How to Keep Your Thoughts from Spiraling Out of Control


It’s easy to say that we need to take control of ourselves and calm down, but it can be very hard to actually do it. So, what can we do to make it a little easier?

Grounding ourselves in the here and now and reminding ourselves that right at this moment we are okay, can go a long way toward establishing a sense of calm in our lives.

Here is a list of a few things that I’ve found helpful and effective:

►This is when routines and habits can be very comforting; they give me a feeling of control in a situation that may be chaotic. Routines such as waking up and going to bed at my usual times, running usual errands on the customary days, making myself a cup of coffee or tea the first thing in the morning, etc.;

►Performing mundane yet essential tasks. Doing the laundry, ironing, cleaning out the garage, mowing the lawn and the like, gives me a sense that my day is stable and normal—a feeling that all is right with the world;

►When I’m feeling anxious or panicky, I make some of my favorite comfort meals such as macaroni and cheese, chicken soup, and hotdogs;

►Sometimes when I’m feeling off kilter, I’ll also feel cold. I make sure I’m warm enough—I’ve been known to sit with a heating pad on my back or wrapped around my feet, even in the summer!

►Surround myself with uplifting people (my very close friends and family as well as biographies of people I admire) and uplifting things (Power Phrases and Pep Words, music, CDs and websites of inspirational and motivational messages).

►Re-connect with Nature and its beauty that’s all around me each day. Often I’ll sit on my deck and watch the clouds float across the sky and the trees swaying in the breeze. I’ll also close my eyes and listen to the sounds around me: birds, crickets, cars traveling on a nearby road.

►Narrow my focus to this moment. I don’t think too far ahead or look too far down the path. It’s too much, too overwhelming. I don’t have the answers for the future but I can figure out an answer for this moment. And, when the next moment arrives, I’ll figure out an answer for that moment.

Your homework today is to make a list of things that calm you, that make you feel stable, and that give you a sense of hopefulness and control. Keep the list handy and turn to it as often as you need to.

You can do it! I believe in you!

I’m so proud of you!

Your Friend and Pep Pal,



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