Ever feel like there’s a relentless and chaotic storm brewing inside you?

That’s how it feels for me. It’s as if this unceasing tempest is constantly whirling, making it hard to find calm or clarity.  Imagine an endless list of worries or a barrage of terrible outcomes that disrupt your sleep and trigger a deep sense of panic, overwhelming your mind with fear and uncertainty and threatening to gobble up your entire life.

If this is something you’re dealing with, you’re not alone. Anxiety is something more and more of us are grappling with it. Recognizing that you’re facing an issue is a significant first step. The path that follows can feel challenging, filled with therapy sessions, medications, and self-help techniques, all with one goal—getting the reins of your whirling thoughts and intense emotions back in your hands.

Let’s Talk about Your High Standards and Feelings of Inadequacy

Anxiety might seem complex, but it often starts with a straightforward narrative—I’m not enough. These self-esteem-crushing feelings can be fueled by sky-high expectations imposed by others or ourselves. Maybe it’s an insatiable pursuit of perfection, an impossible standard set by others, or a deep-rooted belief that you’re destined to fail unless you’re extraordinary.

These persistently lofty standards are a breeding ground for anxiety and racing thoughts. When life becomes an ongoing test with an unreachable passing score, it’s not surprising that our minds start sprinting, scared of the fallout of perceived failure.

The Birthplace of Anxiety and Racing Thoughts

Several factors can ignite anxiety, like genetics, brain chemistry, personality, and life events. For some, it ignites during childhood when their parents hammer in the need to excel and succeed. Others might be genetically disposed to anxiety disorders, which makes them more likely to develop them when they encounter stressful situations.

Racing thoughts, a regular symptom of anxiety, surface when our minds scramble to cope with severe feelings of fear and worry. They make it immensely hard to relax, focus, or even carry on a conversation. In severe cases, racing thoughts can trigger panic attacks, a terrifying experience
that feels like everything is spiraling into chaos.

Ways to Tackle Racing Thoughts

Dealing with racing thoughts is all about having tested tools ready to help refocus your mind and break the cycle of fear and worry.

Embrace Mindfulness and Meditation

Cultivating mindfulness can transform the way you manage anxiety. By directing your attention to the present moment through meditation, you learn to observe the flurry of thoughts in your mind without getting carried away. This habit can distance you from the relentless wave of racing thoughts, providing a much-needed moment of clarity and peace.

Set a Worry Time

Designating a specific “worry time” is a psychological technique to curb racing thoughts. Pick a time each day when you’ll focus entirely on your anxieties. If anxious thoughts sneak up for the rest of the day, remind yourself to address them during your worry time. Having a fixed time for
worries helps you dictate and manage those thoughts rather than allowing them to control you.

Integrate Relaxation Techniques

Incorporate relaxation techniques into your day to combat racing thoughts. Techniques like progressive muscle relaxation, deep breathing exercises and indulging in pleasurable hobbies can help reduce your overall stress. Regularly practicing these methods can teach your body to chill out more effectively when anxiety strikes.

What’s Next?

Anxiety and racing thoughts can feel debilitating, but they aren’t unbeatable. By identifying the triggers and effects of anxiety and equipping yourself with practical tools, you can start to regain control over your mental health. Don’t forget — there’s nothing wrong with seeking professional help. Therapy can serve as a support system and a catalyst for growth, empowering you to rewrite your anxiety story and take control of your life.

By taking one step, one thought at a time, you can lead a calmer life, free from the overpowering influence of anxiety and racing thoughts. The silence you”ll experience in a mind that once was in a constant race is a blessing—a free space that lets contentment and joy flourish. You deserve nothing less when it comes to your health and well-being.

 Written by: Avis Strong
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