March 22nd, 2019

How Do You Stop Racing Thoughts When You Try to Meditate?

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Our Fabulous users have some suggestions for quieting racing thoughts during meditation.

Getting caught up in racing thoughts can happen to anyone and is one of the biggest meditation obstacles people face, especially when they’re just starting out. Luckily, Fabulous’s lovely users have come out of the woodwork to offer advice and support to people who struggle with racing thoughts during meditation.

1. “The goal isn’t to stop the thoughts. The goal is to notice when you are thinking and move back to the breath (or sound or music, whatever you’re using). You might have to do this 100 times in 10 mins. I use “in” and “out” to bring my awareness back to my breathing. But you are never “doing it wrong” as long as you are doing it.”

2. “I don’t try to stop thoughts with thoughts. Attempting to control thinking with thinking a losing scenario. Accept the thoughts. Observe the thoughts if they linger.”

3. “I relax and take a deep breath in. It’s best when it’s completely quiet. When I distract myself with thoughts I slowly come back to feel my body and breath.”

4. “I just keep trying to focus on my breathing. It requires practice like anything you do, especially if there is a lot on your mind. Longer meditation also helps and always go back to your breathing.”

5. “I basically let my mind roam. When I notice that I’m too far away from settling down my thoughts, I focus on the meditation music and that helps me come back to my meditation purposes.”

6. “Oh my gosh! Basically, I try to concentrate on my breathing, which keeps me from being distracted by thoughts or sounds coming through my meditation. But please do not listen to me because, although I do quite a bit, I am not really great at meditation. I can relax my body quite well, but meditation is still rather new to an old broad like me. I am 82 and when I went to school in my hometown, boys and girls were separated into individual genders. G-d forbid if a boy looked at a girl and she smiled back at him! No cell phones, no computers, no colored movies, but we did have soda pop and popcorn in our movie theatres.”

7. “I’m still learning how to meditate, but I do have really bad insomnia and that’s the time when my mind races the most. I have to do positive self-thinking and control my mind.”

8. “You don’t. Do not worry, that isn’t the point of the exercise. You will always think; the point is to observe the thought and then return to a point of focus, most often the breath. As time goes on, you will find that you become better at noticing when you are thinking instead of allowing the mind to be swept away in thought.”

9. “I let the thoughts happen and put them into a bubble and let them float away to my higher power. If I’m supposed to think on them again they will come back later, and I think about pink bubbles until I can clear my head.”

10. “I don’t try to stop thoughts with thoughts. Attempting to control thinking with thinking a losing scenario. Accept the thoughts. Observe the thoughts if they linger.”

11. “The end goal of meditation is not to have a great eyes-closed experience, but to improve our eyes-closed experience.”

12. “Just accept what happens and know that having random and racing thoughts is just part of the process of releasing stress during meditation.”

13. “Practice. It took me a few months of guided meditation a few times a week. Now I can just make my mind go quiet. The first few weeks I would catch myself thinking about the fact that I was thinking about other things and gently bring myself back and tell myself to focus (all in my head) and eventually I was able to focus for longer periods of time without wandering and get to a quiet space in my head faster. Now I can do it in a matter of seconds. It seems odd to have a guided meditation talking about thoughts wandering now because there are no thoughts like there used to be. It’s just sort of a sense of Being. Keep practicing. You’ll get there.”

14. “I don’t 🙂 I just notice my thoughts and let them be. And after a while, they calm down. And “a while” can be a short or a very long time, but eventually, it happens.”

15. “The basic instruction for meditation is centered around focusing on the breath and being mindful to your body’s sensations, and since I use guided meditations I am always advised to acknowledge any thoughts that come up, then to just let it go and return my attention to my breathing.”

16. “You acknowledge that you’re mind is wandering too much and too rapidly, then take a deep relaxing breath, relax your shoulders, and refocus on your breathing. As many times as you have to. Eventually, it won’t happen so much. Sometimes it takes a while, but you’ll get it.”