How to Slow a Racing Mind – Sources of Mental Agitation
By Charles A. Francis
Do you ever find it difficult to slow down your mind? For some of us, a racing mind is a serious problem. When we’re agitated, we have no control over our mind, and it becomes extremely difficult to meditate.
An agitated mind leads to stress and a whole host of health problems, such as high blood pressure and heart disease. It even disrupts our relationships and sleep.
Fortunately, there’s a simple solution to this problem. No matter how fast your mind is racing, you can learn how to cultivate a calm and serene mind, and the good news is that it’s a lot easier than you might think. The only catch is that you have to be willing to take a few simple suggestions.
Sources of Mental Agitation
Some people have the misconception that they need to calm their minds before they start meditating. They often think that they’re “the type of person” who just can’t sit still. Having a calm mind is not a matter of who you are, but rather what you do.
To understand why our minds get so agitated, it would help to understand a little about how they work. The primary mechanism by which we perceive the world is through our five senses (sight, sound, taste, touch, and smell). These are our receptors. They are connected to our brains and send us raw information about what is taking place around us at any given moment.
Each time our senses are stimulated, our brain reacts by trying to interpret the signals it receives and tries to determine the proper response. In other words, each stimulus triggers a thought, either conscious or unconscious.
There are four main sources of mental agitation: 1) Too many commitments, 2) background noise, 3) painful memories, and 4) worrying. There are short-term solutions for dealing with too many commitments and background noise. Painful memories and worrying will take more time to overcome, but they will resolve themselves through a regular meditation practice.
Copyright 2013 Charles A. Francis
All Rights Reserved
Charles A. Francis is the founder and director of the Mindfulness Meditation Institute. The Institute is dedicated to providing people with the tools they need to realize their full potential as human and spiritual beings through the practice of mindfulness meditation.