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.