How To Calm The Restless Mind

Restless Mind

Anxiety takes energy. Your heart speeds up, you sweat, and your muscles tense. Anxiety might be better if it had the decency to burn more calories, but there really isn’t an upside. Having a restless mind destroys your focus, concentration, and can cause many sleepless nights. An anxious mind drains you. Then, when it’s time to sleep, it won’t turn off.

If your mind is restless, read on for some tips on how to calm it. It takes practice and determination, but the restless mind can absolutely be made calm. Like most hard paths, it’s worth it. You will be able to make informed decisions because you won’t be in survival mode, and you will be able to relax more.

Cognitive Distancing

The restless mind is actually trying to protect you. It is warning you of future dangers, but it can get out of control. Realize that your mind is only guessing what might happen. It doesn’t know.

Distance yourself from your anxious thoughts. Step back and think about facts. How likely is it that the thing you fear will happen? What can you do to prevent it? Take a deep breath, step back, and make a fact-based plan.

Focus on the Moment

Focusing on the moment is a mindfulness practice that teaches you to get out of your head, out of the past, and out of the future. The restless mind indulges in all kinds of horror fantasies that are not based on reality or the task at hand.

If you focus on the moment, your mind gains tangible facts and details with which to construct your reactions. Your mind will be unable to lose itself in worry if you are focused on a conversation, delicious meal, or game, for instance. So put your mind to work focusing on the moment.

Take Action

There’s nothing worse for a restless mind than sitting around. You can’t just take any action, though. You have to calculate how to make your life better. You won’t be good at it at first, either. You’ll need to act like a scientist. Try some things out, evaluate your results, and then try something new. When you see yourself making progress, your mind will calm down.

Don’t Indulge Useless Thoughts points out that “just because a thought is true doesn’t mean that it is helpful to focus on—at least not all the time. If only 1 in 10 people will get the job you seek, for instance, and you keep thinking about those odds, you may become demotivated and not even bother applying.”

Your mind identifies trouble so that you can take action, not so that you convince yourself not to try. There is a myriad of useless thoughts we often indulge. Does this person like me enough? Am I doing the right job? Will my car break down? These are vague worries that do not help you in life. They weigh you down, so do not indulge them.

Step Back and Think

Re-evaluation is essential for progress. If we don’t step back to think every now and then, we keep doing the same things over and over. Insanity, as they say, is doing the same things and expecting different results. So, step back for a minute and think.

When you step back, find a way to measure progress. If you’ve got fitness goals, you can weigh yourself and decide if you need a better workout. If you’ve got money goals, evaluate how much you’re spending and what you can do to earn more. You got this.

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