How do you stop thoughts racing around when you try to meditate?

Marinelza I.
You can’t, and shouldn’t, actively try to stop them. Instead, accept the fact that your mind will race every once in a while, and when you do notice it, just calmly let it pass and ”return your focus”.
Sven S.
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.
Meditation is still rather new to an old broad, like me. I am 82 and when I went to school in my home town, 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 pop corn in our movie theatres.
Wendy F.
My thoughts still race but meditation is working on controlling your mental processes. I have found being consistent in a meditative practice teaches you how to control your thoughts and focusing on being present in the moment. Continue to practice you will begin to see and feel a difference.
Ruben O.
This is something I struggle with a lot. I have racing thoughts even while trying to meditate. I haven't figured out how to manage stress and "choose one thought over another." It got so bad I ended up in the ER this past Sat with a sever panic attack (never experienced one physically before) and thought I was
Leander T.
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
Gusti Y.
It gets better with practice, like most things. But if I am really having a difficult time quieting my mind, I will use a guided meditation. There are many different kinds – some with music, nature sounds, etc. But my favourite kinds are those that are “guided”, meaning there is a voice to talk me down and give me prompts on what to do and when. I also love the “binaural beats” meditations – they are not quite music but they are tuned in a specific way to calm your brain activity. I find that they help a lot.
Taylor O.
Focus on the task at hand and realize that you can get to your racing thoughts later, they can be dealt with later. Let them flow away instead of toward your mind.
Charlotte T.
It comes with practice. Use guided meditation at first. It keep you with itself and not let you drift away with your thoughts. Guided meditation like body scanning is an excellent way. More you do, more you will absorbed with the process.
Emanuela E.
I try to first focus on my breath. If my mind keeps wandering, I give myself permission to wander and after a little bit I try to bring it back to my breath. Then I breathe deeply and pay attention to what sensations I feel in my body. If my thoughts keep racing I let them race again and keep coming back to the breath after a little bit. Keep doing that for a while. Meditation isn’t about being perfect so even if you can bring your attention to your breath for a couple of secs then that’s ok, you’re already meditating. The more you practice the easier it will be to control your focus. It’s like exercise
Nikolaj W.
I relax and take a deep breath in. It's the best when it's completely quiet. When i distract myself with thoughts i slowly come back to feel my body and breath
Celma Q.
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.
Ivan J.
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.
Frederikke C.
First, you can’t stop your brain from having. It’s like telling your heart to stop beating. Second, I find that hard to see on my breathing is helpful. By that I mean, focus on what the temperature of the air is as it comes in your nose. How do you cooler air moves The hair inside your nose. How’s the air is warmer as it comes out of your nose. Those types of things. Also, if you’re going to say something then make it a mantra. One word or one sentence. And when you find your mind wondering, gently bring it back to the mantra. Hope that helps
Marolo N.
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.
Susie J.
I basically let my mind roam. When I notice that I’m to far away from settling down my thoughts, I focus on the meditation music and that helps me comeback to my meditation purposes
Connie O.
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.
Connor R.
Simply observe the thoughts, never try to stop them, control them or change them . Just acknowledge their existence. Watch them flying in your mind, after a while the thoughts will notice you’re not giving them enough attention so they leave. “Accept them as they are and then let go”
Erin T.
You don't. You observe the thoughts, even if they are racing around. It's about your relationship with thoughts. If you try desperately to stop them, you'll build up tension in your body which make it even more difficult. Try to focus on your breath or another object of focus and when you notice you have wandered off, try to get back to it, observing that you wandered off.
Colleen C.
Focus on my breath, and gently without self judgement restate my mantra. If all else fail I stop and meditate another time.
Victoria Y.
Well one of the thing I do is to put all my concentration on my breathing.. Also I then to have a quote I like to say If I notice I’m my thought are straying
Fabr Cia Y.
I divert focus back to breathing. Sometimes I’m imagining that I’m sitting on the mountains. When thoughts are racing around me, I always ask them to come with me to the mountains. Then they disappear
Mirza Z.
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 abou 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.
Serenity P.
I don’t. I refocus on my inner sense of being and try to stay there. Eventually I can stay there for longer periods. I’ve found even if the thoughts keep coming back in, the quiet time time still deepens my sense of calm. So it’s always worthwhile to sit with myself in stillness, or as close to it as I can come.
Ma Lyne S.
My meditation comes at the end of a yoga cool down stretch
I usually have an incense stick or candle burning
Whilist still in Downward Facing Dog pose
I start my deep breathing and relax my form
After the count of 10, I start to repeat
I am Loved
I am Healthy
I am Strong
After 5 repetitions I start to feel focused on all the positive things that make Me ME
Veraldina E.
I try to focus in on my physical body. Feel the weight of my chest rising and falling as I breathe. Feel texture against my fingertips. I think about pulling all my thoughts back into my body and narrowing in on pure sensations.
Marius E.
I try to focus on my breathing, because that’s real in this moment, your thoughts are most of the time in the past, what you can’t change anymore or in the future, and you don’t know what will happen in the future. So try to concentrate on your breath, because your mind can only have one thought at a time
Roger F.
I accept every thought that comes into my mind, I heard a saying that goes like this: thoughts are like children (babies) you won’t get past them until they get what they want:
Zeneide P.
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 breathe.
Tara T.
Don't try to stop them. Just accept them and go back to listening to your breath. Let them disappear, don't start thinking them:).
Ben T.
The answer may not be what you’re looking for but, in truth, you don’t stop them. Instead you observe them with an unbiased perspective. Let them race around while you sit still and watch. Over time they see you’re paying no energy to them and they slow down!
Yanis Y.
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.
Leona F.
Well, breathing is one way, concentrate on your breath. I focus on the thing I want to meditete about, say gratitude, and think of it and then write down mu toughts.
Silje Z.
I have a very overactive mind. As a writer, that comes in handy and I welcome that. Let’s just say I don’t often run out of ideas.
However there are times when I try to turn my brain off, but I can’t. That’s a major problem when trying to go to sleep. I have always been like that. I have very little attention span.
Irene O.
I think the most important bit of advice is that I don’t stop the thoughts, it is natural for you mind to have thought racing around. What I have learnt is that this will lessen with practice over time and is not a constant, I have days where I have more thought that others. A technique I use is being at ease with the thoughts, when I recognise my mind has wandered I acknowledge my thought and then mentally let it go and come back to concentrating on my breath. I have found it is easier to have less thoughts if I am at ease with them rather than getting annoyed or frustrated that I keep having thought while I am meditating.
Tobias W.
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.

