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12 Ways to Relax Your Mind

 12 Ways to Relax Your Mind

Sleep problems. We’ve all been there — it’s 2 a.m., and your mind won’t quiet down. Instead of sleeping, you’re worried about your work project that’s due later this week or when you’re going to find the time to get your car’s oil changed.

When racing thoughts regularly keep your mind from relaxing, the effects can take a toll on your overall health and well-being.

Luckily, there are relaxation methods you can adopt to help shut off the cascade of thoughts come bedtime. To that end, this guide will help you identify why your mind won’t stop running and how you can help it slow down.

What Keeps Your Mind Running Relentlessly?

When you find your brain running faster than you’d like or it won’t quiet down when you’re ready to relax, you might be dealing with a variety of external factors:

  • More stress than usual – Have you recently taken on a new role at your job? Or are family problems preventing you from resting easily? Whatever the reason, added stressors can cause your brain to work in overdrive.
  • New medication – Some medications can make it more difficult to calm your mind. If you’ve recently started a new prescription and noticed an uptick in racing thoughts, the medication could be to blame. You should speak with your doctor if the problem continues.

Why Is It Important to Give Your Mind a Break?

Everyone experiences a restless mind from time to time. However, if you find yourself in a constant state of mental distress, you may start to experience unwanted health problems. It’s important to give your mind a rest, otherwise, you may have trouble.

  1. Sleeping
  2. Focusing
  3. Functioning

A lack of sleep or relaxation may also increase your chance of suffering from a series of health conditions, such as:

  • Unhealthy weight
  • Unhealthy blood sugar levels
  • Poor mental functioning

Luckily, there are mind relaxation exercises you can take to help calm those racing thoughts and give your mind a break.

Move Your Body to Relax Your Mind 

The connection between a healthy body and a healthy mind is well documented.

Regular exercise can help you better tackle the factors that contribute to a racing mind. Furthermore, a robust workout routine can help improve poor sleep and a lack of relaxation.

According to the American College of Sports Medicine, “physical fitness promotes mental fitness.” To that end, here are some of the best ways to move your body for mental relaxation.

#1 Cardio Exercise

Although cardio involves intense movement, cardio exercise can help your mind relax. When your heart rate is elevated by running or jumping for a long period of time, your body releases endorphins — the mood-boosting hormones that can help to reduce physical and mental discomfort. As such, you may feel more centered and calm following a workout.

There are many different types of cardio you can perform to help ease your mind, including:

  • Hiking
  • Running
  • Biking
  • Swimming
  • Walking
  • Stair-climbing

Even a short 10 to 15-minute session of cardio can help you settle your mind down.

#2 Strength Training

Cardiovascular exercises aren’t the only type of exercise that may benefit your mind. In fact, combining cardio and strength training can help you maintain a healthy body and mind. 

Additionally, when you build muscular strength, you’re less likely to sustain injuries as you grow older. Thus, you can continue to experience the positive mental health benefits of physical activity. 

Ideally, you should aim for two strength-boosting training sessions each week and include exercises that use:

  • Bodyweight
  • Dumbbells
  • Resistance bands

Similar to cardio exercise, even short bursts of activity in the present moment can have a calming effect on your busy mind.

Feeling sore after a workout? Learn about how to prevent muscle soreness.

#3 Yoga

Yoga is a type of exercise that requires mind and body balance. When you perform yoga poses for stress relief, you must focus on managing and synchronizing your breath and movement, which helps you focus your mind on your body in the present moment, rather than on negative thoughts.

As a bonus, yoga is also an excellent way to gain physical strength at the same time you’re boosting your brain health. Follow these tips to learn how to meditate during yoga.

Organize Your Surroundings

Do you have trouble relaxing when your surroundings are disorganized? This feeling is actually quite common, and it occurs for several reasons:

  • Clutter creates unnecessary sensory stimuli 
  • Clutter takes attention away from the things you need to do
  • Clutter gives your brain messages that you still have work to do

When your surroundings are better organized, you’re able to better focus on yourself without the distraction of a messy pile of junk mail and ketchup packets on your kitchen table.

#4 Declutter

Taking some time to declutter both your home and work spaces can help you relax your mind. Decluttering doesn’t have to be complicated, nor does it need to take a lot of time. 

You can accomplish a significant amount in short spurts. Try breaking it into small tasks by:

  • Tackling one area at a time
  • Setting a timer and getting as much done in that span as possible
  • Using totes, boxes and other space-saving tools 

Once your home is cleaned and streamlined, you may find it easier to settle your mind.

#5 Make a To-Do List

A cluttered home isn’t the only thing that can get in the way of your brain’s downtime — a mind filled with to-dos can also cause distress. Making a daily or weekly task list can help get those pesky thoughts onto paper where you can better manage them. It also allows you to focus on one item at a time rather than everything all at once.

It’s also immensely gratifying to cross tasks off your list as you complete them.

#6 Create a Long Term Action Plan

A daily or weekly to-do list is ideal for short-term goals. However, you’ve probably also been distracted by the tasks you need to do way down the road. A long-term action plan is extremely helpful when you need to:

  • Save for a trip
  • Plan for a big expense
  • Ease worries over a pending career change
  • Navigate a major life event

Tackling small, actionable items on your list gives your brain the reassurance that you’re moving in the right direction. This can help your brain be less preoccupied with the enormity of the task.

