Do you feel like your mind is racing at a hundred miles per hour? Are you struggling to relax and switch off, even when you feel tired? Are you anxious or restless? If you can’t settle, here are some techniques to try.
Meditation is an ancient practice, which encourages you to refocus your mind and block out external influences. When you meditate, you enter your own little bubble of tranquility. Your mind is transported to a different place, and you can forget everything that’s unsettling you. There are various forms of meditation. Some people like to attend guided sessions with other people. Others prefer to spend time alone. Once you’ve learned to meditate and reflect, you can meditate anywhere. It’s usually best to choose a peaceful spot, but some people use meditation as a form of coping in hectic situations. If you feel a little lost in the hustle and bustle of a crowd, for example, taking time out to clear your mind and focus on your breathing can help. Meditation can teach you to block out things that could distract or unnerve you. It can help with stress and anxiety, as well as being very relaxing.
When you’re feeling anxious, or you’ve got nervous excitement, people often tell you to take deep breaths. When you’ve got adrenaline pumping around your body, you breathe faster, and your breaths become shallower. Breathing exercises help you to control your breathing and induce a state of calm. Focus on breathing in and exhaling slowly. Take in as much air as you can, and then let it all out. You should find that your heart rate slows and you feel more relaxed.
You may assume that exercise is predominantly concerned with the body. However, it also has an incredible impact on the mind. Are you feeling stressed, worried, or frustrated? If so, working out, playing sport or even walking the dog can help. When your body’s moving, it triggers processes in your brain. Your serotonin levels rise and your body releases endorphins. You’ll feel happier and less tense. When you hear the word exercise, you may automatically think of going to the gym. But this is not the only form of physical activity available. If you’re not interested in gym membership, there are all kinds of other options. Yoga and Pilates and excellent choices for de-stressing and dealing with anxiety. Home gyms are increasingly popular, and rowing machines are back in fashion. You can design your gym to be an inspiring place, which makes you want to push yourself. Try a team sport if you’re keen to meet new people or visiting your local pool twice a week. If your health or a disability limit your exercise options, seek advice from a doctor or personal trainer. It’s often possible to adapt and tailor workouts.
Talking and Expressing Yourself
Are you guilty of bottling things up? Does the smallest issue seem to spiral out of control in your mind? Do you over think things, or keep your emotions to yourself? Sometimes, talking is the best therapy. Even saying things aloud when nobody else is there can be beneficial. Try and chat to friends or family members. You may find that some people are easier to talk to than others. If you’d rather speak to somebody you don’t know, it may be worth looking for a therapist.
If you don’t feel comfortable talking to people, find other ways to express yourself. Draw a picture, paint, or write a poem. Anything that enables you to get any frustrations or feelings out can be cathartic.
In the modern world, many of us have an active mind because of our busy schedules. Do you lie awake at night thinking about tomorrow’s meeting? Are you always thinking about getting your kids places or ticking off a to-do list? Time management skills can help to make life easier. If your schedule is a mess, it’s hard to concentrate and think about what needs doing. Use a diary, calendar or an app on your phone to plan ahead. Keep a record of work deadlines and use a filing system to keep your desk tidy. Tick off what’s been done and write down unfinished tasks. Set yourself a target every day. Start with the tasks you find most daunting or difficult.
When your mind is racing, it’s hard to turn off and calm down. If you struggle to sleep, or you find it hard to relax, try these techniques. Not every method will work for everyone, but you may find a solution that is effective for you.