Racing Thoughts to Relaxing – Quieting the Anxious Mind

racing thoughts

Do you struggle with racing thoughts, experience frequent worries, or have trouble “being in the moment?” Start putting on the mental brakes with some of these strategies:

Slow Your Racing Thoughts through Visualization Exercises

  • Nothing comes to a stop immediately. Imagine your racing thoughts speeding in a racecar, fast horse, or runaway train. Then gradually watch your thoughts begin to slow down, pumping the brakes, or slowing to a cantor. Follow with slowing even more, imagining a Sunday drive, a slow trot or the rhythmic movement of a sleeper car. Continue with the visualization of your choice until your thoughts gently move at a relaxing pace.
  • Observe your worries. Imagine you are “looking” at your thoughts from another vantage point. Watch them move across the sky on clouds, imagine them projected onto a movie screen, or typed onto a computer screen. Simply notice them without trying to stop or change them. Allow them to be and notice the way they come and go.

Do a Grounding Exercise to Bring Your Thoughts into the Present

  • Use all five senses to bring your mind completely into the present moment. Sit in a
    comfortable position and simply observe your surroundings as completely as you can. Focus your attention on one spot and really look at it…notice the color, the shape, the lighting. What do you hear? Are there any smells? Place a mint or piece of gum in your mouth. Let your tongue explore the texture and taste as fully as you can. Imagine you had to describe it to someone else…what would you say? Bite into it and observe the taste, the smell, the physical sensation in your mouth, your jaw, your body. Reach out and touch something…what do you notice about the texture? Is it firm or soft? Is the sensation the same against your fingertips as it is against the palm of your hand? Notice how your mind quiets and your racing thoughts disappear when you are fully absorbed in your senses.
  • Worries getting in the way of being in the moment? Try using short phrases to label your experience. For example, while at the beach, “waves lapping,” “children laughing,” or “warm sunshine.” You can drop the labels once you begin to feel more present and in the moment.

If these techniques do not bring relief, you may need professional help. Please contact our office to speak with a professional who can help.