Maybe that sounds crazy, but I spent far too much of my life living in my head, basically functioning from the neck up.
When you live from that mental place alone (without the harmony of the emotional, spiritual, and physical) it’s enough to make anyone crazy.
As human beings, we’re not built to simply think. We’re also built to feel, to move, to be, to sense…
But in our culture especially, we pride ourselves primarily on the thinking part. Or at the very least, it’s valued far more than the gifts we may have emotionally or spiritually.
And what I found was that when I spent so much time in my head, I spent less time in my life.
I experienced more confusion and stuckness, and didn’t have a sense of who I was or what my purpose and passions were. You see, those aren’t things you think your way to.
Being able to get out of your head is a skill that takes practice for some people. And if you’re still reading this, my guess is you might be one of those beautiful souls who wants some practice with this, and is who is seeing the major benefits it could have in your life.
So how do you do that? GREAT question!!
Here are six ways to practice getting out of your head and into your life:
#1 Spend a little time every day noticing and allowing your emotions.
When one of my clients first started working with me, she had a lot of judgements about the anger she felt. We discovered that she wasn’t even allowing herself to feel a lot of her emotions, because she thought they were wrong or bad.
So, over the course of a week or two, she spent 10 minutes a day simply making space to feel whatever emotion she was feeling. This gave her permission to feel more of a range of emotions. And since the assignment was simply to make space to feel whatever emotion, the anger had room to be processed. In that space, it was “correct” or “okay”.
To do this you can find a room in your house or a space outside where you feel comfortable, set a timer for 5 or 10 minutes, and write down what you’re feeling. “I feel _____.” Make sure you’re actually writing down feelings and not thoughts.
If you’re saying “I feel like ____,” that’s actually a thought or opinion, and not a feeling.
Feeling examples would be: sad, happy, bored, irritated, calm, anxious, excited, hurt, loved… etc. You can also just say it out loud or to yourself, or simply just feel it! I like to give tangible how-to’s, but for some people, just setting a timer and feeling is enough.
Instead of thinking about, judging, or resisting what you’re feeling, now you’re simply feeling, and you’re out of your head!
#2 Get to know your intuition – You have one!!
If the concept of an intuition is lost on you, fear not! First of all, you’ve got one. And secondly, there are practical ways to build up your intuition muscle.
Your intuition typically speaks to you through one of your senses. For some people, it’s more auditory, so you might hear your intuition in sentences in your head, as if you’re speaking to yourself. For others, it’s visual. And for some, it’s a gut feeling, and you just know.
The best way I’ve learned how to access my intuition, and discovered how my intuition speaks to me, is by first recognizing that I had one. And secondly, by exploring how I experience my intuition. For me it tends to be a gut level, “I just know,” kind of thing, but I only discovered that through getting curious.
So what if you got curious, and started to play around with tuning in and listening to your intuition? You can experiment by taking action and making choices based on what you think is your intuition, and over time, you’ll know.
This will automatically allow you to stop over-thinking, because you’re basing something on intuition, not logic.
If you want to know more about the science of it, check our Dr. Catherine Wilkens, a woman who has studied the intuition from a scientific perspective. With a degree as a veterinarian as well as a chiropractor, she’s put a lot of science to intuition. Here’s her YouTube channel and she also wrote a book called Soul’s Brain: The Neurology and Logic of Your Intuition.
#3 Move your body.
Moving your body is a great way to practice what it feels like to BE in your body, and not in your head! It sounds so simple, and it is.
I noticed when I was struggling so much with anxiety and OCD, when I would go to an intense yoga class and feel my muscles working, I had less energy in my mind because it was literally going to my body. Going to my edge physically also trained me in mental health, but that’s another topic.
Dancing is another GREAT way to stop over-thinking. For a lot of people, they feel self-conscious when they’re dancing, so if this describes you, practice doing it alone! It’s not about doing the best dance moves. It’s just about letting your body move however she or he wants to. I recommend trying it out in the morning. Dancing is a day-changer!
#4 Make a God Box.
A God Box, or Universe Box, or whatever you want to call it, is a box you designate where you can write down your worries, concerns, or questions, and then put them in the box, to signal that you’re giving them up to a higher power.
This can serve as a signal to your mind that you’re done thinking on this topic for now. It’s a great way to practice FAITH and TRUST rather than over-thinking or over-controlling.
#5 Set a timer.
I love this method. It’s, again, so simple. If you’re over-thinking something (and this especially works for decisions), you set a timer for whatever time you want, and when it goes off, you move on to something else. So if you’re using this for a decision, when the timer goes off, you make a decision one way or the other, and that’s it.
#6 Practice the affirmation, “Action is my medicine.”
