Did you read this:http://spaceengine.org/manual/space-flight-school/
? Its where you should start, along with the main SE manual. Yes, that is a lot of reading, but no-one said piloting realistic space-ships in a realistic space simulator would be a cake-walk! Unless you are a total physics whizz, your first experiences with using the space ships will be completely confused.
There is a lot of data on the ship interface, but the best you can do is just learn the controls and maneuvers step by step and start simple. I think from your description you are trying to enter a stable orbit? The controls you should be watching and trying to balance are in the upper right, the velocities and delta v. Incidentally, these also tell you how fast you are going relative to the reference frame (a planet), which is very useful.