"Racing thoughts" can have different meanings. People are often associated with the repetitive thoughts that do not purge from the mind. For many others, these thoughts may be difficult to manage and will bombard their mind at an instant. This can often make it difficult to concentrate or lack focus. To find the root cause of all the thoughts that are racing in your mind, to find the right treatment plan it is necessary for your health care provider to understand about the issues that you are experiencing.

Racing Thoughts

In addition to the frequency and the speed with which these racing thoughts hit the mind, the content also plays a significant role. Depression, guilt or sadness might be the result of thoughts that have a negative pattern altogether. At times, the thought patterns do not race and can be unrelenting or ruminative.

For some individuals, the racing thoughts are an idea that is repeatedly hitting the mind and would not stop even when the person tries to stop them. This can be considered as obsession and can relate to various anxiety disorders like obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). The sufferers of OCD may have uncomfortable or unreasonable thoughts that can cause repetitive behavior as well. The focus of these symptoms is often associated with cleanliness, orderliness, symmetry and following strict hygiene practices as well.

You should speak with your physician about various details as well as the experiences that you are facing regarding racing thoughts or racing minds. You may at times, would need to speak to the mental health care professional and find the actual cause of the mind to race. After this, you and your consultant can work to find the right option of treatment for racing thought.

Racing Thoughts: What Causes the Mind to Race?

There may be many related causes for the racing thoughts and can be severely ranging from 'minor' to 'needs attention'. These causes may not be related to the anxiety disorders, but many triggers can influence sudden and racing thoughts. Other associated causes may be also related to the anxiety disorder and can be often termed as secondary relationships that cause racing thoughts or racing mind. Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, Sleep deprivation, Hyperthyroidism, anxiety disorder and Amphetamine dependence are the conditions that may be linked with the racing thoughts troubling a person's mind.

  • Lack of Sleep & Racing Mind: Racing thoughts can also be referred as racing mind, which may deprive a person from getting enough sleep. Racing thoughts may be induced by extending disturbed sleeping patterns or due to chronic sleep apnea. The treatment for Obstructive Airway Disorder and Sleep Apnea can help in improving the airflow and improve sleep in a person that improves the functioning of the brain as well as REM functioning.
  • Anxiety Disorder & Racing Mind: Racing thoughts or racing minds that are associated with the anxiety disorder can be due to various reasons like panic disorder, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder OCD, schizophrenia or general anxiety disorder.
  • Amphetamines: Amphetamines are known to trigger the blood pressure and the heart rate that control the nervous system. Since these are stimulants, they can cause bipolar disorder and show similar symptoms that are mentioned in the above point.
  • Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)-A Trigger For The Mind To Race: Racing thoughts that are a part of ADHD can be commonly associated with adults. As the sufferers of ADHD can get bored easily, this can trigger racing thoughts or racing mind which lead to insomnia. The thoughts that are racing in people suffering from ADHD can be similar to the conditions that are observed in bipolar disorder sufferers.
  • Hyperthyroidism-A Cause For Racing Thought or Racing Mind: Hyperthyroidism is a situation where the thyroid glands secrete too much thyroxin- a thyroid hormone. When thyroxin is present in abundance, it can cause racing thoughts, weight loss, rapid and irregular heartbeat as well as anxiety. Hyperthyroidism is often associated with an inability to focus and anxiety, which makes it difficult for the person to concentrate.
  • Bipolar Disorder & Racing Mind: Bipolar disorders also cause racing thoughts that can be defined by instability in mood which can range from mania, emotional highs and depression. When the brain is in the manic phase, the thoughts occur at the highest intensity. Rambling thoughts that keep on changing constantly can also be a sign for the cause of bipolar disorder.

