Do you feel as though your mind never stops churning? Is it hard to focus on your work, or projects, or just be quietly present in your relationships? Do you have trouble falling asleep at night, because you cannot quiet your thoughts? You may have an overactive mind, and it can be exhausting.
Here are 12 ways to calm an overactive mind:
1. Eliminate the clutter – What are the thoughts or concerns you keep replaying in your mind? Write those issues down. Do what you can about them, and let go of the rest.
2. Stop watching TV – Television goes a long way toward shaping our perceptions of life. Media shapes our vision of reality; it tells us how we should look, what kinds of clothes, cars and houses we should have. It creates a feeling of inadequacy.
Television constantly bombards us with bad news, telling us crime, disaster, and war are the central reality of life. In truth, life is good most of the time.
3. Meditate – One of the main reasons people say they don’t meditate is because they don’t have the time. But half an hour daily of meditation will provide peace and calm your mind in a way nothing else can. There are various styles of meditation, and there are classes, books, and YouTube videos to help you learn.
4. Remove the Ego – Let go of worrying what other people think of you. We are all spiritual beings, having a physical experience. Our bodies, our clothes, our houses and cars are not who we are. Practice empathy. Spend some time serving people less fortunate than yourself.
5. Be careful what you put into your body – Consuming large amounts of sugar and caffeine can cause hyperactivity in your thinking. Genetically modified foods and food additives interfere with the natural operation of your body. Avoid too much alcohol or other drugs.
6. Exercise – Moving your body every day is vital to having a healthy, calm mind.
7. Escape time – On your day off, put away your cell phone and your watch, and just be spontaneous. Fall asleep and wake up naturally. Moment to moment, do the things you enjoy.
8. Have fun – Start doing things that bring you pleasure. Let your mind stay focused on fun rather than trivial obligations or things over which you have no control. Your thought patterns will change.
9. Let go of the need to be in control – Most people with overactive minds are trying to control the circumstances of their lives, and even the lives of people around them. Recognize that control is largely an illusion. Just be responsible for your own actions, and let everything else tall into place without your interference.
10. Keep a journal, or a dream diary – A good way to relax your mind is to write down the clutter in your mind. Write down lists, or write about your fears, worries and concerns. Write down what you want in life, then release it.
11. Live in the present – If you have an overactive mind, you are constantly focusing on the past or the future. Put your attention in the “now.” A good way to do that is to connect on a sensory level. Notice what your senses are perceiving in the moment.
12. Connect with nature – Take walks in the park or the woods. Go to the beach or the mountains. Feel the breeze and listen to the sounds of water, or the birds around you. The more you allow yourself to connect with the natural world, the more peaceful your mind will become.