Last year was a big year for experimentation, growth, and change in my business. I started stepping up to my edge like never before, and a lot of the things I set out to do were intimidating. There were times where resistance would come up, and where I’d procrastinate in the form of continuing to think about it, rather than taking action.
But, when I did take action, I felt a million times better! It became my medicine, and so did this mantra
So what do you think? (No pun intended ) Which of the above are you ready to test out?
I’d love to hear from you. Share in the comments below, or send me a message to firstname.lastname@example.org.
I’m about to get married – I can’t believe it! Wow, it’s really coming up. It feels very surreal right now, but in just over a month, the “big day” will be here.
In February 2018 my now fiancé proposed to me, so, we’ve been planning off and on for almost a year and a half… And then all of a sudden, the day will be here!
There are several things we did that allowed us to actually ENJOY the planning process and have FUN, believe it or not! So many people talk about how stressful planning a wedding can be. And although I absolutely see how that can be true, a powerful intention to enjoy the process goes a long way.
That being said, I’m also human. And there have been ups and downs and an emotional roller coaster at times. There’s so much to consider, so many decisions to make, not to mention processing the fact that you’re taking this big next step in life and love.
I’m really proud of the ways we’ve had fun and kept a healthy perspective on things. I’m also grateful for the lessons I’ve learned or strengthened as I’ve gone through this process.
Whether or not your planning a wedding, these are life lessons that can make an impact for you right now, no matter where you’re at.
So here we go:
#1 Stop searching for the best!
As a recovering perfectionist and over-controller, this lesson has been greatly strengthened during the wedding planning process.
When you search for the “best”, you’re bound for stress.
And the idea that there is even a “best” is totally made up in our minds. What if there are multiple different “bests” and you’re simply choosing one?
So instead, I allowed my intuition to decide on lots of things.
I actively practiced LETTING GO and letting good enough BE good enough.
I reveled in the feeling of a decision being made, and TRUSTING that decision was the best, simply because it was the one we made.
For example, we could have spent days upon days trying to figure out the best decorations, spending more than we wanted to in order to find and have the “best” solution.
OR, we could pick a direction, have some fun with it, and let it be good enough. Which do you think feels better and is more fun?
And guess what? Our decorations look great! AND, most people probably won’t remember them anyways.
You can feel automatically more peaceful when you stop trying to search for the “best”, and instead just ask yourself, “Do I like this or not?” If you don’t, maybe pick something else. But if you do, that may be your “best” right there. As the saying goes, done IS better than perfect.
#2 Your ability to get present is directly related to your success, happiness, and peace.
Here’s the thing – Anxiety can only exist in the past or the future. It cannot exist in a truly present moment.
There have been times in this process that I’ve gotten caught up in all the to-do’s, or had all my energy in the future. And that can feel so overwhelming and stressful! (There’s even a countdown on wedding websites that let’s you know how many days in the future you are, lol )
What’s helped me ground down and calm down are simply tools to get present.
This doesn’t have to be complicated. For example, you can simply notice the tree branches moving as the wind blows through them, and give yourself a few moments to take that in. That’s presence!
Any time you can get into your five senses, you’re getting present. So, you can notice what you’re feeling, seeing, and smelling for example. I like to do this with really pleasurable things, like the wind blowing through the trees, or the taste of espresso.
When you get present, you can allow the worries and the list of to-do’s to fall away, even if just for a few moments. It might even open up space for energy, inspiration, and creative solutions to flow through, leading you to success you wouldn’t have had, had you just kept going, going, going.
In order to feel happier, have more success, and feel more peaceful, try this: For one day, pick some things that you love and get into your five senses. Do this as many times as you can throughout the day and notice your energy shift and a sense of calm come over you.
Other tools for getting present include deep breathing while you bring awareness to the breath, as well as any form of meditation. The things I’m mentioning above are actually active meditation as well.
Have fun with this and let me know what you discover!
#3 Knowing your WHY changes everything.
For anything you do in life, if you’re not connected to the purpose behind it, it can easily feel draining, unexciting, or like there’s just an endless to-do list.
But, if you take a moment to tune in and ask yourself, “What’s the purpose behind this, for me?” not only can you have energy and feel like your gas tank was just filled up to full, but you can also:
Be more connected to the heart of the to-do.
Know what is not important and drop it from the list all together.
Eliminate procrastination and experience motivation.
Gain clarity and creative inspiration.
Over the course of this process when I’ve felt overwhelmed or on an emotional roller coaster, I’ve taken some time to journal and remind myself of the powerful reasons WHY we’re doing this. Taking these five minutes allowed me to come back to myself and my own personal reasons, and stay really connected to what’s true and important for me. My emotions and clarity could shift in an instant.
