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Future Health

Calming an overactive mind

June 22, 2015 

Whether you are trying to stay focused at school or work, or trying to sleep, an overactive mind can interfere and disrupt effective or even rational thinking. Often we’re not aware this is happening until we find ourselves bombarded with negative or anxiety-producing thoughts. It takes time and effort to learn to control these thoughts, but once we do we can attain a healthy state of mind.

We have more influence over the activity in our minds than most of us believe. Much of this control is based in healthy habits and behaviors in diet and exercise, combined with steps we can take to redirect our thoughts. Once we learn which techniques work for us, we can develop habits to improve our cognitive abilities and become more proficient and resilient.

Try the following techniques to see what works for you.

  1. Take a step back and make a mental note of how you are feeling. If there is a certain event that is bothering you, try to rate it on a scale of 1-10 (10 might be the death of a loved one, 1 might be getting stuck in traffic) and ask yourself if you are exaggerating and distorting the situation.
  2. Try to reduce thinking in terms of black and white, all or nothing. Most of the time, things are not all bad or all good. Yet when we are caught up in a thought storm we let this happen without even noticing it.
  3. If you are not a trained professional, you probably can’t accurately discern what other people are thinking or what has motivated them to do or say something. Our current state of mind may assume what others are thinking and why, but often we are wrong.
  4. Remember not to overlook the positive. Whether we realize it or not, it’s a choice that we make to dwell on the negative or positive, to look at the glass as half empty or half full.
  5. Stop beating yourself up when things go wrong. Even the most successful individuals go through hardships and fail more than once before they succeed.

At Future Health, we approach each issue we discuss with the goal of physical and mental wellness. Whether you need help with your diet, getting into an exercise routine, understanding how to set and reach goals, coping with stress or a chronic illness, achieving a healthy gut, or overcoming addiction, Future Health has resources and tools to help.

Combined with other tools, calming your overactive mind can get you closer to a happier and more fulfilling life.