Turn Your Attention Elsewhere

Sometimes your mind can relax more effectively when your attention is diverted away from whatever is causing you distress. Distracting yourself from the issues that clutter your mind can help give you the break you need. 

While you shouldn’t sweep your troubles under the rug for good, temporarily turning your mind away from what plagues you is a healthy means of refocusing. Some of our favorite means of diverting attention from the pesky things that keep us awake include:

#7 Reading a Book

Reading a book can have immense benefits for your mental health. A study by the University of Sussex showed that taking as little as six minutes to read something you find pleasurable was shown to help with muscle tension and stress levels.

Reading pulls your attention away from the thoughts plaguing your mind, which allows you to relax more effectively.

#8 Watching a Movie

If reading isn’t your style, watching a movie can have similar health benefits — especially a movie that makes you laugh. Immersing yourself in a fictional world for a little while can give your brain a break from the thoughts that are interfering with your ability to relax. 

#9 Making Something

Another way to refocus your brain is to get creative. A study in the American Journal of Public Health showed that creative outlets helped improve your mood, emotions and psychological state.

Research shows that the type of creative activity you choose isn’t important. Instead, benefits were seen when subjects participated in a variety of activities, including:

  • Visual art
  • Writing
  • Music
  • Crafting

Getting in touch with your artistic or creative side might help you relax your mind when you need a gentle reset. Can CBD gummies boost your creativity? Read our guide to find out.

Clear Your Mind 

When your mind is full of racing thoughts, it can sometimes be impossible to concentrate. So how can you actively clear your mind? Simple actions like guided meditation and intentional breathing have been shown to effectively cultivate mindfulness.

Improving your ability to focus takes time and effort, but you’ll see the benefits in the long run. 

#10 Meditate

Meditation is more than simply sitting quietly for a few moments. Instead, it requires you to intentionally train your mind to focus and recenter your attention. The good news is that anyone can become an effective and mindful meditator with the right approach.

Regular, concentrated guided meditation can lead to:

  • Improved emotional processing
  • Better focus 
  • More peaceful state

These benefits can be felt after as little as 10 to 15 minutes of regular mindful meditation practice.

#11 Practice Deep Breathing

A simple practice of breathing deeply and intentionally has also been shown to have mind-clearing benefits. According to the University of Washington School of Medicine, a deep breathing technique can help relax your mind by:

  • Calming your sympathetic nervous system, which reduces feelings of stress
  • Pulling your attention to the active breathing process
  • Allowing you to recognize and address your emotions

Furthermore, deep breathing exercises are a simple practice that requires nothing other than a little patience and practice. In addition to deep breathing, consider practicing progressive relaxation techniques to help with stress.

#12 Add CBD to Your Wellness Routine

Incorporating CBD products into your wellness routine may help you unwind into a relaxed state. Chewing some of Zebra CBD’s Mood and Calm Gummies is a delicious way to promote relaxation. Our Black-Raspberry Lemonade gummies are made with quality ingredients and premium CBD oil.

Not into the taste or texture of gummies? Then try our Mood and Calm Tablets instead. These chewable tablets may help you feel more relaxed without drowsiness.

Find The Wellness Support You Seek With Zebra CBD

A busy mind can make your other tasks seem insurmountable. When your brain won’t relax, you need to take action to help your mind settle down. Exercising, decluttering, distractions and clearing your head can all help you relax into a more calm state.

If you want to incorporate CBD into your wellness routine, we’re here to help. Zebra CBD is your passionate, highly focused CBD expert. We’re the only CBD company with a Label Accuracy Guarantee for your peace of mind. Check out our wide selection of CBD products today.

Sources:

Psychology Today. 5 Ways to Stop Your Racing Thoughts. https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/women-s-mental-health-matters/201604/5-ways-stop-your-racing-thoughts

NHS. Why Lack of Sleep is Bad For Your Health. https://www.nhs.uk/live-well/sleep-and-tiredness/why-lack-of-sleep-is-bad-for-your-health/

The American College of Sports Medicine. Exercise for Relaxation: An Approach to Well-Being. https://www.acsm.org/blog-detail/acsm-certified-blog/2018/09/20/exercise-for-relaxation-an-approach-to-well-being

Psychology Today. Why Mess Causes Stress. https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/high-octane-women/201203/why-mess-causes-stress-8-reasons-8-remedies

Reading Partners. Four Compelling Reasons to Shut Off Your Screen and Open a Good Book. https://readingpartners.org/blog/four-compelling-reasons-shut-off-screen-open-good-book/

American Journal of Public Health. The Connection Between Art, Healing, and Public Health. https://ajph.aphapublications.org/doi/10.2105/AJPH.2008.156497

Frontiers in Neuroscience. Brief Mindfulness Meditation Improves Emotional Processing. https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fnins.2019.01074/full

UW Medicine. This is Why Deep Breathing Makes You Feel So Chill. https://rightasrain.uwmedicine.org/mind/stress/why-deep-breathing-makes-you-feel-so-chill


Co-founder of Copycat Copywriters, Adam has written for dozens of CBD and cannabis companies on a wide array of topics, including regulations, economics, farming practices and biochemistry.

About the Author

Adam Biederman Image

Adam Biederman

As co-founder and lead writer of Copycat Copywriters, one of Adam’s primary areas of expertise is within the budding CBD and cannabis space. He has written for dozens of CBD and cannabis companies, producing a collection of white papers, press releases, blog posts, articles and ebooks about a wide array of industry-related subjects, including regulations, economics, farming practices and biochemistry.

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