At one point in my life, I was miserable in my own skin. I spent most of my down time living inside my own head instead of out in the real world.
When a friendship would shift directions with the winds, I pondered what I had done wrong…over and over and over. My mind was a broken record. I analyzed every small word uttered, every action taken. I allowed other people to affect my attitude.
Do you ever find yourself living inside your head?
What do I mean by “living inside your head?” It’s when you over-analyze life to the point of diminishing returns. You are unable to live in the present because you are busy pondering the past. The enemy’s words are taken captive instead of “taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ.” (2 Cor. 10:5)
I’m an introvert, so it’s natural for me to spend much time contemplating the deep meanings of life. Much like breathing, I am constantly analyzing and reflecting without even realizing it. But it’s a dangerous place to remain inside your mind without any outlets.
Living solely inside your head will lead you on a downward spiral toward sadness and regret at the least, deep depression at the worst. In addition, the never-ending reflection brings any type of positive action to a grinding halt.
Psychotherapist Amy Morin recently penned an article titled “13 Things Mentally Strong People Don’t Do.” Many of her thoughts deal with overcoming the resistance inside our minds, including this trait of the mentally strong: “They don’t dwell on the past.” Morin adds, “…they don’t constantly relive bad experiences or fantasize about the glory days. Instead, they live for the present and plan for the future.”
How do you live outside of your head and discover freedom?
1. Find a creative outlet and commit to engaging in it weekly. My creative outlets include writing and photography. Yours will likely be something different. We are made to create. When we’re not creating, we begin to ponder our past. Even dwelling on the positive past can cause us to yearn for “the glory days.”
2. Regularly meet with like-minded friends. It doesn’t have to be anything formal, but the conversation should go deeper than discussing who will win the Super Bowl. I have a mastermind group I meet with via conference all twice per month. While our main focus is centered around life calling and entrepreneurial endeavors, we inevitably talk about life. There is something freeing about being transparent with a small group of close friends.
3. Pursue a life that involves something bigger than yourself. There is a lot of buzz online about living a better story and pursuing meaning and purpose. Unfortunately, too much of the content comes from a self-centered point-of-view. You will never find fulfillment in seeking personal success alone. In addition, you won’t have time to live in your head when you are fixated on meeting the needs of someone else.
4. Pray. Inevitably, the enemy is going to smack you upside the head and deliver blow-after-blow, reminding you of your failures from 1990 to present. Choose not to make an agreement with the enemy’s list. Pray as many times as necessary.
5. Get outdoors. The world is a massive place. Go explore it. Exploration offers us a chance to see how big God is and to bring nourishment to our souls.
6. Fill your mind with positive material. There is no shortage of available material available at your disposal. Listen to inspirational podcasts in the car and while exercising. Read motivational books instead of watching TV. This practice alone with change your life perspective dramatically.
Do you ever struggle with living inside your own head? What other ways are effective in helping us find freedom?