Most people who think of an overactive mind automatically think of not being able to get any sleep due to racing thoughts. But the truth is that those who have an overactive mind at night suffer from this issue throughout their day as well. They may only realize it, though, as they lay down and try to calm their thoughts as they try to get a restful night's sleep.
Many things can cause an overactive mind, including life stressors, anxiety, mental health issues, caffeine, alcohol, and even medications. Changes in our day-to-day life may also cause us to over-think things, resulting in restlessness and stress.
Sleep is a vitally important part of your regeneration cycle during the day. An overactive mind can hamper your sleep, but it may also lead to a lack of focus and concentration during the day, which could eventually affect your relationships and work. So, let's take a look at what causes an overactive mind and a couple of tips so that you can get that rest you need and have more focus throughout your day.
Be Quiet! I’m Trying To Sleep! (Or What Causes An Overactive Mind?)
As we said above, it tends to be that we notice our overactive mind in the evenings as our body is beginning to shut down. No matter at what time of day you're dealing with it, though, certain factors are directly related to this condition. Most of them stem from life stressors like your job or family situation.
But there is a wide range of other causes that could contribute to it, so let's look at the six main culprits:
Stress & Changes
Change can be stressful. It brings about a level of uncertainty that causes tremendous stress, especially if the changes are of the negative persuasion. Things like losing your job or being unsure of your financial future can add a level of stress that triggers an overactive mind.
Many people suffer from panic disorders, or mental health issues having to do with anxiety. These individuals tend to have more trouble sleeping and focusing, which can be directly related to the fact that they cannot calm their minds from the constant stream of thoughts.
Mental Health Issues
Mental health issues can be very challenging to handle in your everyday life. Things like OCD, bipolar disorder, or PTSD can all have a lot of different symptoms, and one of those that is a common thread through all three of these and several other mental health issues is an overactive mind.
One of the causes of an overactive mind that most people don't even correlate with the issue is medication. There are prescribed medications that your doctor will give you to treat mental health issues or other medical conditions that can trigger insomnia, as well as an overactive mind.
Drugs & Alcohol
A lot of people think that one way to unwind is to have a glass of alcohol or even partake in some recreational drug use. Unfortunately, there are many downsides to recreational drugs and alcohol, some of which can leave your mind restless and full of thoughts.
If you're feeling sluggish in the morning or even during the day, many people turn to a giant cup of steaming hot coffee. But that might be a mistake because caffeine is a stimulant and can, in turn, agitate an overactive mind. This is especially true if you're drinking it too close to bedtime, as it will elevate your energy levels and cause your brain to be working on overload.
Signs of An Overactive Mind
It's very clear in the evening hours that you're dealing with an overactive mind. But if you happen to have it throughout the day, how do you tell that what you're experiencing is an overactive mind and not just a normal everyday laundry list of things you have to get done.
Here are some signs that you can look for:
- Looping thoughts
- Lack of concentration
- Issues with sleep
- Memory Problems
- Limited attention span
Ways To Combat An Overactive Mind
Once you've identified what the causes are for you, you can then begin creating routines and habits that will help you quiet your brain and focus. Having the ability to slow down and really take in the world around you will not only help with your mental and physical health but your spiritual health as well.
For us, the below ways are some of the best out there to help combat your overactive mind:
Set Aside Time to Worry
Since one of the chief causes of an overactive mind is stress and worry, most people think trying to eliminate those worries or stresses would be the key to calming the mind. But the truth is, nobody is ever going to get rid of all their stresses or things that cause anxiety. It's just not possible. So finding a way to deal with the worry is much more effective.
We suggest trying to set aside some time, whether it be in the morning or at night, whatever works best for you to sit there and have a little worry time. You can utilize journaling in this process or meditation, whatever works for you. Some people simply quiet the room they're in and sit there letting their minds roam free for a designated period of time.
One of the best ways to clear your mind and quiet it during the day is to be active. Get out in nature, take a walk or run, or hit the gym and get your sweat on. Whatever it is, staying active will help deplete your energy levels and therefore help with an overactive mind. It's also a benefit when you are being active if you can do so in the sunlight. The vitamins given to you through the sun can help improve your mood and that in turn might help with calming and clearing your mind.
If you experience an overactive mind during the day, odds are you're going to experience it at bedtime as well. This is where having a designated routine can come in handy. By having a process, you will be able to trigger your brain into realizing it's time to begin the shutdown process. Things like a hot bath, journaling, meditation, or simply turning off all your electronics and reading a good book are all great ways to create a routine that helps your brain know it's time to reset.
Whether you're using journaling as part of your worrying time or you're simply using journaling as a way to get out all your thoughts, it can be a great way to treat an overactive mind.
Oftentimes, an overactive mind is caused by thoughts and overthinking everything, so by getting the thoughts onto paper and out of your brain, it allows your mind to purge itself in preparation for resetting for the day.
Use Holistic Remedies
Using holistic aides to help you quiet your overactive mind is also a great option. This can be done by diffusing essential oils like lavender or other soothing scents into the air as you're doing your nightly routines. You can also utilize herbal teas like chamomile or room sprays to create a calming environment that sets your mind at ease.
Many different factors can contribute to an overactive mind, but by identifying your triggers and finding ways to treat them, you may just be able to quiet that overactive mind and find yourself living a happier and healthier life.