Imagine all the ways you can use this perspective. You can use it if you’re working towards a health or weight goal. You can use it for your career. You can use it if you’re dating and wanting to be in a relationship. Honestly, it’s limitless! In fact, this is something I incorporate into my everyday, journaling in the morning on the purpose behind each thing I’ll do that day, as well as knowing the purpose behind my bigger goals.
To break this down, let’s take the healthy weight goal. You don’t really have that goal simply to just weigh a lower number. You might be doing it in order to have more energy, to feel lighter, to discover your physical potential, to have healthier joints, to be able to enjoy life more… See how digging a little deeper can be so powerful? And that purpose is going to be unique to you. A similar goal might have a totally different WHY for someone else.
(You might also notice that the purpose is something like, “To feel good enough.” And in that case, you might want to address that more directly rather than the misunderstanding that weighing less itself will give you worth on a deep level. This stuff is powerful!)
If you’re feeling in procrastination, underwhelmed, or in a rat race to just cross off all the to-do’s already, try this simple process of getting clear on your WHY. To do this, you can journal on the question, “What’s the purpose behind this, for me?” Or, you can ask yourself that question, and then do a few minutes of meditation, while you allow the answer to flow to you easily and effortlessly.
So there you have it. Everything in life is here with gifts and lessons for us. It’s up to us to receive those gifts, and to learn and apply the lessons.
There are so many gifts and lessons I’m receiving through this growth process. I wouldn’t be surprised if there’s a part two to this
I can’t wait to hear your takeaways! Share in the comments below.
Happy Summer!! OMG I am SO excited for the beautiful weather and the summer months ahead (here in the Northern Hemisphere – If you’re reading this in the Souther Hemisphere, Happy Winter!)
I’ve noticed that lately I’ve had even more of a bird’s eye view on patterns – what works for people, and what doesn’t work. It’s made me look at the patterns in my own life, especially the ones where I’ve created shifts in the recent years, and noticed the biggest impact.
One thing that’s shifted a lot for me over the past several years is my ability to let myself **make mistakes**.
For most of my life, I avoided making mistakes at all costs. Even so much so that it was a big part of what fed into having anxiety disorders. I’m sure many of you can relate to how much perfectionism or achievement can really hold you hostage and keep you stuck!
When I slowed it down though and really looked closer, it wasn’t the making mistakes thing that really scared me or stopped me. Deep down, it was a belief that if I messed up, people would be upset with me, and I’d somehow lose love in my life.
Usually when we get to the root of our obstacles, it’s something much deeper than the surface level of the obstacle itself. It can even be a fear that if you make a mistake you’ll somehow die. Not joking there, that’s often at the root when we drill down the fear.
Knowing this, I was able to question that belief. AND, all the while, I was building within myself the deep love, respect, and value that I have for myself. When you create that within yourself, there’s less of this pull to “get” it outside of you, or think that you could somehow lose it.
You realize your completeness was there all along.
And you realize that no mistake could ever touch that.
I’ve had way more fun and freedom these past few years as I’ve allowed myself to experiment and just jump in! Last year was especially significant for this. I joined a 6-month mastermind, and at the very start of it, I knew that my success was going to be dependent on my ability to let myself experiment and make mistakes.
It’s not that I never hesitate anymore – that tendency for perfectionism and the fear of messing up still comes up. But, when it does, I relate to it differently. And I respond differently. I’m more empowered to feel the fear, and do it anyway. I believe in myself and support myself more, and I understand that “mistakes” are actually a good thing.
I’m more lighthearted about it, and I recognize that this strategy I built years ago – to avoid making mistakes at all costs and try to always “get it right” – was meant to be helpful. But it doesn’t really get me the results that I want.
I started to realize that there was never failure, only feedback.
I started to view “mistakes” as actually success steps – they were the things that created clarity, confidence, learning, and growth!!
And even if a fear of messing up or making a mistake came up, I knew that it had nothing to do with my worth, value, or lovability. That gave me the freedom to move forward and give it a try, whatever it was
What about you? What’s your relationship like with mistakes? Do you view them as bad and avoid at all costs, or do you see them just as success steps on the way to where you want to go?
What might be beneath the surface level fear of messing up?
What would happen if you could be there for yourself so much so that you know – even if you made a mistake, you’d still love yourself unconditionally and cheer yourself on?
What if you allowed “mistakes” to be totally permissible, and not only that, but welcomed? And viewed as the opportunity for clarity, confidence, learning, and growth?
How would your life change? What one thing would you do RIGHT NOW that you’ve been avoiding because you think you’ll mess it up or it won’t be good enough?
I’d love to hear from you about any of the above questions
If you’re interested in exploring those things that you know you’d do if you could shift your relationship with perfectionism, good-enoughness, and mistake-making (and get some solid tools to make change now)… let’s chat! You can book a time here.
Have an amazing day and know that – you are enough, you are complete, and your “mistakes” are a required part of your success, if you’ll let them be