slow your mind and stop overthinking

23 Simple Ways to Slow Your Mind & Stop Overthinking

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What do you do when your mind just won’t stop? It’s that moment again… at the most inopportune time, your mind decides to race, keeping you awake, preventing you from focusing, or completely distracting you from your mountain of “to-do list” entries. We have personal experience going from overthinking to finding inner peace. In this article, we are sharing 22 ways to help your mind slow down and stop overthinking, so you can live happier, healthier, and more purposeful.

I totally get it… you just want to get enough done today to feel productive and accomplished, and then sleep. But no… you’re worried about work, the family, whether or not you sounded stupid in that conversation earlier. You’re worried if you filled the dog’s water dish enough, and all of a sudden are flooded with ideas to advance that project at work. Why do you keep thinking about work???? It’s time to sleep! Work can be dealt with tomorrow… but this graphic would look nice in that presentation slide… and should you really submit that video??

So what do you do? Do you distract yourself with Facebook or Pinterest until the wee hours of the night? Do you turn on the History Channel or HGTV to “zone out” until you fall asleep? Why is your spouse snoring when you can’t even close your eyes?!?!?!?!!

You’re not alone!

Here are 23 ideas to help your mind slow down and stop overthinking

I’ve separated my ideas into 2 categories: inside and outside. I did this with the mindset that sometimes you want something mindless to do inside as you’re winding down for the day, and because other times you want something to help lose yourself in out of your home.

  1. Photography
  2. Scrapbooking
  3. Puzzles
  4. Drawing
  5. Coloring
  6. Painting
  7. Needlepoint crafts
  8. Writing your own stories
  9. Sudoku
  10. Crossword Puzzles
  11. Journaling
  12. Blogging
  13. Reading
  14. Baking
  15. Cooking
  16. Reading your Bible
  17. Playful activities
  18. Walking
  19. Hiking
  20. Gardening
  21. Essential Oils and Aromatherapy
  22. Optimizing Your Gut Health
  23. Setting your future self up for success

Inside Activities to help slow your mind down and stop overthinking:

We all need low-key activities we can do inside whether it’s because of the weather or just needing to wind down before going to bed. Sometimes being out and active in nature isn’t feasible.

Pictures. Whether you’re a hobby photographer, love piecing together puzzles, drawing, coloring in coloring books, painting, or have a knack for needlepoint… focusing on creating pictures helps redirect your mental and emotional energy. Use your creative energy as an outlet for the flood of creative thoughts and worries that drive you mad.

Words. Words fly through our minds all the time, but focusing on one word at a time can help slow our mind and offer therapeutic qualities as we slow our silent rants into word search activities, reading (especially non-work-related novels – OFF SCREEN), Sudoku, crossword puzzles, writing in a journal, writing fiction, or blogging.

Reading. Reading books is one of my favorite past times. Especially books designed to inspire.

Smells. Yes! What you smell directly impacts your mood and your ability to wind down, focus, rest… etc. The aromas you breathe in can have some incredible impacts on your state of emotional and mental well-being. Scroll down to see our favorite essential oils, DIY blends, and non-DIY essential oil blends to help calm your mind and stop overthinking.

Outside & Activities to help your mind slow down and stop overthinking

Water. Something about the water really charges you positively. Whether you’re canoeing, kayaking, swimming, surfing, fishing, or just sitting. Being in or near water helps with recentering your mind and helping you find balance and clarity.

Get Active and Play! Play with your kids or dogs. If you don’t have either, spend some time with a family who does. Kids and dogs both have a knack for simplifying life and bringing about some serious laughter and joy.

Embrace Nature. Take a walk, or hike through some trails. Lay in a hammock. Take a bike ride. Do something physical while surrounded by nature. There is something about hearing nothing aside from the birds chirping and wind blowing through the trees that help give you a break from the city’s hustle and noise and helps you truly simplify your mind.

Garden. Something about playing in the dirt does a world of wonders for an anxious, depressed, cluttered mind. The dirt, planting, cultivating (and harvesting – if you’re planting edibles). Seeing the fruits of your labor (no pun intended) offers some deep accomplishment feelings. You don’t even need to have a green thumb if you garden with plants native to your location. Many plants, especially perennials, can survive without constant maintenance and skill… literally, put them in the ground and enjoy.

