The Art of Getting Out of Your Head

Mindfulness is the key to getting out of our heads. And it’s more important now than ever, with our precious face-to-face interactions at an all-time low.

Being in your head might not sound so bad. After all, who doesn’t love daydreaming about tacos and margs on the beach?

But when we allow ourselves to wander out of the present moment, we can truly miss out on the best parts of life.

As Dr. Robert Holden, director of The Happiness Project says: “If you think there’s something missing from your life, it’s probably you.”

Where is My Mind?

Our brain’s default is to dwell in the past or worry about the future. It’s actually a pretty ingenious way to keep us alive. Learning from past mistakes and preparing for future problems.

But wouldn’t it make sense for the brain to be constantly analyzing the present for threats or opportunities?

According to Dr. Kurapati, author of Unbound Intelligence, “Because the present is given to us, our mind perceives it as something not worth dwelling in — it’s not worth thinking about the present because it’s simply guaranteed.”

Gee, thanks brain.

The fact of the matter is that the past and future have no reality of their own. What happened yesterday or what might happen tomorrow exist only as ideas in your head.

That’s not to say that having memories or thinking about the future is a complete waste of time.

But, the living part of our life happens in the present. And most of us are missing out on it.

Out of Your Head and Into Your Life with Mindfulness

Being fully emersed in the present, also known as mindfulness, is the key.

One of the great things about our minds is that they can’t be in two places at once and we can use this to our advantage.

You don’t have to actively try not to dwell in the past, or worry about the future. Bringing your attention to the present moment will automatically stop these thoughts.

Remember that mindfulness is not our default way of thinking, so naturally, it takes practice.

But, it is accessible to everyone and there are hundreds of methods you can use to work towards being more mindful.

One of the easiest ways to start is to get yourself in the right mindset.

We’re going to use a painting analogy; who doesn’t love a good painting analogy?

Let’s say there’s a big brick wall that represents your mind. Your untrained thoughts about the past and future are graffiti on the wall. And not the good kind.

So, we want to paint that wall with mindfulness, make it look really clean and crisp.

But, if we just start tossing paint around it’s not going to stick. So we grab that real nice can of primer that’s on sale at Home Depot. Once we prime the wall, the paint is going to stick like glue.

So how do you prime your mind for mindfulness? We recommend starting with a nice box breathing exercise.

We created a brand new guided breathing experience for you available right here.

Go get ‘em.

Originally published at https://bluedoormedia.co on January 19, 2021.

Director of Content at Blue Door Media. We email a newsletter twice a week focused on mental fitness. Join us, the Door is Open: https://bluedoormedia.co/