When was the last time someone asked you to calm down and you actually did? Never, would be my guess. If asking someone to calm down was enough to calm them down, half of us mental health workers would be out of work!
No human mind is devoid of thoughts. At any point. Ever. Sometimes, thoughts and ideas are deliberate, where you’re consciously thinking about something. You could be looking for a solution to a problem, you could be thinking about creating something new or you could just be thinking about things in general. But more often than not, thoughts are automatic. They run through your mind like a continuously flowing stream.
They come and go if you let them. They stay if you hold on to them or try to resist them.
Sometimes, especially if you’re anxious, restless or depressed, there will be multiple thoughts circling in your mind. Almost like a whirlpool of thoughts! This leads to extreme distress, confusion, more anxiety. It also makes it almost impossible to decide anything, create something new, prioritise, find solutions or even manage time. It can feel like your mind is being attacked by a bombardment of thoughts. What do you do when that happens?
Some things to calm your mind
Irrespective of whether you are on psychotropic medications or not, these are some of the things you could do to calm your mind when your thoughts are going out of control.
- Declutter and clean, anything, any space. Throw out what you don’t need.
- Garden. Prune those shrubs, pull out the weeds, water the flowers.
- Stand under a cold shower for at least 5 minutes.
- Cook. Make something comforting that smells great!
- Play with your pet. If you don’t have a pet. Get a friend who has one.
- Go for a swim.
- Go for a run / go for a trek.
- Play a game that needs your complete attention.
- Learn something new.
- Look around, someone probably needs your help with something. Lend a helping hand.
- Dance, even if you don’t know how to
- Put on your earphones and sing as loud as you want!
- Practice yoga
- Practice yoga
- Practice yoga (yes, thrice. Because this one is the most important if you truly want to find your peace)
Most importantly, make decisions only after you’re feeling calmer. Clarity paves the road to better choices.