When You Need to Get Out of Your Own Head

Adulting, Author: Michelle Ioannou

Bad things happen. And unfortunately, sometimes they consume us more than we want them to.

It’s so easy to get lost in our own heads. To go into this downward spiral where whatever happened becomes all we can think about. Whether it’s just being broken up with, getting into an argument with a friend, not getting the work promotion you wanted… bad things will happen in our lives, and will continue to happen as we grow older.

Unfortunately, it’s not always easy to shrug it off like we used to be able to do. Things affect us differently as we grow older. The big things consume us. And sometimes, it feels like there’s no escape from them. Just when you start to think that you got it out of your head, whatever it is just comes right back.

It’s hard, it is. It’s hard to get things out of your head that are truly bothering you. But, it’s not healthy to focus on the bad and the hurt. It’s much easier said than done, I know, but let’s be proactive about getting these thoughts out of your head.

Submerge yourself in work 
Distraction is key, right? Of course, we all need time to wallow and get what’s bothering us out, but we cannot let it be our sole focus all day, every day. Using work as a distraction allows you to submerge yourself into something that will require your brain’s full attention. Plus, assuming you work outside of your home, being around other people won’t give you as many opportunities to have time to sit and go over everything that has happened.

Talk to someone
Of course, talking to the person who contributed to whatever’s going on in your head is a great help. But, it’s not always possible, and not always healthy. Reach out to a friend. Tell them what’s going on in your head. Having someone listen to you and your thoughts helps get things out, and shows you that you’re not going crazy, and you’re not alone. If you don’t feel comfortable reaching out to a friend, or feel like you need to speak with someone with more of a professional background, go do that. Schedule an appointment with a therapist. Talking to someone about the situation, and what’s going on inside your head, is important.

Get outside
Be active — whether this is in the form of going outside for a run, taking a walk throughout your neighborhood, or planning dinners and happy hours with your friends. Staying home alone will allow your mind to just keep going back to said issue. However, if you’re out and about doing things and keeping busy, your mind will be too focused on whatever situation you’re in the midst of to think about anything else.

Write about it
Get it out of your head and onto a piece of paper. Don’t just leave your thoughts to rattle along in your head — they need an outlet to escape. And then, for ultimate cleansing, feel free to crumple the piece of paper and throw it away, or maybe toss it into a nice fire pit.

Read a book
A book is always a great way to forget about reality, especially when your mind is racing with thoughts you genuinely can’t focus on. Get lost in a book of your choice. Leave your own story for a bit and join this character’s story instead. Your brain will be too into what’s going to happen next in the book, there won’t be time for it to think about all of the “what ifs” and “how did I end up here” of your story.

Focus on the good
I can guarantee that even if it feels like there’s nothing good in your life right now, you can most definitely find something to make you smile for a few seconds. Even if it’s as small as having ice cream that day, that’s something to be grateful for, and something to switch your attention to. It’s so easy to get lost in whatever it is that’s hurting you; make a conscious effort to try and divert your mind.

If You’re a Late Bloomer to the Dating World: I Swear, Nothing is Wrong With You

Author: Nicole Chininis, The Dating Game

While other people were busy having their first boyfriend or girlfriend in middle school, I was not. I was busy fantasizing about my soon to be wedding with Justin Timberlake (bleached curls, *NSYNC days). In high school I still, shockingly, wasn’t getting much attention despite waxing my bushy Greek eyebrows taking my braces off, and getting contacts.

The summer before college I thought, THIS IS IT. I’ll finally feel normal, meet some guys, and not feel like the isolated one in the group who wasn’t getting any attention at all despite trying to get my best flirt on. College came and went. Still nothing.  

It didn’t help that people around me made me feel like I was a defect.

“But you’re so pretty, why don’t you just try a little harder.” …

“You’re not trying hard enough, put yourself out there more.” …

“You’re too independent, maybe it scares people off” …

“It will come in time, you just have to wait for the right person”… (this one always killed me because it usually came from the person who had boyfriend after boyfriend without blinking an eye).

This post is not to make you feel bad for me, but rather to make people realize that their story is not a unique one. It can feel like everyone, LITERALLY EVERYONE, around you is coupling off. Boy does it sting.

I used to think to myself: What is wrong with me? I’m normal I swear. I’m not asking to get married tomorrow, but a boyfriend would be nice. Actually, no, any look in my direction would suffice. I’m not trying to sound dramatic, but it’s what I felt. It can feel hurtful because there is no rhyme or reason to why things happen the way they do. You start digging yourself into a dark hole of “it will never happen to me,” because it truly feels like nothing ever will come.

It wasn’t until I was 24 or 25 that I started to feel like things were changing. But even when I started getting attention, nothing ever seemed to work out the way I wanted them to. The same questions of “What is wrong with me?” would pop into my head. It wasn’t for lack of trying, so I can’t really tell you why things happened the way they did.

I’m not here to tell you that I found a secret solution that made me start dating the amount of guys that Taylor Swift has (you go, girl!). What I did end up doing was trying not to care anymore and just be myself. If I had an opinion, I was going to say it. I started getting more into style and make-up because it made me feel confident for me. I went to grad school, I started learning how to dance salsa and I tried to do things that made me happy.

You can’t wait for others to make you happy, you have to do that yourself.

Dating is hard — whether you’re dating or you’re not. If you’re dating, you can have your heart broken again and again by people who aren’t ready for your greatness. If you aren’t dating, the heartbreak comes from the pain and anxiety of trying to figure out what’s wrong with you. Nothing, let me repeat, nothing is wrong with you.

Someone not interested in you? Their loss. Feel like you’re the only one? You’re not. You’re not looking for anyone, you’re looking for the one who deserves you. You are great. You are NORMAL. You are you — and anyone truly is lucky to have you.