Tricks for Slowing Down Your Mind

Anxiety and bipolar mania can cause someone’s mind to ‘speed up’, leading to panicked activities and rushed decisions. It is important to learn how to shift gears, and take things down a notch. Below are some things you can do mindfully slow down your mind and reduce stress.

  1. Read a book and focus on every single word. Instead of ‘speed reading,’ try to read as slowly as possible.
  2. Try to focus on talking slower. Listen to your voice, and try to slow down the pace if you are sounding panicked.
  3. Walk at a leisurely pace. Listen to your surroundings – from the birds in the trees to cars passing by. Focus on the moment.
  4. If someone asks you to commit to something, tell them you will get back to them later. This will give you time to check your schedule, and check in with yourself. It’s ok to say no. Taking on too many commitments will only overwhelm you.
  5. If you need to write an important email, type it up but save it as a draft. You can send it when you have a clearer head.
  6. Take time out to play board games with friends or family. Board games are great because they are social, make you think and focus, and are difficult activities to rush.
  7. Take your time when you eat food. Savour every mouthful, and taste every bite.
  8. If a conversation is making you feel frustrated or angry, take time out before you say something you might regret. You can revisit the conversation when you are in a clearer headspace.
  9. Arrive at appointments five to ten minutes early. This allows you time to clear your head before the appointment, and prevents you from rushing to get there.
  10. Pretend your mind is the ‘sky’ and thoughts are ‘clouds’. Clouds pass through the sky, but the sky does not change.

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