Aromatherapy and Smells to help slow your mind and stop overthinking

Smells. The way different aromas play with your limbic system is so intriguing. Different smells incite different emotions. They can help balance your mood, relax your mind, help you focus, inspire your creativity, and motivate you to get moving. Exactly what you need to help your mind slow down and stop overthinking.

Baking. When I find myself in a funk, I often find myself with an urge to bake. Whether it’s cookies, brownies, cakes, or pies, baking reminds me of simpler times when I was young creating delectable items with my mom and grandmother. Now that I have a little one of my own, I cherish those moments when we make messes together in the kitchen and the splashing fun that comes with cleaning up the mess we made, especially knowing our baking time is also using healthy ingredients that honor our bodies and mental health. Time spent in the kitchen has always been special to my family.

11 Essential Oils to help your mind slow down and stop overthinking

  1. Bergamot essential oil – helps calm your mind, especially when anxious, to allow you to better focus on what is happening.
  2. Cedarwood essential oil – helps to remove obstacles from your mind and stop obsessing over thoughts
  3. Clary Sage essential oil – neutralizes negativity within you, allowing you to free yourself from a negative mindset
  4. Frankincense essential oil – stress relief, hygiene, sleep aid, enhance your spiritual connection
  5. Marjoram essential oil – reduces tension through your mind and muscles, allowing you to sleep better and enhance your immune functioning so you’re not literally making yourself worried sick.
  6. Myrrh essential oil – inspires tranquility and calmness
  7. Neroli essential oil – helps you recenter and move forward to face your fears and anxiety triggers
  8. Rose essential oil – helps you regain a sense of love and respect, allowing you to appreciate where you are in your life journey
  9. Sandalwood essential oil – emotionally healing to help you stop focusing on emotional pain, obsessing about the past, and worrying about the future. Helps you stay in the moment.
  10. Vetiver essential oil – helps you focus, relax your mind, and be able to move through making decisions or resting without having a cluttered mind.
  11. Ylang Ylang essential oil – helps you relax your mind, calm inner negativity, and reduces stress symptoms allowing you to calm down physically and mentally

DIY Essential Oil Blends to help your mind slow down and stop overthinking

** PLEASE NOTE ** Don’t be fooled by clever marketing. Not all essential oils are created equally. Don’t miss my complete guide on how to find quality pure essential oils to ensure you’re not wasting your money on brands that legally conduct misleading, unethical, and deceitful marketing practices.

Stop overthinking, slow down your mind, and sleep
  • 3 drops lavender essential oil
  • 3 drops rose essential oil
  • 3 drops ylang ylang essential oil
  • 1 drop marjoram essential oil
Slow your mind and relax
  • 4 drops of bergamot essential oil
  • 4 drops of frankincense essential oil
  • 2 drops of vetiver essential oil

Non-DIY Essential Oil Blends to Calm Your Mind

And of course, sometimes you just don’t have the time or energy to DIY. My favorite essential oil brand has a few pre-made essential oil blends that are ideal for helping relax your mind and stop that overwhelming flow of random thoughts. You can find out more about our favorite essential oils on our Membership page.

Optimizing Your Gut Health To Slow Your Mind

Not many people think about their gut’s microbiome when discussing mental health, but it very much is a major factor. There have been many studies discussing microbiome causing or flaring ADD/ADHD symptoms, inflammation, and your body’s immune response.

When you take care of your digestive wellness through balancing your gut flora (microbiome), it soothes and optimizes your vagus nerve (also known as the gut-brain axis), and helps slow your mind down, enhances your mood, and gives you a better ability to focus.

What do you do to calm your mind, stop overthinking and recenter?

I’d love to read about it in the comments!!

A Note From Nicole

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Nicole is a military-trained research analyst, homeschooling mom, healthy lifestyle coach, flexible business consultant, and writer for and After living through and overcoming a season of homelessness and chronic health, Nicole developed a passion for helping others develop healthier habits using functional nutrition, herbalism, and renewing faith.

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