Do you often get overwhelmed by anxious thoughts, making it really difficult to make decisions, take action (in those moments) or deal with anything that frustrates you?
If so, then you need a better coping strategy that actually works and what doesn’t result in you having to sit alone with those thoughts for 20 mins.
There isn’t a human that can say they haven’t been overwhelmed with anxious thoughts. If so I have yet to meet them.
That’s why I listed these 9 ways to calm your mind that doesn’t involve you having to go to a yoga practice or light candles in order to cure it.
All of these tips are how to handle your anxious thoughts in your lifestyle, so when the moment strikes you’ve got it under control.
“Learn to calm down the winds of your mind, and you will enjoy great inner peace.” Remez Sasson
Let’s get to it.
9 Ways To Calm Your Mind (Without Meditating)
1. TRY TO SEE YOUR ANXIOUS THOUGHTS AS ASSUMPTIONS, NOT AS EVIDENCE.
Your brain is trying to protect you by projecting what might happen so you can be steered away from danger— but just because something could happen doesn’t mean it will.
That’s why it’s safe to say that if you have no hard evidence that the result of your overwhelming thoughts will happen, then you are most likely assuming the worst-case scenario.
Also, know that if you hang onto all of your assumptions it may spiral out of control.
When this happens the best thing you can ask yourself is “is this true?” or, “will this actually happen to me?”
If you answer no? Then you can safely say that you were assuming the worst-case scenario. You can then say a mantra that will sooth you like… “I am enough” or “This too shall pass” to calm yourself down at the moment your anxiety needs it.
2. STAY IN GRATITUDE
Keeping a daily gratitude journal will help you actively take away some of the day’s pressure. We all know this, yet we don’t actively follow it. So whether that pressure is from harboring stress and resentment or feeling sad — being grateful, allows us to look at the glass half full instead of half empty.
Gratitude also encourages us to live life to the fullest as we write or affirm our gratitude because when we do start seeing the best in each day more and more we are encouraged to make more things that make us feel grateful.
The reason for this is is the brain actually likes it. It likes to feel good, so you just have to push past the uncomfortable growing pains to get there.
By staying in gratitude you will be taking control of your overwhelming thoughts and getting back in the driver’s seat of your life.
3. WRITE OUT YOUR WORRIES AND FEARS
In a wide range of research, it has been found that emotional writing and writing about the difficult emotions you have about your life or a specific situation are beneficial to not only calming you down but also allowing your brain a chance to separate it’s self from those recurring thoughts to better work them out.
So if you set a specific amount of time to write down how you feel about all the unpleasant things that are happening in your world? This has been shown to tremendously help with anxiety and also mild to moderate depression.
4. REDUCE YOUR CAFFEINE INTAKE
For some of us, caffeine can make us jittery and nervous and that in turn can trigger anxious thinking. Is that you? If so, it’s best to look at your intake of caffeine then.
If you feel amped up, anxious and have trouble sleeping then you may have found your culprit. All sources of caffeine, like chocolate, coffee, and tea should be gradually stopped to see whether it helps improve your anxious thoughts and thinking.
5. CALL SOMEONE AND SOCIALIZE
Sometimes anxious thinking can be brought on by too much alone time as well, whether you are an introvert or an extrovert.
And it’s a common belief that introverts are depleted of their energy with their interactions with other people (hence why they tend to isolate more), but this is usually only when they’re not comfortable with interacting with certain people, certain personalities or certain environments.
So there’s no excuse to socialize if you are an extrovert or an introvert and you most definitely need to see someone right away when your anxious thinking starts. Just give someone close to you a call.
Both introverts and extroverts can combat their anxious thinking by simply getting out of their comfort zones, talking to somebody new, and feeling apart of something bigger than what is playing in their minds.
The best advice for both personality types is to be social with someone whom you’re always having a good time with. FUN is the key. When we are actively involved in a fun and not an anxiety-inducing social situation, we instinctively get out of our own minds and start refueling and charging our batteries.
6. STAY AWAY FROM ALCOHOL OR DRINK WITHIN LIMITS
It comes to no surprise that alcohol disrupts your sleep cycle and when you have disturbed sleep, you won’t get enough rest… which can raise anxiety, anxious thinking throughout the day and can also cause depression.
It is recommended that one drink for women a day and two drinks for men a day is okay, but if you really want to take away your anxious thinking and ease your mind, know that alcohol plays a major factor most often into how you feel.
Alcohol also disrupts your hormones, increases your blood sugar and makes you eat highly processed unhealthy foods to cure the hangover.
7. STAY AWAY FROM PROCESSED FOODS AND SUGAR
That brings us to processed foods and sugars.
The only secret to incorporate processed foods and sugar into your life is through MODERATION. Know that you are more likely to be anxious and depressed when you eat lots of processed meat, fast foods, refined cereals, sweets, pastries, and high-fat dairy products.
Here just some Foods/Drinks to Avoid If You Have Anxiety or Depression:
- Sugary Soda – Sugar-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. Check your labels.
Our brains are really responsive to the types of fuels that we provide them, and good food goes a long way.
8. TRACK YOUR MENTAL CHATTER
Have you ever worried so much about the things in your mind, that it keeps you up at night?
When we criticize ourselves for feeling bad about things or when we hold onto resentment, we start to worry over them and that worry can turn into an obsession if we are not paying close attention …
That’s why acting as a spectator to your own internal dialogue — by actively drawing attention to your thought processes without engaging in them (by inducing reactionary feelings and emotions) — you can naturally relax your mind and automatically.
This is very similar to meditation but you don’t have to do it with your eyes closed. Just be an innocent spectator to your mind and ask yourself questions when you are feeling anxious like… “Is this True?”, or “Did I learn from this?”
9. SERVE OTHERS
Once fatigue and anxious thinking start to set in, the best way to get out of them and to get out of your inner thoughts immediately is to shift and divert that focus onto something else.
Simply shifting focus will quiet a racing mind while you concentrate on others. And it doesn’t have to be intense, it can just be doing simple things.
You can make a point to get in touch with someone you think may need it, or you can spend some time in service volunteering or developing anything that you think can help benefit someone else.
Focusing on the community’s well-being can also give us purpose and meaning that can be highly revitalizing and by doing so those anxious thoughts won’t seem to be as bad as they once were.
Isn’t it great to know that all of these are linked to anxiety and depressive thinking? Now you can fine-tune what you’re currently doing to help ease your anxious thoughts once and for all.