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racing thoughts


Radha
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do you have any ideas on how to help stop your mind from racing? i tried meditation, cant do it! try to distract myself with t.v. and write stuff down, but any other ideas? i hate it when i cant shut off my brain so i can just relax and be at peace in the moment, or but just sleep! feel so wired! but exhausted!

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I totally understand what you mean!! My mind goes a hundred miles per hour ALL the time :) It is so frustrating- I feel like I can't even talk as fast as my thoughts are racing...but the strange thing is, my mother and even her father have this problem to the extent that they just talk so much you get stressed out listening to them. But my mom swares she can't do anything to keep her mind from being in a thousand places at once. I hope I never end up doing the talking so much thing (lol, I talk enough already). But I wonder if others have this problem too? I thought it was more of a personality thing, but maybe it is related to the POTS and constant adrenaline. I am always exhausted too.

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I have always had this problem too. I have been trying to work on this for the past 2 years. Even before I came down with the POTS, I was beginning to realize that it wasn't good for my health. And it probably made me susceptible to illness. I try to keep myself occupied by doing constructive things such as reading, so that I don't have time to get lost in my thoughts. When my mind starts to race, sometimes taking deep breaths or lying down helps. It happens more when I am tired or stressed out, so I try to relax and get more sleep. Before my illness, I had a crazy work/social schedule, so I was constantly wired and running around. I realize now that if and when I am lucky enough to get my POTS under control, I can never go back to that life. (I have to find a new job, but that's another story) I'm also trying to cut down on caffiene and sugar. But that's really hard, because food is one of the few things that makes me happy these days...

-Rita

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aaaack!

i am EXACTLY like jess describes being.

i started thinking maybe i had was a compulsive talker and need to go to "compulsive talkers anonymous!" :):P i fear i have reaced the point of talking to the point of it driving folks nuts! i was so glad to hear that others feel that way too though about talking. i thought i was completely nuts.

anyway, i know my racing thoughts just waste valuable energy and i also try to do meditation, mindfulness, etc. etc. but it is soooo hard. i want to badly to learn to just BE in the moment, not always somewhere else with my mind.

i meditate almost everyday and i often pass the entire thirty minutes and realize my thoughts raced the whole time and that i didn't focus on my breath at all.

i find this all very frustrating. i also find that when i am more tired, stressed, etc. the symptoms are worse. they seem worse when all i really need is rest...it's like the physical fight or fligh that our body goes in to to keep us from passing out kicks in mentally too causing racing thouhts...does that make any sense?

i am not very linear! can you tell? can't type as fast as the mind is racing! :D

anyway, if anyone finds good tips, i'd love 'em! until then, at least we are not alone in this! :)

oh, i am also incredibly fatigued all of the time.

emily

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i can never seem to shut up, but thought it was just because i am home alone all day, so when i get a chance to talk to someone, i let it rip! i know it is annoying to people as i have seen it on their faces. how mortifying. but then i trip up, because my brain is going two hundred light years ahead of my tongue. so i never seem to make any sense. i think i am slowing down a little, but only because i am going through a rough spot. and feel too crummy to talk much. but i will tell you, i have the most vivid and weird dreams every single night and it feels like all i did was dream and never got any rest! that drives me crazy. morgan :unsure:

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I have this problem too, and I find that distraction is the best fix for it. I cannot be left to sit and think; it is horrible for my health!

Try calling and talking to a friend, doing a crossword puzzle, watching something educational on TV, reading or anything that requires your mind to be working paying attention to something else.

The other thing I do is meditate, and when I do this, the racing thoughts get worse at first. But I follow a technique in which I repeat a single word, over and over in my head -- I usually use "peace" or "breathe" or something one-syllable and calming. Some people use the word "one" or say "ohm" (a yoga word that I think is Sanskrit or something). Every time you think of something else -- and you will -- just accept it, but go back to that word. You will get better at it with time, and some days are easier than others.

Best to you,

Amy

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Sometimes I get so far ahead of what I'm thinking vs. saying, my hubby will stop me and say, "I missed that low flying thought, please repeat". I also meditate once a day, twice if I can. I also use the one word chant "breath". I have done this for years so I'm pretty good at it now.

And as fast as they come, the faster they go. I have notepads and pens EVERYWHERE. Not kidding either, even in the bathroom, kithchen(2), bedroom(2), living room(4), in the car, my purse... you get the idea.

Thank goodness I can multitask.

Blackwolf

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like Blackwolf, i have a paper with me at all times to write down little notes, since i'm so obsessive about not forgetting one single thought! my poor mom has to listen to me all day, saying many things repeatedly, but thank God she is so patient, and yes like Emily, i find i talk more and mind races more , the more exhausted i am.........its nice to know others can relate! thanks so much for replying, i guess its just another part of this complex illness!!

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Radha,

Nicole finds that her mind races too - like her brain is on overdrive. She too can feel wired yet exhausted which certainly seems like such a contradiction yet bizarre contradictions seem to be part of the POTS sceneriio.

