If your mind races and you can’t stop it, it can be mental torture that is hard to endure.  Mental exhaustion, burnout, poor sleep and unexplained physical aches and pains are sure to accompany your mental suffering. Peace of mind becomes a dream you yearn for with ever-increasing desperation.

To cure a racing mind, you need to understand what causes it in the first place:

Fear and anxiety.

When I suffered from this, I was vice-president of sales.  I had a full plate…but so do most working people. Indeed, I later took a ‘sabbatical’ and I felt just as wired!   I then became even more frightened that I might never stop my runaway freight train of a brain.

As I later sought professional help, I was shocked to discover that I was mostly anxious about the disapproval of others.  The more successful I became, the more I felt a hidden pressure to perform, to have answers, to be smart and to not make mistakes. I later became aware that I had an unconscious need to prove something to my dad.

I didn’t understand any of this while I was suffering with my racing mind. I was only aware that my brain was always analyzing situations at work or at home, trying to find perfect answers to difficult, complex problems. Now I see that I was afraid of making a move that would upset someone.

When I finally did make a decision, I was often heavy-handed about it. I see now that this was a defensive move on my part, to protect myself from potential criticisms.  This actually aggravated my situation and caused what I feared – to be disapproved of – to come true.  I had built thick walls inside myself to withstand people who didn’t agree with my decisions or my manner of implementing them.  This was not good for anybody, no matter how “smart” my decisions might have been.

What’s the cure for a racing mind?

Focus on the present moment.

When you are centered and present, your mind is not cluttered with future fears of what others might think.  Nor is your mind cluttered with thoughts about past reactions of others that stoke the fires of a racing mind.

To get present, you need to lean on what I call the ‘First Rule of Inner Peace‘:

“First get neutral about outcomes and then you will see clearly what to do.” This is a spiritual law that I have practiced for 17 years  and it always works.

When you are neutral, you become able to see through the clutter.  You become aware of the choices and the consequences for everyone involved.  Most importantly, you become at peace with the trade-offs you face.  You accept that you can’t please everyone yet you have compassion for those who might not like your choices.  This transforms your relationships and it leaves you feeling at peace.

Learning to be present is a journey towards inner peace.  Indeed, peace only exists n the present. All fear and anxiety come from past and future-based thoughts.

You can learn more about being present by visiting Innerpeacemission.org