Coping with a racing mind.
What is the first thing you think of when you wake up? Maybe it’s coffee? Maybe it’s the fact that you don’t want to get up for work? Probably it’s the snooze button on your phone and alarm clock. Whatever it may be that hits your brain first, it’s the way it hits that always gets me.
Most days, the moment I open my eyes, my brain starts absolutely going into overdrive. You know how computers drive up their fans to a maximum when you turn them on? That is how it feels when I wake up. It’s fascinating really, but also overwhelming. As if all of my brain cells try to make up for time lost while sleeping, which wasn’t even lost time to begin with because man my dreams are freaky.
I wonder if that’s the case for other people too? It takes me the better part of the morning to calm my brain down from the racing pace it takes off with, trying not to run past every possible disaster scenario that may or may not be looming. My question to you would be: “If this happens to you too, how do you keep yourself calm? How do you keep from losing yourself to that speed?”
For me I’ve found a few things really help when my mind goes running off on its own:
Classical music: I’m all for music with good lyrics, but there is something really soothening about intricate compositions found in classical music. There’s a plethora of sites that can help you find a playlist to start off with and Spotify has some good suggestions. If you’re curious what my selection currently looks like: try my ‘And everything is in Harmony.’ playlist.
Stretch/yoga: I’m one of those people who gets completely tensed up even before my brain figures out its freaking out. It’s a good way for me to detect stress and signal when I should be extra kind to myself. I have found that some basic yoga poses and stretches help relieve the physical tension, which does a lot to lower the mental tension. Here’s some good basic stretches you can try after rolling out of bed. They’re more or less what I do, with some yoga poses thrown in.
Breathe: this is basically everything you need. Breathe in through the nose, out through the mouth. This is something you can do everywhere and links up well with the exercises above. Just point your mind to the activity of breathing and try to let everything else flow on. Sure they might come drifting back, but then you can always just return to breathing.
These 3 things are my absolute go to, but there is much more out there that can help you. Sometimes, even these things won’t help and all you can really do is keep paddling, waiting for the next wave. When it comes, and it will always come, get ready to ride it and enjoy it.
Hope this helps someone out there, stay cruising!