Have you ever had fast, recurring thoughts about a particular topic that you just couldn’t shake? You may be experiencing repetitive thoughts, which is a common symptom of anxiety. Psychiatrists sometimes refer to these as “ruminative thoughts.” Here are 3 ways to stop them.
When you find yourself having repetitive thoughts, stop for a minute and write them down. Getting your thoughts on paper frees up your mind, allowing you to feel less anxious. Writing actually engages your mind and helps to reduce the power of your repetitive thoughts. You don’t have to forget about these thoughts entirely. Writing them down allows you to revisit them when you’re mind isn’t moving so quickly.
You may find that your breathing changes during your bouts of repetitive thoughts. When your mind is racing, be aware and work to slow your breathing. Slowly breathe in through your nose, counting to 3, and breathe out through your mouth, slowly counting to 5. You’ll start to notice that your mind and body will be more relaxed.
When your mind is racing, it may be difficult to focus on anything but your thoughts. However, it’s important to focus on the present especially during times like this. Focusing on the present allows you to accept what you can’t change and let it go. As much as you may like to, you can’t change the past so it only encourages your anxiety to constantly think about it.
Remember, it takes time to change old habits or develop new ones. Start slowly by choosing one of these tips to use the next time you find yourself dealing with repetitive thoughts. For more tips or to schedule an appointment, contact our office today.
To getting you back to your best self,
Lori Calabrese, MD