When Your Mind is Racing and Won’t Calm Down – Try This Everyday

I remember a few years ago, one of my friend’s was at the airport and called me quite desperate because she was having a panic attack. I asked her if she trusted me to help her calm down quickly by using meditation and she said “Yes, I’ll do anything to make this stop right now!” I took her through a 3-5 minute body scan and at the end of it she said, “What kind of woo woo did you just use on me? I feel so much better!” We had a good laugh, she went on her way feeling much calmer and more relaxed! 

When your mind is racing, your Inner Mean Voice usually ramps everything up, making things so much worse. It might tell you that you’re not good enough, or you can’t handle whatever you’re going through, or things will be too hard and you can’t stand it. In those moments, you usually believe all of the lies. The reality is, that even if things are hard, you usually figure it out, and things do work out fine-even if they were uncomfortable or hard. One of the ways to help clear your mind and get it “back online” is to use mindfulness or meditation. This helps your anxiety or depression symptoms to calm down and it’s easier to think through how those thoughts weren’t true or helpful.  

When I introduce the concept of mindfulness or meditation to my clients, many people feel a bit uncomfortable because they don’t understand how it can be helpful. It carries an Eastern vibe, something we’re not used to talking about here in our Western culture. I think some people don’t like the implication that it’s a way to alter their state of mind, or be open to all spirituality. While this can be something that some people use it for, there is a lot of research that supports that mindfulness and/or meditation can be as effective or more effective than the medications used to treat anxiety and depression. There is even research to support how it helps with chronic pain.  

Here are just a few of the benefits of mindfulness or meditation:

  • Gaining a new perspective on stressful situations

  • Being able to separate who you are from your emotions

  • Increasing self-awareness

  • Focusing on the present

  • Reducing negative emotions

  • Reduces symptoms of depression, anxiety and pain

  • Gaining a deeper understanding of yourself

  • Increases attention span

  • Increases empathy

  • Increases creativity

  • Improves memory

  • Enhances your immune system

Here are a few types of meditation mindfulness that work well for many of my clients: 

  • Guided Meditation-someone with a calm voice takes you through a visualization exercise of being on the beach, a lake, a safe place or calming place. Some other options are: online, YouTube, iTunes or Spotify. Some apps that I like are Calm and Headspace. There are also Christian based apps that are also great-Abide and Dwell. 

  • Body Scan-someone with a calm voice (or you can do it yourself once you get the hang of it) starts at the top of your head, and moves all the way to your toes, focusing on a body part and trying to relax and release tension in specific areas. These work well for chronic pain as well. 

  • Breathwork-sometimes called diaphragmatic breathing, you focus on breathing in through your nose and out through your mouth. There are many ways to do this and the apps mentioned above will take you through several. 

  • Present Moment-focusing on the present moment without being distracted and concentrating on what you’re doing at that moment. For example, if you’re brushing your teeth, just brush your teeth.

  • Sleep Stories-Someone tells a story in a meditative way that causes relaxation and a way to quiet the mind in order to relax and go to sleep.

  • Contemplative Prayer-doing a centering prayer by focusing on a word and then focusing on that over and over again.

  • Contemplative Reading-reading a passage in the Bible slowly with the intention of having a deeper understanding of the text. 

There are many other types of meditation, too many to list here. Almost all of the apps above include all of these types of meditation. Most of the apps have a free 7 day trial so that you can find which one you like the best. I encourage you to start by trying a few sessions a week and then working your way up to once a day. Most of these take 15 minutes or less and are a great way to rest and reset. When I do a 3-minute body scan, it feels like I took a 15 minute nap-it’s great! The other great thing about mindfulness or meditation is that the more you practice it, the better it works. 

For the month of December, I’m going to give you tips and tricks on how you can “rewire” your brain and be able to acknowledge how you’re feeling and yet not get overwhelmed by it. One of the most common symptoms my clients complain about is their negative thinking. 

If you found this article helpful, I’d love for you to share it with a friend to help them Quiet their own Inner Mean Voice. I hope this gives you hope to find the right tools to quiet your inner voice once and for all. If you need more help understanding the HSP trait, please feel free to contact me at 317.496.0456 or email I’d be happy to hear what is happening and help you find the right fit for counseling. If you are looking for help with depression, anxiety, trauma or behavioral concerns, you can read more about how I can help at my website peacefamilycounseling

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