When you’re worried about something, it’s easy to start overthinking. In fact, it can be the first thing you do. Perhaps you’re mentally stuck on a comment you made, an email you sent, or a resume you submitted for a job. Maybe you’re replaying the moment over and over in your mind, wondering if you did anything wrong.
While this behavior is totally normal, overthinking is bad for your health. According to a 2013 study, fixating on the same thoughts may increase your risk of developing certain mental health conditions.
Ruminating, which is repetitive thinking, can also lead to other consequences if you’re not careful. For example, you may start to constantly search for threats, rely on reassurance to feel better, or plan excessively, which can result in more stress if things don’t go your way.
That’s why it’s so important to learn how to stop overthinking and relax. If you want to break the cycle of rumination that you’re in, here are five natural ways that you can stop overthinking and experience relaxation.
When you need to clear your mind, meditation is a great way to achieve that. Multiple studies have shown the benefits that mediation has on anxiety and stress.
For example, a meta-analysis that included around 1,300 adults found that meditation may reduce anxiety. In fact, the effects of meditation were most notable in the participants with the highest level of anxiety.
Additionally, another study found that eight weeks of mindfulness meditation can help decrease anxiety symptoms, promote positive self-statements, and improve the way you cope and react to stress.
2. Use CBD
Cannabidiol (CBD) is one of many naturally occurring compounds in the hemp plant. It does not have any intoxicating effects, meaning you can’t get high from using CBD. And this natural remedy is federally legal in the United States.
Because of its many therapeutic properties, more and more people are using CBD for their health and wellness. One of the most popular reasons that people love this remedy is because it’s great at reducing anxiety and stress. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), CBD has shown promise in reducing generalized anxiety disorder.
Additionally, research suggests that CBD can help soothe social anxiety disorder (SAD). In a 2011 study, researchers gave people with SAD 400 mg of CBD or a placebo. And researchers discovered that the participants who took CBD experienced lower anxiety levels.
Studies also indicate that CBD can help manage post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). The hemp-derived compound may help alleviate nightmares and the replaying of negative memories.
So if you want a natural remedy that can decrease your anxiety and stress so that you stop overthinking and relax, use CBD. Whether it’s an oil or an edible, the remedy will work as long as you get it from a credible CBD brand.
3. Go outside
Sometimes, nature is the best medicine. When you’re overthinking, take some time to go outside and relax. Exposure to natural light promotes your body’s production of serotonin and vitamin D, both of which help boost your mood.
Green spaces can also help slow rumination so that you don’t continuously replay the same thoughts and experience more depression and anxiety as a result. Even better, going outside is a great stress reliever.
In 2019, a study found that salivary cortisol levels drastically decreased when people spent time in nature. And those who spent 20 to 30 minutes outside experienced the best benefits out of all the participants.
4. Look for a healthy distraction
Finding a healthy distraction is another way that you can stop overthinking and relax. Ideally, the distraction should be something that you enjoy. That way, you can focus on an activity you like versus doing something mindless.
However, because this strategy boils down to personal preference, the distraction you choose may differ from others. But here are some ideas that you can use:
- Take a yoga class or go to your favorite workout class
- Write in your journal
- Volunteer at a local organization
- Take up a new hobby, like baking or cooking
- Trying a new recipe
- Read a book that you’ve been eyeing
All of these solutions are great ways to stop overthinking and clear your mind. And most of them can be done at home, so you don’t have to do anything wild to relax and experience a sense of calm.
5. Take a deep breath
Has anyone ever told you to take a deep breath? If so, their suggestion has a lot of merits. Breathing exercises help lower your stress level and promote relaxation.
By doing a bit of breathwork, your mind receives a message to relax and calm down. And when this happens, your brain sends the same message to your entire body. The end result is deep relaxation and inner peace, and all you have to do is take a few deep breaths.
You can also get creative by doing different types of breathing exercises. For example, you can try belly breathing, equal breathing, yogic breathing, and more. There are plenty of options at your disposal. All you have to do is pick the one you prefer.
What happens when you stop overthinking and relax?
When you stop ruminating on the same thoughts and experience inner peace, you will be emotionally and mentally healthier. You’ll be able to conquer your day, live in the present, and enjoy the moment.
But first, you have to implement one or more of the above strategies to see any progress. You can’t continue to live in your thoughts and let your mind have all of the control. If you want to stop overthinking and relax, you have to take concrete steps.
So decide which tips you want to implement and start putting them into action. Once you do, you’ll experience the benefits of a quiet mind and a relaxed spirit.
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