In this article you will learn 3 easy steps to reset your spiraling mind so that you can focus on just one thing.
What causes a Spiraling Mind?
It comes from you being over worked, over tired, over stressed, over anxious – and simply put, OVER IT! Do any of these things sound like your situation?You are an essential worker, working overtime, teacher (both in-person and virtual), Stay at home parent navigating remote learning, working from home, all while trying to keep the house clean and stay healthy?
You are not alone in these feelings. They are common and they can be scary and overwhelming when you start to feel all of this at once. There is HOPE to reset a spiraling mind.
“You Betta Recognize!”
When you start to feel like you have been breathing shallow, and have not allowed yourself to take a deep breath, you have a spiraling mind friend. As scary as it is, and as cliche as it sounds… the first step is recognizing there is a problem. Maybe it is not that you are breathing shallow. Maybe you are tense and tight, or have a to-do list that is getting longer with nothing accomplished on it.
Recognizing these feelings is the first step in getting them under control.
O.K. Let’s get into the reason you clicked on this article – How to make the spiraling mind STOP!
Step One: Spiraling Mind and Breathing
Mentioned above – you saw that one of the keys to resetting is to recognize that it is happening, right? So Stop and take a DEEP BREATH. Fill up your chest and then breathe out slowly. Take your time and even a few of these deep breaths. This releases some of the tension you are putting your body under while trying to obtain perfection. I am only writing this from experience as I am a self proclaimed recovering perfectionist.
Breathing is the first major part of the reset of a spiraling mind.
Step Two: Drink Water
The act of drinking water can help re-route your thoughts. You actually do have to do some thinking when you are drinking. If you don’t, you could choke, water could “go down the wrong pipe” and the next thing you know, you are drowning.
When you have a spiraling mind, focusing on one thing for any amount of time seems impossible. You have to implement some amount of focus (however small it is) to drink.
Staying hydrated keeps your mind clearer than if you are pounding back coffee all day. You can read more about staying hydrated here. And if you need more information on how much water you should drink, you can see helpful tips here.
In other words – Water is important, and is a key factor in resetting your spiraling mind.
Final Step: Set a Timer
Chances are you have a smart watch, and if not a smart watch a smart phone. Aren’t all phones smart phones now? But are they making us less smart the more we use them? Are we depending on “Google” to give us all of our answers? OK – Here I am trying to tell you how to reset your spiraling mind and that is exactly what I am doing!
Oh boy… let me reset my spiraling mind. Recognize. Chug some water. Reset my timer… and I am back!
The last step involves setting a timer. I prefer to set a timer for 30 min. That 30 min is used to focus on JUST ONE THING. One thing only.
Hear me out. 30 min may be overwhelming for you. If this is the case, make it 15 min. Set a time limit that you can feel comfortable about sticking to one task.
Let me give you an example.
Your one task is to get a workout in. Reset your spiraling mind, take a deep breath, chug some water, set a timer and get after it. When the timer goes off, then you have the option of moving on to another task or reset the timer and continue your work out.
Another example is cleaning house – let me be more specific. Doing laundry, or even more specific, scaling clean laundry mountain and putting it all away. You take a deep breath, chug some water, set a timer and get after it! When the timer goes off, you can choose to take a break or reset the timer and finish the task.
Closing Thoughts on the Spiraling Mind
Now just because you follow these steps does not mean that interruptions do not happen. In just the time I am writing this, I have heard “Mommy, can you come wipe me?” And “Hey Hun, any ideas on what is for lunch today?”
When those things happen they happen. Something else can happen too…
Yesterday I was cleaning the kitchen, then I got a spiraling mind. My daughter’s sheets needed to be washed, when was the last time I vacuumed? And the list started to grow. This happens often you see, but yesterday I was able to tell that I was spiraling.
Sometimes you will be in the middle of your task and your mind will spiral and take you somewhere else or to something else. When this happens, and it will, just remember the three easy steps above.
I use these three steps daily because it is so easy to become overwhelmed. Today you are facing things that are unprecedented. You are living through History. It is O.K. to take a min and breathe and relax. I challenge you to even set your timer for 30 min to an hour just to enjoy a book, listen to a podcast, or even watch a movie (although this will be longer than 30 min).
These three easy steps to reset your spiraling mind are meant to help you. They have helped me time and time again. I use them myself DAILY!
One last thing, some days this is not going to work. Keep trying anyways. There will be some days that you will be so overwhelmed that you may think I am a liar that these steps work. Try anyways. You are not alone in this struggle. It will get better.