While "overthinking" to a degree seems to be something Nicole may have inherited, it certainly seems to have been very much amplified when her POTS symptoms first began. And then when her POTS symptoms flare it gets even worse- sometimes it's horrible for her- racing, racing thoughts- unable to shut it down on her own. So her remedy is to take Klonapin which quiets down her nervous system and thus helps to reduce her constant thoughts. The dose for everyone is an individual thing. Have you ever tried it? It also helps to reduce the wired feeling Nicole gets in her arms and legs and elsewhere in her body. She takes it as needed. Sometimes she doesn't take it at all and sometimes she takes as much as 3 mgs. per day in divided doses.

Beverly

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Meditation is good, and balancing it with outwardly-focused tasks is best. Two suggestions: Singing to your favorite tunes (rock n' roll at the top of my lungs is SO fun), and playing a musical instrument (or painting, or crafts, whatever you enjoy most.) If you channel the energy in your mind towards productive things that you also happen to enjoy, you also get the self-confidence boost from it.

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Racing is what the mind does. Try not to be so hard on yourself and if you can just begin to notice it when it starts wandering off. Don't try necessarily to reign it back in, just watch where it went and notice that it changes and starts off in another direction.

My experience with meditation isn't that I can learn to "control the mind" but in time I hope to be able to live more peacefully with it. To watch it instead of identifying totally with my own thoughts. What a novel idea -- not to take your own thoughts personally! It makes me chuckle. But that is where I want to be.

Last month I began a formal sitting practice. I do 20 minutes each morning and each evening and I intend to keep at this for at least 6 months just to see what happens. No expectations -- I realize there are no magic potions. But I am curious to see where this may lead.

There is a free download of this "breathing practice" at the following link.

http://mipham.com/audiotalks.html

I like this guys book as well.

My other book recommendation would be Eckhart Tolle

The Power of Now

http://eckharttolle.com/mainpage.htm

His second book stillness speaks is cool too -- but his first one is really powerful. What struck me is that he speaks honestly about living a life of unbearable pain and depression for years and believes there is a "simple" way out. He's a simple man and he isn't selling an expensive comprehensive program that will "show you the way". He seems to speak from his heart within a spacious stillness that comes across even when reading the book. I noticed that Audible.Com has lots of his lecture serious available for download -- so if you would prefer to listen rather than read there is a lot to choose from.

Good luck on your healing journey.

EM

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I found that meditation actually creates more stress, frustration, depression, anger, etc., for me. That's because I cannot still my mind and that inability drives me crazy.

Instead, I have listed below a number of things that can keep me focused on something other than my thoughts. I know there are MANY more things that will allow you a "mindful meditation" and you may even find a new hobby as well.

- - - - - -

Learning or playing a musical instrument

Crossword puzzles or other word games (computer versions of Scrabble, Boggle, Bookworm and others are just as good) - I love jigsaw puzzles too, but my mind will bounce between chatter and attention to the task at hand, which is ok

Reading anything that captures your attention and imagination

Conversing with a child

Making a computer list of all the songs on your CDs

Making a homeowners insurance list of all the clothing and possessions in your house, including their approximate value, then documenting with photos and videos

Walking somewhere beautiful (park, beach, etc.) and just letting your mind do whatever it wants

Taking a class, whether in person, via web, or home study

Writing, drawing, carpentry or any other creative or skill-based task

Volunteer at a school or hospital if you are able

Learning and playing card games or board games

Research any topic (mine is almost always health-related)

Organize your desk, a room, a shelf, a closet, the attic or basement, etc.

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Opus,

I love your suggestions! Two of them in particular - conversing with a child and organizing closets, etc...both of those I also find to be not only healing but they make me feel more relaxed.

Organizing can take a lot of things off your mind because you feel fresh when you're done B) And talking to a child...sheesh, I have to do this all day every day but when I really sit down one-on-one and spend time with Ethan it is so awesome. I am allowed to be a kid again for a breif time, and am reminded that life really can be as simple as it seems to a child, if you let it.

I just wanted to say...great ideas!!

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I'm with Opus. I cannot meditate no matter how many times I have tried. The quieter I get the little munchkins in my brain go to town!!!

I find doing things like you mentioned more relaxing. My house is super organized. My family hates it.

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okay,

will someone PLEASE come and organize my house!?

my BIGGEST problem is that i have so little energy combined with the fact that i am a packrat...

the combination means that i am sooo behind and so overwhelmed with stuff to sort through, organize etc. it stresses me out so much.

i can't let go of wanting to be organized! i need to get over it, i know...

but since you are all so organized, i think i will hire one of you!B)

you know, to be my professional organizer. B)

sorry, off topic, but had to chip in.

maybe i should be cleaning instead of meditating??B)

take care,

i am glad to know i am not alone on the mind racing thing.

emily

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