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Calming Those Racing Thoughts and Anxiety

Thursday, December 21st 2023 10:00am 4 min read
Dr. Jessica Peatross dr.jess.md @drjessmd

Hospitalist & top functional MD who gets to the root cause. Stealth infection & environmental toxicity keynote speaker.

At times, everyone’s mind seems to go into overdrive. Thoughts may either spin in a constant loop, akin to a hamster incessantly running in its wheel, or they might jump erratically from one unrelated topic to another, reminiscent of a pinball game.

Such thought patterns are commonly labeled as “racing thoughts,” with anxiety being a primary trigger. Those grappling with racing thoughts consistently fret about tasks pending, tasks overlooked, and what lies ahead.  They might dwell excessively on situations from the past, present, or what the future might hold. This could manifest as replaying varied versions of a past conversation, incessantly mulling over an impending work evaluation or medical check-up, or stressing about far-fetched catastrophic events.

When overwhelmed by these racing thoughts, maintaining concentration becomes a challenge. It leads to a feeling of entrapment, exacerbating anxiety and stress, perpetuating a vicious circle.

Intervening in the vicious cycle of anxiety and racing thoughts

So, how does one interrupt this cycle and prevent racing thoughts from dominating one’s mind? Consider these five approaches:

1. Self-acceptance: The anxiety of experiencing racing thoughts often aggravates the condition itself. Accept these thoughts. Recognize them as mere mental disturbances, which are natural occurrences. Recognizing these thoughts merely as background noise gives a sense of empowerment. When perceived in the right perspective, these thoughts become less daunting and more manageable.

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