8 Ways to Manage Racing Thoughts
Cast all your anxiety on Him because he cares for you. ~ 1 Peter 5:7
Do you find it challenging to settle down and relax due to constantly worrying? Or while trying to sleep, are you distracted with racing thoughts? Racing thoughts are repetitive and fast patterns of thoughts of a particular manner or random rushing thoughts. They are often triggered when you are anxious and stressed. The thoughts are difficult to shut down and often interfere with sleep, concentration, relaxing, and steal your peace. Also, they can occur when we are trying to fix a problem by ourselves, on our strength, and not leaning on God’s strength.
The scripture 1 Peter, 5:7, tells us to cast all our anxiety to God because He cares for us. Be anxious for nothing and cast all of your burdens to the Lord. He cares and is always available to hear your prayers. This may be difficult to do when our problems seem to be so big, consuming, and it looks as if there is no way out. We often try to fix it ourselves and jump to the worst-case scenario before consulting with God. We can’t succeed by leaning on our own strength and our human knowledge.
Seek God’s guidance, direction, and get your rest. Cast your burdens to the Lord and trust that he will lead you down the right path. Also, apply some practical tips to help with managing racing thoughts. Listed below are some helpful tips:
Tell God your concerns and thank Him for hearing your prayers. Don’t complicate prayer; it’s simply having a conversation. Talk to God like you talk to a friend and listen for his wisdom and guidance.
- Stay in the moment
Practice mindfulness by staying in the moment, the present time. No, not the past or the future. Some people may focus on the past, and this can also contribute to depressive symptoms. We cannot change the past. Practice acceptance and move into the present. Constantly worrying about the future can lead to more severe anxiety. Sometimes people create a bunch of scenarios in their heads and create full movie scenes. Stay in the moment.
- Challenge your thoughts
If you find yourself fixated on a thought, challenge it. Ask yourself a series of questions such as:
~What are the facts that back up my thought? If no facts release the thought.
~What would my friends think about it?
~Will it matter a year from now?
~Am I attempting to interpret this situation without all the evidence?
- Engage in healthy distractions
Try distracting your mind by engaging in an activity or hobby. You can watch TV, read, listen to music, and engage in something that creates calming that can help you relax.
5. Explore your options
People dealing with racing thoughts often jump to the worst-case scenario. Explore other options by thinking about the best-case scenario.
- Positive Self-Talk
Engage in positive self-talk or mantras to help get you through. Recite a positive affirmation or a scripture. For example, “If God is for me, who can be against me” or “I will get through this” Keep it short and simple. Applying positive self-talk can help calm you down and refocus.
- Get Physical
Exercise or engage in some form of physical activity. Exercise is good for anxiety and depression.
- Try some Lavender
Try using the essential oil Lavender. It can be used in a diffuser during the night to help with sleep. Lavender is known for stress relief and is calming.