Mind Racing?

Devin Burke:

Hey, it’s Devin Burke, the founder of Sleep Science Academy, and in this video I’m going to share with you five things to help you calm your racing mind at night. So first and foremost, if you have a racing mind that keeps you up, I want you to know that you are not alone. This is the number one question I get asked when I’m doing workshops or seminars, or just online with our clients. Now, a couple of things to know. The mind isn’t like a computer. You can’t just shut your mind off, it doesn’t work like that. It’d be nice, it’s just not the case. So my first suggestion and recommendation is to build into your day micro breaks, we call these energy breaks at Sleep Science Academy, to allow your mind to calm down. So what happens is the mind builds a momentum throughout the day, and if we’re not careful, that momentum carries into the night.

So it’s really important to understand that if you’re in the habit of going from one thing to the next thing to the next thing without micro breaks, allowing the mind to slow down, then that is the number one source that’s creating the racing mind at night. So we’re going to talk about what to do if you have a racing mind at night, but I always like to talk about, well, why don’t we stop your… Or put in place a strategy so that the mind, we don’t even get to that point? So that’s why I’m sharing that strategy with you first. Now, let’s say you did get to the end of the night and your mind is racing. You’re thinking about all the things that you need to do, could have done, should have done, would’ve done. All those things that keep the brain going, which then keeps the body going.

The first thing that I suggest that you do that is super helpful is to actually write your thoughts down. The reason why this works is because our brains work way faster than our fingers. And so what this does, as you’re writing the thoughts down, it’s actually going to start to slow your mind down. It’s a really effective strategy. The second thing that you could do is actually focus on your breath. Now, there’s a lot of different breathing techniques. I share a lot of them on this channel. But the one that I really love is the bed breathing, also known as box breathing. Now, this is the same technique that the Navy SEALs use. It’s simply inhaling for a count of four or five, holding for a count of four or five, exhaling for a count of four or five. Then holding that exhale for a count of four or five.

You do this about 12 times, and what it does is it just gets you into your body, and gets you out of your head. One of my mentors always would say, “When you’re in your head, you’re dead.” So you want to do things to get you out of your head and back into your body, and breathing is the most effective way, the most effective strategy to actually do that. So the third thing that you could do is if you have a racing mind, is actually, well, first and foremost, it’s you don’t want to get into bed with a racing mind. So if you’re in bed and your mind is racing, you want to get out of bed.

So what do you do? If you’re doing the breathing technique or the journaling, those are great strategies. But you could also do something where it’s kind of counterintuitive, but you just allow yourself to have the thoughts. So become aware of the thoughts and just notice what thoughts you’re having. Notice them come in and then notice them go out, and get curious about your thoughts. So oftentimes people try to distract themselves from their thinking, and what we resist, persists. So if you just allow yourself to have your thoughts, it really starts to slow the mind down. The mind exhausts itself, and this is a strategy that can work really well, and does work really well for certain types of people. Now, if you’re a really heightened sense of anxiety and your mind’s really racing, this probably isn’t the best strategy for you, but this is something definitely to try out.

So some other thoughts on what you can do to slow your racing mind down is to stretch. Again, anything that’s going to get you out of your head and into your body is going to be good. So doing something like just classic stretches on the floor, or yoga, or anything really, that’s going to, again, focus… You want a little bit of… A stretch shouldn’t be painful, but it should be uncomfortable. That, again, is going to get you into your body. Well, listen, I hope this video was helpful. Let me know which techniques you’ve tried, which work for you in the comments below. And if you’re not already subscribed to the channel, subscribe, like the video, share it if you find value in it, and I will see you in the next one. Take care.