4 Ways to Get Rid of Racing Thoughts or "Racing Mind"

  1. Consult a Doctor or Therapist To Treat Racing Though or Racing Mind: Managing oneself can be difficult when you are troubled with racing thoughts. You must consider relying on psychotherapy when the racing thoughts interfere with your day-to-day activities. You can work in groups with the therapist and learn ways to manage the racing thoughts as well as other symptoms that are associated with the other panic disorders.

    Some therapists might also ask you to attend a group therapy session to help you get rid of racing thoughts or racing mind. Via group therapy, you will have an option to meet with various people who are troubled with the similar condition. Through these sessions, you may be able to cope with the feelings of staying aloof and share experiences as well as find new techniques to deal with the problem of racing thoughts or racing mind.

    Apart from getting help from a professional, you can also rely on a trustworthy friend or family member when the thoughts become too difficult to control. At times, having a side kick to speak with can help in reducing the problems. Keep the number of your loved one on speed dial so that you can easily speak to him or her when in need. You might also not need to speak to your friend about the troubled mind. Just speaking to a reliable person can bring your mind under control. Speaking to a reliable companion can often help in dealing with the issues that are troubling the mind of a person.

  2. Jot Down the Thoughts: Writing about your thoughts and feelings can be a proactive and positive way to deal with the troubled thoughts. Start to gather all the necessary items and write down the troubled feelings on a piece of paper. Never worry about the spelling or the grammatical errors, just concentrate on writing the thoughts that hit your mind at that instant. Do not worry about elaborating the thoughts as you can speak about the racing thoughts through the writings.

    Writing can also be used as a method to track all the thoughts that are troubling the mind and by doing so, you can easily overcome them. You can maintain a diary or a journal to note down the mood swings as well as anxiety attacks that are associated with the brain. When this is practiced over time, it can help you in uncovering the racing thoughts that are troubling your mind. By writing down the thoughts you can control them easily and take necessary precautions to manage the symptoms as well.

  3. Focus on Breathing and Meditation To Get Rid of Racing Thoughts or Racing Mind: Taking deep breaths can also be a powerful tool for controlling the thoughts and calm the mind. When you are troubled with racing thoughts, indulge in taking deep breaths via the nose and exhaling through the mouth. While doing so, keep your face relaxed and be sure to keep your breath at a constant pace. Hold the breath for a few seconds and exhale gradually through the mouth. These steps have to be repeated and you might feel relaxed as well as refreshed after the drill.

    Once you have finished practicing the breath control drills, consider including various exercises that are associated with meditation. These techniques of relaxation can help you in managing the negative thoughts and flushing your mind with positive energies. Even when you are meditating, your mind may be struck with racing thoughts but with mindful meditation, you can learn to detach these thoughts in a better way. Mindfulness practice can help you in putting away all the bad thoughts, which will eventually help in getting rid of the condition.

  4. Focus Your Energy on Useful Things: Racing thoughts can often scare a person away or make them feel unfocused or scattered. When these thoughts are taken over by the better ones, it may bring awareness to your body and mind in an unusual way. You can do so by channelizing the positive thoughts into any hobby or a task that you love doing. You can also focus your mind on your favorite book or go through the pages of your favorite magazine. If you are a lover of art, utilize your mind in doing creative activities like painting, cooking, woodworking and photography as well. When you participate in something that you like, the mind may become steady as well as focused. When you plan various ways to bring your energy to something good, doing physical exercise might also be an option.

    Engaging your body and mind in regular exercises can help in bringing down the stress levels. A healthy, exercising habit has helped in relieving the anxiety in various sufferers. You can engage your body in a variety of exercises by visiting a local gym, going for aerobics or yoga classes. Doing brisk walking can also help in clearing your head and relax the mind from racing thoughts. When in need, you can also indulge in taking long walks that can relax your mind.

Written, Edited or Reviewed By:


Last Modified On: June 30, 2016

Pain Assist Inc.

Pramod Kerkar
  Note: Information provided is not a substitute for physician, hospital or any form of medical care. Examination and Investigation is necessary for correct diagnosis.

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