5 ways to calm your mind chatter
We all know how it feels to ruminate or dwell on problems that are hard to solve. What can we do when we’re stuck in a loop of thoughts, or memories, or dwelling on difficult issues.
Dr Aneta Kotevski
April 3, 2022
3 min read
We all know how it feels to ruminate or dwell on problems that are hard to solve. Perhaps a difficult situation has come up, or a relationship conflict, or work stress.
Thinking about our problems can be helpful, particularly when this leads to a solution. However, sometimes we find ourselves stuck in loops of thoughts, or memories, or dwelling on difficult issues.
This can be referred to as Mind Chatter.
In other words, your mind is in overdrive trying to solve the problem. But it may also be forming a negative (maladaptive) way of thinking about problems. Moreover, your mind chatter can be distressing, exhausting, and a poor use of time.
Here are 5 ways to calm your mind chatter
1 - What is the problem
Firstly, ask yourself: What is the problem and how I can solve it? Can you make a plan to take action? Set aside time to execute your plan.
2 - Approach it with curiosity
Approach your mind chatter with curiosity. What types of thoughts you are ruminating about? Are they true or false? Are they helpful, or unhelpful?
It's common to accept thoughts as facts, we are not always good at recognising or testing assumptions we’ve made.
Challenging and reframing thoughts and beliefs may not make the problem go away but it can often help us to feel less stress. This can help relieve the stress of the situation, create a feeling of reassurance, and can lead to a calmer mindset.
3 - Focus on something else
Sometimes engaging in thought distracting activities that we love or enjoy can help up to take a break from our mind chatter.
4 - Seek out friends and family
Reduce social isolation. There is an abundance of research that shows our connections with others helps us to focus outside of our mind chatter. This helps us to feel supported and leads to a positive increase in our mood.
5 - Let go of the mind chatter
Sometimes there is no easy way to solve or move past difficult times, and no matter what perspective we take, our mind chatter gets the better of us.
Practicing ‘letting go’ is a mindfulness technique. This is involves an increased awareness of ruminative thoughts, creating space or distance from your thoughts by directing your attention to the present moment.
We can help
A qualified psychologist can help you with mindfulness as well as the other techniques in this article.
We can help you understand where your mind chatter is coming from, and teach you techniques that will help you process these thoughts in a positive way.
Aneta is a registered and endorsed clinical and health psychologist and AHPRA board approved supervisor in clinical and health psychology.