How To Calm An Overactive Mind
We live in such a fast-paced culture where busyness is often worn as a badge of honour as a way to prove that we’re doing enough. There is a fine line between “busy” and stressed and overwhelmed.
I battled with stress & anxiety for many years and it’s something I still need to actively manage with daily tools and practices.
Today I’m sharing 5 of these tools & practices with you to calm an overactive mind.
This one’s obvious. The benefits of meditation for stress and anxiety relief are well known. I use meditation first thing in the morning and often at night as a way to decompress and let go of the day.
Emotional freedom technique
Emotional Freedom Technique or “Tapping” is a form of self-acupressure, used to heal emotions and clear blocks. It might sound strange to begin with, but essentially you tap on various points on your face and body while repeating specific phrases.
I came across Tapping about 5-6 years ago and have been using it ever since. It’s a favourite tool for many of my clients too.
At a physiological level, it calms the sympathetic nervous system, responsible for the stress response (the fight or flight) and turns on parasympathetic (the relaxation response) which means negative emotions dissipate and you feel a lot calmer.
Tapping is the best technique to quickly shift emotional states, limiting beliefs, and old memories and traumas.
I teach my clients this technique in my signature program, The Dream Life Academy.
Mental White Space Exercise
Inner chaos creates outer chaos. Most of us have so many things racing through our mind on a particular day that take up so much energy, cloud our thinking and create a sense of overwhelm.
When there are tons of things in your head, but there’s nothing down on paper and no clear timelines, this becomes a problem.
You want to get all of this stuff out of your head and onto paper. This is what I like to call creating Mental White Space. You can do this simple exercise as often as you need to and it will give you an immediate sense of relief, clarity and surge of energy.
- Take out a clean sheet of paper and write down all projects, tasks and to-do’s.
Write down every single thing that is swirling around in your mind. This could be big work projects, projects around your home, things you keep saying you want to do but just get shifted from one week to the next.
- Categorise each of these things into 1 month, 3 months, this year and 5 years time
When we’re recycling the same information over and over again it can create a feeling of urgency, as if all of this stuff needs to be done NOW. Go back to your list, look at each of these tasks objectively and categorise them. Is this something that requires your thought and attention right now, or can that be something you think about later?
- Cross off anything you don’t want to do
If there’s anything on that list you really don’t want to do, cross it off. Of course, there are always going to be things that we don’t feel like doing that will move us ahead. But if there’s anything on that list that some else has told you to do or made you believe is important, but it’s not what YOU want to do, cross it off. Life’s too short to do things you don’t like.
Do you find that your mind starts to race when you get into bed or you wake up feeling anxious about the day ahead?
Rather than recycling the same information over and over, these thoughts need an outlet and a way to be released. Take out a journal or a piece of paper and try a technique I call “Release Writing”.
It’s really simple – do a “brain dump” of all of your thoughts, feelings and worries into a journal. Don’t over-analyse what you’re writing, just do a free write and welcome anything that comes to mind.
You’ll be able to either look at what you’ve written more objectively and decide on a way forward, or you can just close the journal. Often it’s just acknowlegding your feelings that provides an immediate feeling of relief.
There has to be an adequate balance of giving versus receiving in our lives. If this is out of balance (too much going out and not enough coming back in). This is where stress and anxiety can completely take over.
There’s always a correlation between how full your “emotional tank” is and anxious feelings. Self care is absolutely key in staying balanced and grounded.
Self care is not just about getting your nails done, it goes way beyond that. Self care is like daily hygiene to ensure that you are mentally and emotionally able to manage whatever comes your way and show up as the best version of yourself.
When you intentionally place things into your day that allow you to check in with yourself, you come off “autopilot living” and instead create a beautiful new level of presence and awareness in your life.
When you are present and aware, you can identify emotions and work through as they come up (rather than let them fester and take over).
Self care practices could be just 10 mins either side of the day or you could do half an hour or more.
If you’re new to self care, start with a Morning Routine. When you take some time to consciously and proactively take care of yourself in the morning before anyone needs or wants something from you, you start the day feeling balanced and focussed and much better able to handle any challenges that the day may bring.
Need to calm down ASAP?