How to slow a racing mind

August 21, 2013 in Meditation, Self Love by Jill

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Do you feel exhausted despite not doing any physical activity?

If this is the case, you are probably not even aware that your thoughts are running a million miles an hour.

I personally found that when my thoughts are endlessly racing around me, I am tired and fatigued. One of the ways I slow my mind is through meditation.

I am no expert on meditation, but through my practice I am going to explain what it means to me, one of the meditations I use, and the benefits I gain from it.

Mediation to me means being completely within the present moment. By present moment I mean right now, right now, and right now. It is not two seconds ago, or in the future. It is right this present moment.

Meditation to me does not only mean sitting in the lotus position, eyes closed and saying “om”; although this is one type of meditation. Another type is doing anything you love.

When you do the things you love (unconditionally) it is easier to be 100% present. For some people that can be writing, running, photography, surfing or reading a book curled up on the couch. For others it is being part of creative business deals, selling candy at the local deli or working as a tour operator.


Whilst you are totally present your thoughts are there, but they hold no power over you. They pass by with no attachment or judgement. That means you do not follow your thoughts, or get involved with them. You just allow them to be there without judgement or attachment.

Sometimes I find there are no thoughts. That is not because I have blocked them out (which I do sometimes outside of a mediative state), it is simply my mind has quietened.

I am not at the point where I am present 24 hours a day, or even 4 hours a day, but I have noticed throughout the day my periods of being present have increased.

I personally find particular environments more conducive to meditation. For example as I write this post I am sitting in Weano Gorge (Karijini National Park) beside a waterfall with water trickling down the rocks, the sound of the birds chirping, with sunshine landing on me and lighting up the gorge. I find this environment both calming and inspirational.


Weano Gorge (Karijini National Park)

I tend to find being in nature easier to go into a meditative state. I guess that is why I consider myself an outdoor person. I am connected with the source of love, mother earth, bringing about my inner smile.

When I am in a state of mediation I notice my breathing slows down, I feel lightness in my body, feeling both calm and peaceful. I also feel connected and loved. I feel inspired and energised. All that surrounds me appears brighter and more vivid. All of these benefits result in me generally feeling happier, able to manage tasks easily without irritation outbursts, and make my day much more enjoyable.

As well as doing the things I love, I also do sitting meditations. Here is one of many meditations I do.

Firstly, position yourself in a comfortable position. For me, I prefer to be sitting, as I tend to drift off to sleep when I am lying down. You can also do this while you are standing on the bus, or in front of your computer at work.

Secondly, focus on something, anything. It can be a leaf on the ground, a colour in a textile, or a chip in the wall. Keep focussed during the entire meditation on whatever you choose. Watch the chosen subject grow, noting its intricate details. For something that seemed so small, it is now growing in size, becoming more lively and vivid.Mulga Flower

Next, whilst still keeping focused on your subject, bring your attention internally. Notice your abdomen rising and falling with each inhale and exhale. You may find your breath is rapid or slow, either way that is fine. Do not try to change it; just allow it be as is.

Observe your thoughts, but do not get involved with them. Just allow them to float past you.

If your mind begins to wander return your focus back to your chosen subject, and then back to your breath.

Start off by doing this meditation for 1 minute, then increase the duration over time. I find doing this meditation great for bringing me back to the present moment. Even doing it for 30 seconds when my mind is racing a million miles an hour I feel revived.