A sure fire way toward feeling stressed, frustrated and fear ridden is to be stuck living in your head. What do I mean by that? Well, when you’re operating from a place of “all head,” rather than from a grounded and present state, chances are that you will find yourself constantly trying to “fix” or “figure out” a problem. How do you know that you’re living in your head? Well, first off, you will feel all the above emotions (stressed, frustrated, fearful) and then some. None of which are very positive nor pleasant. Secondly, you will be in a constant battle to nowhere with “trying to fix an issue” or “trying to figure something out.” I cannot begin to tell you how much discomfort I see (and experience myself) because of getting stuck in the “trying” to find the answer. It’s miserable. It’s a road to nowhere and it’s definitely not in “the flow.”
……..who doesn't want to be in the flow?
Here are some tips on how to get out of that “heady” space.
Stop Trying to Fix It
There is a time and a place to fix something. As there is a time and a place to allow a situation to play out. You will know the difference based on the amount of resistance that you feel. If you find yourself continually banging your head up against a wall and feeling that nothing is working, that’s a sign to stop the trying. If your actions continue to open doors and produce flow, then keep going; it’s working.
Switch Your Focus
It’s not uncommon for a person in a negative head space to walk into my office and begin to list off all the “wrong” situations that are happening around them. Here is the issue with that. Whatever is in our line of focus will dictate our current reality. In other words, if we are focusing on lack and what’s not working we are going to experience more lack for the simple fact that we are focusing on it. A skill to practice if you notice that you are stuck is to switch your focus. You can do this by focusing on something else which makes you feel good. If you are in such a negative place that it feels impossible to make such a jump, then take a nap, go to a movie, do something that can help you to eventually get in a more neutral place in order to press the reset button. Simply put: If you want to feel good you have to focus on something that brings you joy. It’s worth the effort to learn how to do this.
When you are in your head, you are definitely NOT in the present. A great way to get out of a “heady” space is to BE where you’re at. Listen to the sounds around you, look at what surrounds you and tune into your body. You can do this by paying attention to your breathing or putting your hand over your heart. Listen to your breath. Feel your heart beat. Discovering what environments speak to you and noticing what actions you can take that help you to feel present can be valuable to figure out. Go to the beach and listen to the waves, listen to a positive podcast, go on a hike, listen to music or be in nature. The point is to do something that sounds attractive to you. Focus in on your senses because they will point you toward the now.
It’s so easy to become disconnected when things are busy and you’re operating on auto pilot. I have a friend who has little index cards with the phrase “slow down” in random little nooks of her house. This helps remind her (and me when I’m in her space) to take a moment to slow her roll. Things are very fast paced in our world. I feel like there is constantly something dinging or buzzing to grab my attention. There is always something to be done and tend too; it can feel really overwhelming. Reminding yourself that there is no race to the finish line can help you slow down and calm down. I know I hate it when I feel tense and rearing to go with nervous energy. It’s not fun for me or the people around me to feel this anxious vibe. Energy is contagious and just as I wouldn’t want to infect someone with the flu, I also wouldn’t want to dump icky, anxiety ridden energy onto others if I can help it.
The moral of the story here is that nothing positive comes from being stuck in your head. There are many situations in life that cannot and will not be figured out by thinking. Going around and around in your head is like a rat on a wheel going nowhere. Truly. Having awareness around when you’re stuck in your head and doing your best to gently guide yourself back to what is happening now is a skill to hone in order to find relief.
I hope this speaks to you and helps.
* This image was taken by Renata Amazonas, A San Diego based photographer in Joshua Tree, California.