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 other times you want something to do outside of your home.
- Needlepoint crafts
- Writing your own stories
- Crossword puzzles
- Play board games
- Prayerfully reading your Bible
- Playful activities
- Essential Oils and Aromatherapy
- Optimizing Your Gut Health
- 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 puzzles together, 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 pastimes — 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 helps 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 feelings of accomplishment. 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 have an urge to bake. Whether it’s cookies, brownies, cakes, or pies, baking reminds me of simpler times when I was young, when I created 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 baking time also means using healthy ingredients that honors your body 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
- Bergamot essential oil helps calm your mind, especially when anxious, to allow you to better focus on what is happening.
- Cedarwood essential oil helps remove obstacles from your mind and stop obsessing over thoughts.
- Clary Sage essential oil neutralizes negativity within you, allowing you to free yourself from a negative mindset
- Frankincense essential oil stress relief, hygiene, sleep aid, enhance your spiritual connection
- 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.
- Myrrh essential oil – inspires tranquility and calmness
- Neroli essential oil – helps you recenter and move forward to face your fears and anxiety triggers
- Rose essential oil – helps you regain a sense of love and respect, allowing you to appreciate where you are in your life journey
- 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.
- Vetiver essential oil – helps you focus, relax your mind, and be able to move through making decisions or resting without having a cluttered mind.
- 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
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 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.
Optimizing Your Gut Health To Slow Your Mind
Not many people think about their gut’s microbiome when discussing mental health, but it 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.
Address The Root Cause
My number one method to calming your stressed out mind is to figure out what has you stressed, and address that root cause.
The most common causes include not having a strong enough connection to God, finances, relationship problems, underlying health issues, and inflation causing cost of living increases.
If you can’t figure out the exact root cause, there may be something metabolic going on.
In that case, deepening faith, gut health, and optimizing wellness should be at the forefront of your fix-it strategy.
If you’re struggling with finances, there are tons of business opportunities available for you… some of which may help address all of the causes listed above. If you’d like help strategizing ideas on how to fix what is going on from the root level, reach out and connect with us. I’ve been coaching on wholistic lifestyle and flexible business strategies for over a decade and would love to talk with you about what options you have that works for you and your family.