Which causes mad thoughts at night

Constant brooding - stop nagging thoughts

Many people know phases in life in which the head never seems to rest and is constantly thinking about past situations or upcoming events. If these states persist for a long time, excessive and negative thinking can become pathological - this thought process is known as brooding. Pathological brooding is therefore an extreme form of thinking that does not lead to a solution. Often, because of pondering, those concerned are with their attention in the past or future, but not in the current moment.

Those who brood a lot and have recurring thoughts often suffer from insomnia and anxiety. The constant brooding usually causes bad mood, frustration, a feeling of powerlessness and a loss of self-confidence in those affected. It may also be that the brooding shows up especially at night, when there is no distraction possible. This can lead to severe insomnia. Emerging self-doubt and self-criticism are typical of brooding attacks. It becomes more and more difficult to let go of the thoughts, they repeat themselves and trigger unpleasant feelings.

It is not uncommon for the brooding to be caused by a mental illness. If people cannot stop brooding, it can be a symptom of depression, anxiety disorder, or trauma. Those affected try to alleviate their suffering through exaggerated thought. They try to gain insight into their situation. Brooding is supposed to protect against acute failure. However, the thoughts are often negatively distorted that they further promote sadness and anxiety than reduce them. People who have had depression brood often and a lot, which further exacerbates the depressed mood.

There are a few strategies you can use to break the loop of thought. Some of these exercises help immediately, some take time and patience. Try for yourself which exercise suits you to put an end to brooding in the long term.

Set time limit

Most of the time, the thought carousel starts unconsciously. Once you become aware of this, you can set a time limit for yourself. There is the so-called 2-minute test for this and it goes like this: You catch yourself pondering? Then continue brooding for the next 2 minutes. Then stop the thought and ask yourself: Did these 2 minutes of brooding make me smarter? Did the brooding help solve the problem? Did the brooding have an advantage? Do I feel relieved now? If you answer “No” to all questions, stop the thought process, because from here on the thoughts are negative and do you no good.


Regular meditation will calm your head and silence your thoughts, especially as you realize that reviews often lead to negative feelings. Sit in a comfortable position and try to sit upright for 3 minutes. You can close your eyes I am sure that thoughts will flash through your head immediately. Take the attitude of a loving observer here: Imagine that your thoughts are passing by like clouds in the sky. You can also imagine yourself gently touching them with a feather to push them along. Do not identify yourself with the thoughts, for they come and go too. Perhaps after just 3 minutes you will notice how relieving it can be not to grab your thoughts straight away, but to observe them and deal with them carefully. Allow your thoughts to pass you by and practice a little mindfulness daily.


Should you notice again that you have unconsciously got into agonizing brooding, then say loudly and clearly “Stop!”. You can only do this in your mind. But put a stop sign against every brooding attack. You can also reinforce this by supporting the “stop” with a powerful gesture. For example, you can make a fist or stamp your foot. After the “stop”, turn directly to something else so that your head doesn't fall back into brooding.


Realize that your thoughts are not reflecting true facts. Distance yourself from them because you are not your thoughts. Most of the time, those affected go through various scenarios in their heads that never came true. Take the position of an observer and realize that your thoughts are only a fictional construct that can be quickly resolved with a little practice. Do not take every thought to heart, but sometimes consciously let them stand in the distance.


Once you find yourself in a spiral of thoughts, distraction can help. For example, you can shift your attention to your outside world. Watch what is happening around you. For example, you can focus on the people around you: what are they wearing? Where do you want to go? Where are you from? This way you can keep your head busy without the thoughts becoming directly negative. Even simple activities such as reading, listening to audio books, listening to music, watching TV or talking to friends on the phone can help you escape negative spirals of thought.