5 Hacks to Get Out of Your Head Now

“Every time I turn around, there I am.” A quote from an episode of Ozark I watched last night.

Some days I couldn’t get out of my own way if my life depended on it. I am buried so deep inside my own head that I can perform my entire morning routine and not recall a single thing I did.

Most often, when I am that deep inside my mind, it is worry based. I tend to perseverate about things that worry me and, that isn’t mentally or physically healthy.

Some of the benefits of mindfulness include: decreased stress, increased self-acceptance, increased resilience, and increased concentration.

Mindfulness Amidst the COVID 19 Pandemic

According to Mindful.org mindfulness, is the basic human ability to be fully present, aware of where we are and what we’re doing and, not overly reactive or overwhelmed by what’s going on.

With the current state of our country and the constant barrage of stressful information circulating amidst the COVID 19 pandemic, it can be pretty enticing to stay in your head. But honestly, being mindful doesn’t mean you have to absorb all that information.

Listen to what you need to know, enough to be aware and proactive then, move on. Moving on to being mindful and in the moment will help curb some of the overwhelm that can consume us during times like these.

5 Ways to Get Out of Your Head

  1. Narrative

One great way to get out of your head and into your surroundings is to narrate what you are seeing. Give a narration as if you were describing your surroundings to someone who was visually impaired. If you were at a park, it would sound something like this:

“There is a sprawling Magnolia Tree in the middle of the park. There must be fifty Magnolia in full bloom. The contrast of the cream-colored blooms against the canvas of dark green leaves is breathtaking.”

Exchanging the ongoing narrative in your head with a vivid description of what you see is a wonderful way to bring your mind front and center.

2. Small Finger Movements with a Short Mantra

Small finger movements, coupled with a short mantra, is very helpful in centering your mind and regulating your breathing. The one I like to use is, “I am peace and peace is me.” The finger movements are like this:

  • Thumb to pinky finger and say “I”
  • Thumb to ring finger “am”
  • Thumb to middle finger “peace”
  • Thumb to index finger “and”
  • Thumb to middle finger “peace”
  • Thumb to ring finger “is”
  • Thumb to pinky finger “me”

You can use this one or create one that is more meaningful to you.

3. Count Your Steps

Yes, it is as simple as it sounds. Simply count your steps. Obviously, if you do five thousand steps a day, you won’t want to count all of them but, if you break them down into blocks of ten or so, it can bring you out of the depths of your mind and into the present.

4. Listen to an Audio Book or PodCast

Introducing another voice into your head helps quiet your own. Find something that interests you and dive in. Put it on in your car or listen to one at home while you are cooking dinner, cleaning, or just trying to relax your mind. It works.

5. Focus on your breathing

Breathing is something we do all day, every day. It’s rhythmical, it’s relaxing, and it can be one of the most calming things we do when it is under control. If I am at home and can lay down I like to put something small and flat on my stomach, just over my belly button.

Use something that has enough weight that you can feel it rise and fall with your breathing. The best thing that comes to mind is a bar of soap that is still in the package (not a wet slimy one).

Breathe in through your mouth and out through your nose. Focus on the rise and fall of your stomach, you will notice that with just a few breaths you become totally focused on your breathing. When thoughts enter into your mind just re-focus on your breathing and they will float away.

So there you have them, five quick ways to get out of your head and more focused on living your life. I find that ruminating on things has become a habit for me over the years and it takes a good amount of focus to stay mindful throughout the day.

Using these techniques has helped a lot and I hope that you find them helpful as well. Feel free to leave a comment or ask a question. I would love to hear from you.

My First Day as a Freelance Writer

Well it’s official, my website is up and running (functional too) and I am ready for my first client. I have created some writing samples in three different areas of specialty and now I’m writing my first blog post.

I’m not sure but I think I have actually been a freelance writer for a few weeks now because I have been putting in some serious hours getting a lot of nothing accomplished. Well apparently I’ve gotten something done.

This may be premature but I would like to thank Elna Cain and Michael Leonard for the wonderfully informative information that they have out there in the form of Podcasts, Online Courses, Blogs and more. Thank you both so much for providing valuable and affordable information for your fellow writers who are just getting up and on their feet.

Navigating my new career endeavor has been a nice vacation from having to constantly obsess about the virus. I work in a hospital as a Physical Therapist Assistant and I am currently taking leave as my ill 79 year old father lives with me. Although I am not his sole caregiver at this point, simply dealing with the stress of him being ill and working a full time job has been the hardest thing I have ever done, hands down. Add COVID19 to the mix and bam, I feel like someone just whacked me with a lead pipe.

Wondering who will win the viral lottery next is frightful and driving down the deserted streets seeing empty parking lot after empty parking lot is like taking a punch to the gut. I feel so bad for all the people who’s business were thriving and now they are dying because of this pandemic.

Worse than all of this is our own government fighting over helping them. The lack of leadership and a united front in this country is terrifying. We are being lied to on a daily basis, our frontline healthcare workers are lacking the simple tools they need to keep themselves safe while trying to help or save other people.

I remember thinking after 9/11, “how could I have been so naive to think that something like this couldn’t happen in the United States?” I’m thinking the exact same thing now, only I knew in my heart that putting #45 in the White House was a very bad decision.

I have a 6 month old Boxer puppy and we are always telling her to make good Boxer decisions. Here she is looking at me thinking, “give me a break mom, the president doesn’t even make good Boxer decisions!”

She is a constant source of comedy for us, I thank God for her (most days).

In closing I just want to throw out there that I am praying for everyone, everyday to have the strength to get through whatever it is they are going through and to never stop searching for that always illusive light at the end of the tunnel. Keep doing what you do and out of this darkness will surely come some light.