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Reduce Racing Thoughts that Prevent Sleep

Sometimes, racing thoughts plague us because we have busy lives and don’t leave ourselves time to plan or organize. For some of us our minds switch in to overdrive when our heads hits the pillow.

People with depression are more likely to ruminate about their past; people with anxiety tend to worry about the future; and people with bipolar disorder might experience racing thoughts during manic or hypomanic episodes.

Racing thoughts also can become a vicious cycle. The lack of sleep they cause contributes to more anxiety, more racing thoughts and more sleep problems.

Thankfully, there are helpful strategies you can try. Below are 3 suggestions.

  1. Listen to guided meditations. When your thoughts are racing, calming the body and mind is key. Some guided meditations and relaxation exercises help you focus on the physical sensations of your body or your breath. This helps to anchor you in the present moment. Focus on the breath and let go of anything else that comes up.

  1. Plan the next day. Think through what you need to do tomorrow and address potential problems and stressors today. Make a to-do list for the next day.

Make sure you finish your planning session at least one hour before bed.. This way, you can focus on relaxing and winding down prior to your bedtime.

3. Process today. Writing or journaling in the evening to process how your day went. For instance, if something happened that was stressful, unpleasant or confusing, writing about it helps you make sense of it. It also lets you focus on resting and relaxing at bedtime versus ruminating about the situation.

When you’re journaling, write about the event itself, your emotions about the event, and your thoughts about what the event means for you.”

When we have racing thoughts, we can start to feel helpless (and hopeless). It feels like we’re in the passenger seat while our brain careens along the world’s windiest road. But there are many effective tools that can help. And if you’ve tried different tools, and you’re still having issues, give us a call at 770 452 2955, and make an appointment with us today.

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