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

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

Johanne U.
It takes time…. Do not worry about it. The more you practice the better you will get at it.
Eventually it just comes.
Deise T.
If I get lost in my thoughts I would simply repeat my affirmations then simply go back to focus on my inhale and exhale breathing. This works for me most of the time.
Assis E.
I don’t really. The racing thoughts are called “monkey brain” and it seems the more you chase them around to stop them, the more they race. I find that when I begin to concentrate on the in and out of my breath, my mind slows down a bit. Meditation is a practice. So as soon as you notice your thoughts have skittered away, just bring yourself back to your breath or whatever you’re doing or concentrating on. If you need to do a hundred times it’s still part of the practice. I can’t remember who said it but the quote is, one conscious breath in and out is a meditation. And that’s how the practice begins…
Olinto A.
I don't really try to stop them. I am imaging them as clowns on the sky that just come and go. secondly, if i see that they are really want to stay, I am refering them as "olf friend", let them stay and focus my intention in something else.
Ronnie O.
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.
Camila Z.
I take a deeper breath and return my focus to what it is that I'm focusing on for that meditation.

It's very important to not get frustrated or upset with your thoughts racing because that will only make it more difficult to focus on the meditation. Instead, try to be grateful for your thoughts and the challenge they bring to your practice. Returning your mind to your meditation repeatedly is the best practice for concentration and meditation. It's how you learn to become better at meditating. If your mind didn't wonder at all, would you learn anything from it meditating?

Saula Q.
Well this is hard to stop but I usually have a quoting voice so I don’t think I focus on her voice if I have no voice guide I will stop and focus on my breathing I will distract myself from thinking so that I can meditate without wandering thoughts
Beatrice N.
I try to remember a key phrase with mindfulness: observe without judgement. Notice your attention has wandered away and bring it back, without judging yourself. This is the task of meditation and mindfulness.