Some anxieties, like an overwhelming sense of perfectionism, can interfere with creative thought, and be crippling in countless areas of everyday life. If you feel your anxiety is interfering with your creative side, it may be time to seek treatment for your anxiety. If you or someone close to you need to talk to someone about mental health issues that seem overwhelming, we can help. Consider reaching out to our expert team at Solara Mental Health at 844-600-9747.
People suffering from bipolar disorder, which is a neurochemical condition in the mind, may suffer from racing thoughts, pressured speech, nights without sleeping, mood swings, risky behaviors, deep insecurity, impulsive actions and paranoia.
Bipolar disorder is often linked with creativity. And there is some truth to that. But it is also very possible to be uber creative without suffering from mental health difficulties. You may see the world differently but still maintain an ability to be grounded in reality.
Sometimes people have racing thoughts that flash across their minds. Those racing thoughts are often a sign that work needs to be done. If you are being kept up by worries and repetitive thoughts, it is a red flag that these issues must be dealt with, according to Verywell Health.
If you do wake up at night with racing thoughts and feelings of stress, there are other tools that may restore sleep, as recommended by psychologist Dr. Margaret DeLong on her website. She suggests imagining clouds moving or balloons flying in the sky. As a thought pops into your mind, attach it to the cloud or balloon, then watch it drift off. Resting your thoughts on this imaginative process will also help deflect your focus.
Another helpful tip is to shift your focus to your senses; feel the sheets on your bed and listen to sounds in the house or on the street to distract your thoughts. DeLong also suggests relaxing muscles throughout your body. Start with your face, tensing and relaxing your forehead, lips, and jaw. Tense them for five seconds, then relax for a count of five. Move down through your body until you reach your toes, or sleep, whichever comes first.
Doing breathing exercises that activate the vagus nerve also help to calm a racing mind at night, according to Mindful. Connecting with the vagus nerve activates the parasympathetic system, restoring calm to the body. Simply breathing in deeply to a count of four, then breathing out for a count of eight will switch off your worried, racing, sympathetic nervous system.
Right now, many Americans (no matter what political position they support) experience racing thoughts as a result of anxiety about the future of our country, our ongoing challenges with using social media, and concerns, in particular, about the changing face and rising costs of healthcare.
Others with mental health conditions such as obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) or attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) may not have anxiety, yet still experience racing thoughts as a symptom.
If your racing thoughts are tied to your medical condition (whether it is MS, ADHD or other mental health, sleep disorders, or a combination of various conditions), the best solution is to treat the condition (or conditions) to find relief.
CBT-I, or CBT for Insomnia, is also widely accepted as the best way to treat insomnia caused by racing thoughts. Forms of CBT may also work in conjunction with a short course of medications, for those who need them.
Physical activity can relieve daytime anxiety enough to prevent its return at bedtime. The body is more likely to crave sleep at night when it is exercised during the day, as well. Even better, exercise outside first thing in the morning. This is a delightful way to improve your mood and establish a healthy circadian rhythm, both which can help you defend against racing thoughts.
At bedtime, your goal should be to relax. Taking a warm bath, reading a pleasant book or magazine, listening to calming music or a humorous or soft-spoken podcast are all great ways to run interference against racing thoughts.
To raise the odds that this might work for you, choose the music you like that has a slow and stable rhythm and a tempo of 60 to 80 beats per minute. Music without lyrics is likely to be more effective as there are no words to spark more racing thoughts. Set the time and allow it to play for 15 to 45 minutes.
To try this method, simply add a couple of drops of lavender essential oil to a cotton ball or soft cloth and place it under your pillow. You can also place a few drops on your hands and wrists and then inhale deeply to deter racing thoughts. If you have an aromatherapy diffuser, run that in your room before bed.
Beyond calming guided meditations, Solfeggio frequencies and crystal bowl sound healing, some brown noise enthusiasts claim that the frequency helps them to tune out the onslaught of racing thoughts; promoting a sense of focus and calm felt long enough to boost productivity or cope with residual trauma.
