Mental restlessness: how to calm your thoughts?
Written by: Loris Vitry (coach and Yoga teacher)
Validated by: Cathy Maillot (Osteopath)
Caution: If you have any medical questions or concerns, please speak to your doctor. Even if the articles on this site are based on scientific studies, they do not replace professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.
So many things grab our attention and occupy our minds every day, that it’s easy to end up with a restless mind.
But mastery of body and mind favors concentration and calming the thoughts.
Like primates that go from branch to branch, the mind sails from thought to thought and plunges us into a restless and confused state.
Mental restlessness: how to calm your thoughts?
Understanding mental restlessness
Your mind is an adventurer who embarks on different destinations at all times.
This wandering sometimes leads to mental restlessness that prevents you from performing specific tasks or making decisions.
Mental restlessness is a set of repetitive thoughts that often overwhelm you.
They can relate to a single subject or refer to several themes.
Sometimes your mind navigates to remembering an embarrassing event, or on fear, or a relationship problem, thus increasing your stress.
You feel like your mind is always running from a thought to another.
These situations sometimes lead to insomnia, headaches, upset stomach, and muscle aches.
You can no longer concentrate on work or school.
Various reasons can lead to mental restlessness such as stress, hyperactivity disorder, obsessive disorder, bipolar disorder, depression, and others.
Mental restlessness is not suitable for your emotional and physical health.
How to calm your thoughts?
Directing your attention keeps your mind focused and helps calm it.
The solution is to get control over your thoughts rather than the other way around.
So to calm your thoughts in the face of mental restlessness, you need to learn how to divert your focus to taste peace and stillness of mind in the present moment.
The key to calming your thoughts is to be able to observe them without trying to judge or interrupt them.
This interference-free process is very effective against mental restlessness.
Focusing on being kind with others is also a good turnaround that gives you a feeling of love and peace.
The compassion that you show towards others is another meaning that you will give to your life.
You make others happy and yourself at the same time.
Also, knowing how to let go is not necessarily synonymous with giving up.
But accepting that you can’t control everything allows you to think less of the choices you have to make.
Also, you will understand that your actions lead to new experiences and new opportunities, which you must trust.
Fear forces you to seek more control, to think more, and to be more mentally agitated.
You must distinguish between the concerns that can be resolved (in this case, give priority to brainstorming) and the fears that can’t be (in this case, accept your helplessness).
Some techniques to get out of it
The easiest alternative solutions to implement are, therefore:
Among the solutions to calm an agitated mind, we can cite meditation.
The different techniques used in meditation, including the control of breathing, makes it easier to become aware of your agitated mind and to calm it in any environment.
Whether you are in your workplace, public transportation, a stressful situation, or a dark place, you will have the ability to stop your mental restlessness with meditation.
Another solution to calm your agitated mental is to recognize the good things that are happening to you.
Be more joyful and satisfied will repress the feelings of dissatisfaction that sometimes cross you throughout the day.
An exercise like yoga can give you more motivation in your daily life.
Improvement of healthy living
A balanced and healthy diet helps in the quest for mental peace.
It should also be remembered that sleep is an essential element in mental balance.
It is used to avoid mental overload of everyday life; it is a time for the brain to slow down.
A great quiet night requires adequate lighting, away from the noise, in a comfortable bed.
Its preparation can consist of reading or in using any means allowing you to channel your thoughts before falling asleep.
You can try another technique, such as listening to a mantra (a small repeated phrase to channel thoughts).
What are the other possible methods?
Therapy is possible, such as cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), to initiate thought management techniques.
Other methods have also been proven.
The drug method
If your mental restlessness causes stress attacks, medications like antidepressants, antipsychotics, or mood stabilizers can help.
Some people choose a time of day to allow themselves to dive into distressing thoughts, allowing them to suppress mental agitation the rest of the time.
Just make sure that this period is not right before going to bed.
Others write down their thoughts, to later review their “worries.”
This exercise is more tedious than simple thoughts, but it helps to get rid of mental restlessness quite efficiently.
Sport is a natural and effective anti-stress treatment.
The released endorphins relieve nervous tension and give you more energy.
Plus, you focus your energy on your body that avoids your mental to dive into thoughts and agitation.
Chat with friends or family is also a way to calm your mind and prevent you from building up worries.
Moreover, you are more likely to get answers from someone else that stands out from the situation you are experiencing.
Likewise, stay away from people who cause you stress and anxiety.
Your thoughts wander between vital or profound things and superficial or trivial things, but this is a normal thing that should not disturb your mind.
An agitated mind can limit your ability to live fully.
When you feel that your mental restlessness is disrupting your life, do not hesitate to see a doctor, as this can lead to depression, severe irritability, or anxiety.
Last advice, you can make your mental restlessness a strength by using it for your creativity.
This skill will allow you to channel your ideas and make conscious decisions.