Recently, I had recommended taking 5 deep breaths 3 times a day, to a coaching client. In the following session, I asked him if he had practiced it. He got excited and said, “Yes, it gives me a lot of relief! I have been doing it many times a day.” He could not explain what he was getting relief from. He just knew that it made him feel better. While he could not put it in words, taking deep breaths was helping him ‘get out of his head and into his body’.
All of us have moments when we get into our heads too much. We replay the past, have imaginary conversations, overthink a decision, or let thoughts meander aimlessly in our heads. More often than not, living in our heads causes negative self-talk and triggers self-sabotage. A few years ago, a Harvard study used an iPhone app to ask people what they were doing at different points of time in the day, whether they were thinking about what they were doing or not, and how happy/unhappy they were. The result of this study became the title of the paper – ‘A wandering mind is an unhappy mind’.
So, it is important to figure out how to get out of your head and into the present moment. One way to achieve this is by taking deep breaths. This exercise helps you separate from your thoughts and brings you into your body and in the present moment. You realize that though you were deeply engaged with your thoughts, you are not your thoughts.
Meditation is another approach that works effectively to be in the present. Sit comfortably at a place where you would not be disturbed for some time. Focus your attention on your breath. Thoughts will come and your mind will wander but do not engage with the thoughts. Observe them and let them be. Gently pull your attention back to your breath. As your meditation practice strengthens, your mind will ramble lesser and you will be able to stay focused in the present even when you are not meditating.
All of us know the pure bliss of being in the present moment. We have experienced it when we are in the flow of doing something we love. We get fully immersed in that experience. There is no hurt about the past and no anxiety about the future. When we are in the present moment, we listen better, connect deeper, respond aptly, and live fully. The more such moments we can create for ourselves and break the negative spiral of thoughts that we so often get caught in, the more fulfilled and happier we would be.
PS – Need help to get out of your head? Feel free to leave us a message
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