I swear, if my brain had its own identity it would be a hyperactive child. Sometimes I struggle to control my thoughts and I allow them to control me. Does this happen to you? At times my thoughts spin ridiculous stories. If I spend too long under the curse of my brain, I am left feeling overwhelmed and out of control. So how can you reset your mind when this happens?
Yes, we can choose to avoid people who drag us down. We can invest less time in those who talk to us. But what happens when this dialogue is coming from within? How do we escape ourselves? How do we take control of our minds and change the pattern?
We are going to discuss how to recognize when we need to reset our minds. The benefits this will bring and of course, I will share tips on how to do this.
- How do I know if I need to reset my mind?
- What are the benefits of resetting my mind?
- 5 simple ways to reset your mind
- Wrapping up
How do I know if I need to reset my mind?
Maybe your brain is screaming at you to stop. To change direction. Each time I have wandered down a path that was so obviously wrong for me, my brain and body let me know. They essentially tried to halt me in my path. They did everything they could to spin me around and redirect me. From giving me insomnia and exhaustion. To render me almost mute.
As well as recognizing that we need to reset our mind. it can be helpful to self-reflect and check in on ourselves. Are we on the right path? Stories of drastic lifestyle changes and career 360s excite me. Change takes courage and the skill of listening to our innermost yearnings.
You may be suffering from burnout and not even realize it. Or maybe you feel in a perpetual state of anxiety. Ultimately, if you struggle to relax it’s time to reset the mind.
What are the symptoms of burnout?
Burnout is not just an acute condition that affects us in the short term when we are working long hours on challenging tasks. Scientists have discovered that if burnout goes unchecked, it can have a long-term impact on our well-being.
Symptoms of burnout are similar to symptoms of depression. They include fatigue, a loss of passion and an increase in cynicism and negativity.
When we experience burnout we feel our reserves are depleted. We have nothing left to give. But it is not just about working long hours.
Alexandra Michel suggested burnout “results when the balance of deadlines, demands, working hours, and other stressors outstrips rewards, recognition, and relaxation”.
I like this quote. The thing I focus on is the “rewards, recognition and relaxation”. Think about these factors in both a work and personal life setting. Without these we feel taken for granted and exhausted.
What are the symptoms of an anxious mind?
An anxious mind can look like many things. It holds on to negative memories. It can spiral us out of control and catastrophize situations. Or it has us living in a perpetual state of fear and worry.
Living in a constant state of anxiety impacts our central nervous system, immune system and cardiac system. It leaves us more susceptible to weight gain, heart disease and a weakened immune system.
If we don’t intervene with an anxious mind, we may suffer the physical consequences.
What are the benefits of resetting my mind?
When we ground ourselves and take back control of our minds, we invite calmth in our lives.
Our quality of life improves when we reset our minds. We reap immediate benefits and we also intercept and prevent the negative long-term consequences of an overactive mind.
Initial psychological and physiological benefits of resetting the mind include:
- Reduction of fear or worrying about the future.
- Less negative thinking.
- Bringing our mind into the present.
- Heightened sense of well-being.
- Increase in healthy productivity.
- Improved sleep.
- Lower blood pressure.
- Lower heart rate.
5 simple ways to reset your mind
The first step is always recognizing there is a problem. We owe it to ourselves to live as kindly and happily as we can. This does not always come naturally.
The happiest people I know have to work at this. They invite happiness into their lives. They take the time to reset their mind.
It is relevant to recognize that sometimes, simply removing some things from our lives can help reset our minds.
Let’s discuss 5 simple ways you can reset your mind to invite more tranquility into your life.
1. Avoid alcohol
Alcohol affects serotonin and other neurotransmitters in the brain. This impacts our levels of anxiety. Interestingly, alcohol induced anxiety can actually increase as the effects of alcohol wears off.
Not only this, but the detrimental effect alcohol has on sleep is profound.
I don’t drink much anymore. But even if I have the odd glass of wine, the sleep data on my smartwatch is fascinating. In essence, just one glass of wine results in a poor night's sleep. It raises my heart rate and breathing rate and reduces my quality of sleep.
This article outlines that alcohol helps us fall asleep quicker, but reduces our REM sleep. REM sleep is required to help our body repair. It is essential for our daily functioning.
As I typed this title, I decided I should put my money where my mouth is. I manage a couple of Twitter accounts. I have decided to take a month's break from these. In fact, I just deleted this app off my phone. It feels liberating.
Consider what social media is essential in your life and what is not.
By its very nature, social media is addictive. It is designed to be this way. If the benefits it brings outweigh the negatives, then great. But very often, we can find ourselves getting sucked into our social media.
Comparing our real life with the highlight reel of others can leave us feeling pretty rubbish.
Social media instigates an internal dialogue “why can’t that be my life”, “why wasn’t I invited”, “I wish I could do that”. Ultimately, social media can cause us to feel more disconnected than connected.
I urge you to switch off notifications and delete apps from your phone. Please, for your own well-being, limit your social media use.
Social media is constant noise. It is relentless and distracting. When we control our social media consumption, we automatically control our minds.
3. Exercise to be in the moment
I struggle to sit still. I struggle to meditate. But I am trying. What really works for me is movement. When I exercise, I manage to calm my brain. I can find myself switching off and time passes without me even realizing it.
Before I go for a run, I have thoughts and worries cavorting around my brain. After a run, I feel clear-headed. The very nature of exercise helps untangle the brain knots we all get.
Find what works for you. Whether it’s running or swimming. Perhaps it’s walking or yoga. Whatever it is, go and do it. Distract your brain.
Those of us who exercise find it easier to relax and benefit from improved mood.
4. Prioritize your sleep
Don’t scrimp on sleep. I used to think I was superhuman. I genuinely believed I could survive on five hours of sleep a night. But it all came crashing down. Now, I prioritize sleep. Any less than my usual nine hours and my brain goes joyriding.
Quality sleep is my answer for most things.
Listen to your body. Be the person who chooses an early night when you need to reset your mind. Don’t be the person who opts for alcohol and clubbing as a temporary escape. If you do the latter, I promise your mind chatter will come back tenfold. I know from experience.
As outlined in this article, a good night's sleep has an incredible impact on our life. It helps to:
- Boost our immune system.
- Prevent weight gain.
- Improve our mood.
- Strengthen our heart.
- Increase our productivity.
- Increase exercise performance.
- Improve memory.
5. Seek help
Ultimately, it is really important to know when we need to seek help from an expert.
Sometimes there is only so much we can do. If you have done all you can, yet you're still struggling to reset your mind. Please be kind to yourself and seek help.
This may be in communicating with your line manager about your workload. It may look like a visit to your doctor. Maybe you would benefit from some therapy sessions.
Remember, you are not alone. If you can’t reset your mind yourself, find someone else who can.
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You don’t always need to listen to your brain. When your brain takes you off on tangents and into dark and fearful places, it’s time to reset. The biggest step is in knowing when you need a reset. Then it is making sure you do everything you can to create an environment conducive to calm.
What's your favorite strategy to reset your mind? I'd love to hear from you in the comments below!