Your stomach starts to twitch, your mind starts racing thoughts above its speed limit, you feel restless and you start sweating. These are symptoms of anxiety you would be familiar with. Whether its health conditions, financial issues, personal problems or any other cause of stress or anxiety, it’s normal to feel anxious. At such times, your mind starts to race as you get overrun with thoughts and your amygdala (the part of the brain that controls emotions) is in overdrive. It’s important to know how to calm your mind in such moments.
When you’re feeling anxious and overwhelmed, it’s important to balance yourself and cope with these thoughts. Taking control of what’s in your head can seem difficult when you’re so consumed with distractions. But it’s possible to calm your mind when anxious with these simple hacks.
Here are 7 easy ways on how to calm your mind and reduce anxious thoughts:
- Brain dump or journaling
- Play a word game
- Mindful counting
- Positive affirmations
When you are anxious and your brain is overflowing with thoughts and worry, knowing how to calm your mind can help. One of the quickest and easiest ways to calm your mind is to practice a brain dump. You need to take a pen and paper and write down all the thoughts that come to your mind in the moment. You don’t think about what you are writing and don’t judge yourself for what you have written. The idea here is to get all your anxious thoughts and fear and trap it on that piece of paper. This will help you stay in the present moment and be free of thoughts, so you can calm your mind.
Once this is done you will feel lighter and more relaxed. Moreover, seeing your thoughts out there in a tangible form might even bring you some relief and balance. You can even take actionable steps and give yourself some clarity.
When anxious, your breathing is rapid and heart rate is elevated. Breathing at a normal pace is very important. Fast breathing can cause fear and tension and really slow breathing can lead to low amounts of oxygen circulation,which is equally dangerous.
The quickest way to alleviate racing thoughts and calm your mind is to practice a breathing exercise, like box breathing.
Box breathing is one such technique where you breathe in for 3 counts, hold for 3 counts, breathe out for 3 counts, hold again for 3 counts and repeat. Belly breathing is also effective against anxiety, as you breathe deeply from your belly. They help lower heart rate, normalise your breathing and allow you to quickly get back to equilibrium.
Try Box breathing on Evolve for free today and calm your mind with ease!
Play a word game
This may sound childish and ineffective but it really helps answer the question how to calm your mind! It provides a helpful distraction and allows you to process one thought at a time. Also, playing a word game shifts the brain’s focus from the original anxious thoughts.
It’s really simple, look around the room and pick an object. Now start naming more objects with the first letter of that object. Once you’re unable to think anymore, try naming more objects with the last letter of the last object you named.
Alternatively you can try counting numbers backwards as well! It has the same effect on the mind and helps you calm down.
Doodling is a great way to let your mind channel anxiety in a positive and creative manner. When anxious and overwhelmed, start doodling without any worry in the world and keep going until you feel better.Once you start off, you will notice yourself focusing on it and finding a flow. When you’re done, you will feel lighter and ready to move forward. It’s a creative and joyful way to calm your mind quickly!
A fairly simple exercise to take your mind off things and practice mindfulness at the same time! For example – Look around your room and notice 5 things you can see, 4 objects you can touch, 3 sounds you can hear, 2 things you can taste and 1 thing you can smell. This will help you stay in the present, calm your thoughts and reduce any stress or anxiety.
When anxious, negative thoughts are very common. You feel low, worried and everything feels like it’s crashing in. To give yourself some positivity and to help calm your mind, try repeating positive affirmations to yourself. They are confidence boosters designed to boost your motivation, self belief and be feel-good in nature. By doing this, you reframe your thoughts, get rid of negativity and give yourself a platform to see your situation with perspective. For example – in case you’re anxious about a job interview, repeat to yourself ‘I have the qualities needed to get this job’ and keep repeating it for a few minutes.
Anxiety can be reduced via meditation practice. Meditation helps you stay with your thoughts and reflect on them one after the other. This stillness helps alleviate your racing mind as you look at each thought separately. This helps you gather yourself and calm your mind in moments.
Meditation is not only good for calming your mind but also has a great effect on your concentration, confidence and happiness!
You can try out our anxiety meditations on Evolve to help you calm your mind.
Read more – How meditation helps manage anxiety better
Anxiety has various triggers and is different for everyone. What’s important is knowing how to calm your mind and feel better. When you have a racing mind, these are simple hacks to bring you relief and reduce anxiety. When you have a racing mind, these are simple hacks to bring you relief and balance your mind.
Evolve helps you proactively manage anxiety and reduce it within minutes with a variety of light and joyful guided meditations. The Evolve app is now live globally on Android & Apple, click here to try for free!