Something I’ve tried recently and have been impressed by is meditation. I downloaded an app called Insight Timer (Android + iOS) and have been using it a few times a day since. It has some premium content but the quantity of free guided meditation content is VERY generous.
It’s basically spending 10-20 minutes calming your mind down, slowing down the racing thoughts and focusing on something else. The thoughts pop back in, but you keep hearing the guide, you realise you’ve become distracted and you re-centre yourself.
I’ve been doing it twice a day, morning and evening, after I wake up and before I go to sleep, and I’ve definitely found it useful in calming myself down in the moment. I have a bad habit of stressing myself out when I wake up at 4:00AM, whereas lately when I’ve woken early, I’ve noticed, put the earbuds in and started a meditation session and usually gone back to sleep after (or during).
I am hoping that it will train me to be better aware of when I’m slipping into negative thought patterns.
There are a lot of different meditations on Insight Timer and it categorises them by all kinds of things. I have mostly stuck to the anxiety section because that’s my problem, but there are a lot of topics – sleep, stress, relaxation, confidence, depression, etc. There’s a lot there.
I thoroughly recommend it for anyone who has trouble switching off.