How to Still Racing Thoughts

At times, it can feel like there are thousands of thoughts at once and it’s hard to know what to listen to. When you take time to quiet and still your thoughts after acknowledging them, you’ll reap many benefits. However, it can often be difficult to sit still while the mind is racing. There are ways to quiet the mind that don’t involve sitting down and meditating. These include chatting with a friend, writing your thoughts down, and movement meditations such as walking or dancing. The first step, though it might seem counter intuitive, is to not fight your thoughts. Accept them and be aware of them. If you fight them and try to avoid their intensity, they will likely magnify. Additionally, you can try labeling your thoughts without judgement. Giving a name to a thought can diffuse some of its power.

You might notice immediate relief through talking about your feelings with friends. Talking with a friend can help you to realize that you’re not alone and other people have similar feelings. Additionally, the act of socializing with a supportive friend can help improve your mood and release anxiety.

While walking, try bringing your attention to your senses and the way your body is moving through space. Observe your surroundings and listen to your breath. Try to be fully present without passing judgment on your thoughts, feelings, or surroundings. It can help to do this in nature. You’ll find that these simple steps will ground your mind and start to clear out some of the intensity of the thoughts. Other ways to practice moving meditation include yoga, dancing, or tai chi.

Journaling or writing your thoughts down is a quick way to release them from your mind. It’s best to avoid worrying about grammar or sentence structure while free writing. You can write about the thoughts themselves or simply write for the sake of creativity. The act of writing with a pen and paper can increase calm. If you’re not much of a writer, drawing can produce similar results.

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Kimberly James
kimberly@beachhousetreatment.com

I am the founder and owner of The Beach House Treatment Center, The White House, Indigo Ranch, Sweetwater Mesa and Beach House Center for Wellness, all in Malibu, California.