Coping With Racing Thoughts

yogawomanRacing thoughts can be disturbing during the day, but in the middle of the night they can be very frustrating. Sometimes they can cascade over one issue. For instance, you are anticipating a team meeting at work on friday.

You start to picture negative feedback for your presentation. This can also lead to someone else at the meeting offering an alternative direction and then receiving accolades from the boss.

In the movie, “Office Space”, we see a scene where Peter Gibbons is reprimanded for not submitting his TPS reports.

Subsequently there are repeated scenes with nightmares he has about this conversation and work requirement. The movie is a comedy about work and there is an interesting way that hypnosis plays into relieving his anxiety.

Of course, racing thoughts can also jump around and include worrying one’s romantic relationship, financial situation and parents’ health issues until they form a big knot.

Then when you wake up in the middle of the night it can be very scary as your mind jumps from one fear to the next as your stomach drops.

What can you do at that time?

1) Turn on an inspiring audio mp3 or piece of music.
2) Use some of the questions from Byron Katie’s “The Work” at . An effective one is to stay in the disturbing thought and ask “who would I be without that thought”.

Meditation for Emotional Balance

This meditation was taught by Yogi Bhajan and women are encouraged to do this when worrying occurs.

1) Cross your arms across your chest and place your hands under your armpits. Have the thumbs pointing up in front of your shoulders and the other fingers inside the armpits.
2) Lift up the shoulders.
3) Close your eyes.
4) Breathe slowly for 3 minutes. YB said about this meditation:

“This meditation is called Sunia(n) Antar. It is very good for women. It is essential at times when one is worried or upset and doesn’t know what to do, or when one feels like screaming, yelling, and misbehaving.

When out of focus or emotional, attention should be given to the body’s water balance and breath rate. Humans are approximately 70 percent water, and behavior depends upon the relation of water and earth, air and ether.

Breath, representing air and ether, is the rhythm of life. Normally we breathe 15 times a minute, but when we are able to rhythmically slow down the breath to only 4 breaths per minute, we have indirect control over our minds. This control eliminates obnoxious behavior, promoting a calm mind regardless of the state of affairs.

When there is a water imbalance in the system, and the kidneys are under pressure, it can cause worry and upset. Drinking water, pulling the shoulders up to the ears and tightly locking the entire upper area creates a solid brake that can be applied to the four sides of the brain.

After 2 or 3 minutes, thoughts will still be there, but one does not feel them. This is a very effective method of balancing the functional brain.” (

I thought the comment that the thoughts will still be there but one doesn’t feel them was very interesting. We often get so dramatic over the thoughts that we stop our breathing and lose perspective.

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