The image provided shows two heads with contrasting thought patterns. On one head, there are chaotic loops drawn with a white line, while the other has concentric circles that suggest a calm way of thinking. This illustrates how different people may have varying thought patterns in various life situations.
Dr. Fairlee Fabrett, a psychologist at Harvard-affiliated McLean Hospital, explains how anxiety can lead to busy thoughts. These thoughts often involve constant worry about responsibilities, unfulfilled tasks, and potential future scenarios. Such thoughts can be overwhelming and increase anxiety and stress levels. Fabrett offers five strategies to manage busy thoughts effectively.
The first strategy involves acknowledging and overcoming busy thoughts by admitting to yourself that they are ‘noise’ in your head. Practicing mindfulness, such as counting breaths, can help change your thinking patterns and reduce the impact of these thoughts on your wellbeing. This technique is particularly useful before bedtime when burdensome thoughts arise.
Engaging in activities like reading, listening to music or calling a friend can be an effective way of distracting yourself from busy thoughts and breaking the cycle of anxiety. Physical activity like exercise or completing household chores can also help alleviate anxiety and refocus your attention on other tasks.
Scheduling dedicated time to worry is another helpful strategy that allows you to acknowledge anxious thoughts without letting them interfere with other activities. Fabrett recommends setting a specific time limit for this worrying period to prevent it from becoming an ongoing distraction.
Finally, if busy thoughts significantly affect your life or sleep quality, seeking professional help is crucial. Frequent racing thoughts could be indicative of underlying mental health issues such as anxiety disorders or trauma. Consulting a family doctor or mental health professional can ensure proper support and treatment for managing busy thoughts effectively.
In conclusion, managing busy thoughts is crucial for reducing anxiety levels and improving overall wellbeing. By practicing awareness techniques such as mindfulness or physical activity, scheduling dedicated time to worry or seeking professional help when needed, individuals can better manage their thought patterns and live happier lives free from constant worry and stress.
Fabrett emphasizes the importance of understanding that everyone has different ways of thinking and that it’s okay not to have everything figured out yet.
“It’s important to remember that we all have different ways of thinking,” said Fabrett “It’s okay not to have everything figured out yet.”