re drinking too much.
It is strongly recommended that one drink per day for women and two drinks per day for men is fine but any more and you will disturb your sleep and bring on more anxious feelings.
7. Try to avoid overly processed foods and sugar every day.
This takes us to food and sugar and how it is processed within the body.
When it comes to anxiety and anxious thinking the only way to integrate refined food and sugar into your life is to know some facts about them first!
You have to know that when you eat a lot of processed meats, fast foods, fine cereals, sweets, pastries, and high-fat dairy products you are likely to feel more worried and depressed than if you didn’t.
Here just some foods/drinks to avoid if you happen to suffer from anxiety or depression:
- Sugary Soda – Sugary-sweetened beverages such as soda have a clear connection with depression. If you’re looking for a pop try sparkling water with lemon.
- White Bread – After you eat it, the highly processed white flour turns into high blood sugar almost immediately. That can cause anxiety and depression with high energy spikes and crashes.
- Foods and drinks containing aspartame – this artificial sweetener is strongly linked to anxiety and depression. Check the ingredients for aspartame.
- Ketchup – 4 grams of sugar per tablespoon could be heightening your anxious thoughts.
- Energy drinks – These can trigger rapid heart rate, anxiety, and disturbances with your sleep cycle.
- Partially hydrogenated oils – these are all linked to depression and can be found in fried foods, pizza dough, cakes, frostings, cookies, and crackers. Bottom line — check your labels!
Our brains are really responsive to the types of fuels that we provide them, and good food goes a long way for great mental health.
8. Track your mental chatter and see what’s really dominating your mental thought process.
Have you ever been so worried about your thoughts that it keeps you up at night? Or do you still get in “fights with the past” and just can’t get over what happened to you?
A lot of us do! And when this mental chatter happens, it can lead to something way worse — it can lead to obsessive thinking.
If we criticize ourselves all-the-time because we feel bad about the things that we did, that we resent, or what they did — we start to obsess about them.
All of these worries can turn into an obsession that’s played on a constant loop, over and over again, and that’s why it’s key that you pay close attention to your mental chatter.
You have to retrain your mind to automatically act as a spectator to your own internal dialogue.
You can do this by actively drawing attention to your thinking processes — without engaging with them — or giving them a reaction.
Be an innocent spectator with your mind and ask yourself questions when you feel anxious like… “Is this the truth?“, “What do I know for sure?“, or “Have I already learned this?”
Chances are you’ve already learned from them!
Besides, if you know it won’t happen again, then there’s nothing that that mental chatter is teaching you, so you might as well turn it into a positive one.
9. As the last way to calm a racing mind straight away — Start serving others.
Lastly, at the end of the day, when you are feeling the most anxious and on edge, you are most likely thinking about yourself.
Sorry, but you’re most likely coming from a “me” perspective and when you start thinking anxiously this way, it can turn sour in no time.
So the next best way to get out of your inner thoughts and redirect your mind is to focus on something or someone else.
Serving others will shift your concentration from yourself to someone else and will really aid in relaxing a racing mind.
If you can make a point of contacting someone you might think may need help, or spend some time in voluntary service, or develop anything you think (as a business) that can help serve others in a more meaningful and positive way, you’ll calm your mind down in no time.
Plus as an added benefit, just focusing on the well-being of the community can also give you a sense of purpose and that can be extremely revitalizing, in and of itself!
Isn’t it nice to learn that these insights above are all tied up with anxiety and depression? That the way you eat and think can all be changed if you just know what your triggers are.
You truly can have a restful mind, it just takes time but you can get there if you follow a few of these suggestions!
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Hi, my name is Rebecca and I am the face behind Everything Abode! I am a lifestyle and wellness writer based out of Vancouver Island. When I’m not writing or exploring mountains and beaches with my furry rescue, I love spending time learning creative ways to manifest a healthy home. Thanks for stopping by!