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How to Deal with a Racing Mind

Whether a racing mind is rampant throughout your day or just is THE THING that happens when you do to bed at night, know that your mind races to try and help you.

It races because it thinks that's what it needs to do to help you to survive.

It races because it thinks that what it needs to do to help you be safe..

But we know we cannot stress ourselves to a solution - or to sleep.

Our mind can be trained, just as our body, and with kindness and curiosity and a lot of practice we can start to change our relationships to our thoughts

Complete the stress cycle - deal with the stress in your body

Stress cycles are when our body gets activated due to a threat - this often used to be something quite physical and we'd respond in such a way (run! slow down! stop, we're safe!) that allowed our bodies to understand when the danger was over.

These days our stresses are less physical and more about taxes, our family, jobs, health, social media (the list goes on)...

Helping your body to complete the stress cycle (multiple times a day), can help our body recognize when it is not safe and to down-regulate everything. Any type of movement will complete a stress cycle, plus laughing, positive social interaction, slow breathing and affection, such as hugs.

Do something - don't stay in bed and let it race. Don't try and THINK your way into making changes. ACT and let the act change the way you're behaving and you're thinking.

Help your mind to process it

Often we just chuck our mind a load of stuff to just cope with. And we do cope with it. We're strong people, until we break down. We think we're ok, until we're not. We're powering through, until we're ill.

Practices such as journalling, breathing, and meditating can help give us perspective and change the relationship we have with our thoughts. Repetitive physical activity such as walking, running and swimming often has many of the same benefits (and helps your body release the stress too).

Give time and space to de-compress: after your day, after a stressful season, after illness or a big life change. That decompression time can feel HUGELY uncomfortable. But if you sail through to the next season without that integration time, we're ultimately going to struggle.

If you need it and you can, access therapy - I do believe everyone can benefit from it. It's something I am certainly going to investigate when I leave my teaching career, even if just for a short period.

Our minds are complex, and investing in a deeper understanding of ourselves and the way we work is ALWAYS worth it.

Be aware and redefine the story you're telling yourself

Are you telling yourself that something is urgent? That something MUST be done by tomorrow or the world will end? That you're a horrible person because you made a mistake?

Are you telling yourself you're fat, shy, not worth it, not good at dancing, not creative, not good with money, a waste of space?

ALL of these are a story. It's all made up. Our identity is often just stuff we tell ourselves and believe to be true.

Well, I think it's time to start telling yourself better stories.

You might think they're cheesy, untrue or unbelievable, but are they any more crazy than some of the self-depreciating stuff we've just got used to? Be your own biggest cheerleader. Ask someone close to your to listen and perhaps open a different perspective for you. Watch and listen to stuff that helps you learn - about what you're going through and who you are.

Think your mind is going to be racing tonight still?

Mind still racing right now?

Then try this tapping meditation right now.

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