Having issues with your sleep rhythm is unfortunately common in most adults, even for those without sleep disorders. Sleep is both a necessity for a healthy life and frustratingly hard to get in some instances. Outside of insomnia and other chronic conditions, such as anxiety, asthma, COPD, and heart disease, there are quite a few behaviors that can negatively impact your sleep health, cause racing thoughts, or simply keep you up at night.
Kids can get very upset about these thoughts, though of course not all of them feel compelled to share them with their parents. But when they do, the constant confession and requests for reassurance can be stressful for parents, too.
Try relaxation techniques such as deep breathing or meditation, when emotions run high. Even taking a short time-out to bring your thoughts to the here and now can help. These gentle techniques can help calm the physical symptoms of anxiety and slow down racing thoughts.
When your thoughts keep racing, your natural reaction is to resist, trying to will your mind to stop the seemingly endless loop. Or, you hitch a ride on the anxiety express, obsessing about the difficult situation or big fear.
When we overly engage with our thoughts, our breathing becomes shallow, or we even hold our breath, notes therapist Tonya Swartzendruber, LMHC. Slowing down your breath can slow down your thoughts and help you gain some distance.
Margarita Tartakovsky is a content writer for meQuilibrium. She has 15 years of experience in psychology, mental health, and wellness, and authored the creative mental health journal Vibe Check: Be Your Best You." Margarita is passionate about providing readers with accurate, accessible information so they feel less overwhelmed and more empowered.
Emotional symptoms: Feelings of stress, fear, helplessness, and disappointment, negative thoughts (rumination about past poor performances, consequences of failure, feeling inadequate, helpless), mind going blank, and racing thoughts.
One way to reduce stress is to write in detail about feelings and thoughts related to stressful events. It can help clarify how you are feeling, allowing you to gain a clearer perspective. Journaling can be used as a problem-solving tool to come up with solutions more easily on paper.
If you feel as if you need additional help dealing with stress and overall mental health, consider seeking professional help through therapy. Therapy can give you an outlet to talk about your stress and learn how to identify the main causes of stress in your life. Therapy can help teach you how to incorporate tools for reducing stress daily.
In a study by Riley et al., their focus was on the relationship between automatic thoughts and depression in a research group of people living with HIV/AIDS. They found that in people with both depression and HIV/AIDS, negative automatic thoughts are associated with depressive symptoms, and vice versa (Riley et al., 2017).
The revised version of the automatic thoughts questionnaire (ATQ-R) (Kendall et al., 1989), which is a measure still used as a basis for automatic thinking research (Koseki et al., 2013), lists the following positive items as additional examples of automatic thoughts (along with the 30 negative thoughts listed above):
For example, people with frequent positive automatic thoughts are likely to respond to stress by feeling that their lives are more meaningful, while people with infrequent positive automatic thoughts are likely to respond to stress by feeling that their lives are less meaningful (Boyraz & Lightsey, 2012).
Aside from CR, research indicates that people with higher levels of dispositional mindfulness are less likely to experience automatic negative thoughts, potentially because they can more easily let go of negative thoughts or direct their attention elsewhere (Frewen et al., 2008).
This Positive Replacement Thoughts Worksheet also asks users to list all the automatic negative thoughts that come to their minds, then asks them to thoughtfully come up with alternative positive thoughts with which they can replace the negative thoughts.
It is more concise than the two Thought Records above, and since it does not offer information about automatic thoughts, it is a good option for someone who understands the concept and is ready to start replacing their negative thoughts with positive ones.
People who are better at flexible thinking are often very creative and imaginative. This ability lets them connect concepts and ideas that might not ordinarily seem linked, which also helps with creative problem-solving.
Being highly anxious most of the time is emotionally and physically exhausting and can lead to hyper-alertness, constant vigilance/racing thoughts, difficulty sleeping, and stress-related medical conditions. So how can a person with an ASD cope with an almost constant feeling of nervousness and fear? There are many strategies that are known to effectively alleviate anxiety. While some are helpful, there are a handful of strategies that should be avoided. 2b1af7f3a8