Today I want to talk about getting out of your head and into that life you are creating for 2020. Last week’s blog talked about remembering to take” A Moment of Me” everyday. Making sure we take time to look inward and get in touch with ourselves whether it be through meditation, or just a short inner dialogue where we check in with ourselves. This is helpful to a happy life, to intentionally take inventory on how you are actually feeling, or what your concerns are. To know where you really stand and how you are really doing is a helpful habit indeed. If you actually set aside the time to check in with yourself daily, then you don’t have to be in your head for the rest of the day and you can have a more effective day.
Now, I want to be clear and say that while it’s good to check in, don’t get stuck in your mind. Going too far inward, and only focusing on your thoughts, emotions, and your life can be problematic. It’s unhealthy. Ask Eckhart Tolle the author of “The Power of Now”, who encourages us to realize that we only have the present moment in life and anytime we are thinking about something in the past or in the future we are not actually living a fulfilling life. His book has sold over 2 million copies worldwide and has been translated into over 30 languages. I know he’s right but I still over think so this blog post applies to me as well.
Ruminating can be a life and joy stealer. When you take too much time thinking about things and not enough time doing things, your mind can start to play tricks on you. It brings you down. Also, when you are ruminating or over thinking, you are not actually in the present moment. What could you possibly be doing well if you are in your head as you do it, thinking about something else. This is why I love and appreciate my jobs so much. Both of my jobs require me to be completely in the moment. My job as a judge on “Dancing with the Stars” requires me to stay present, I have to be completely attentive to the dance as it’s happening in order to give feedback in a way that is helpful to the contestant. If I am distracted in my mind, I could miss a step or a mistake or something important and trust me, if I don’t judge well, I will hear about it. My job at “The Talk” also requires me to stay present because I moderate the talk block where we discuss the various current events at the top of the show and . In order to make sure we get to commercial on time and stay on topic and be sure a fair opinion has been brought out, I have to listen to my fellow hosts very carefully, and also listen to the executive producer who is giving me timing cues and other direction as it’s happening. There is a lot going on and if I am stuck in my own thoughts, I will get lost and I will miss something. I have to be 100% present, clear mind, and 100% in the moment. Look it’s a generally good rule of thumb that in any conversation, whether you are on television or not, you want to be present and listen so you can interact gracefully with what is being talked about. This is also why dancing was such a good creative outlet for me and my overthinking tendencies. Dancing forced me to be 100 percent in the moment. In order to dance at all, you must let go of your mind and listen to the music and connect with your body and the choreography or just your emotions if you are doing freestyle. I’m so grateful that my career has always provided me with opportunities to be 100% in the moment. I think I’m happiest when I’m working. Or maybe more accurately I could say that I’m happier when I’m 100% in the moment and not over thinking which has been proven to not be a good thing for our mental health and longevity.
There was a study done at University of Exeter Medical School, and it found that people who volunteered their time for various causes were less depressed and had greater well being and life satisfaction than people who didn’t. The study also found that people who volunteered their time lived longer lives. These people were not ruminating or thinking about their life and problems when they were volunteering. They were out in the world doing things for others. Focusing on others and helping others helps you because it forces you to go beyond yourself. It also gives you a greater perspective and a more realistic one than the one your mind paints for you when you are in a brain swirl on your sofa. When you are too much in your mind, you can get lost in a vast and hard to escape world.
I’ll admit that I get in my head when it comes to matters of the heart. My mind likes to dissect, understand, and clarify. Perhaps because I am not as confident in love as I am in other areas of my life. I’ve had a lot of relationships that didn’t end up being the everlasting love I had hoped for. I’ve had a lot of hurt in the area of love, so many disappointments. So maybe because of that, I’m even more in my head instead of being in my heart. (Which I lam learning has never served me). In business and in creativity, or choreography, it often takes a lot of thinking and planning and trying to understand things before they are a problem, and seeing connections between things that are not yet there, or not physically present. It takes a lot of mind work. And I’m good at that. I love doing it. It comes very natural for me. But in love, it’s very different, it’s the complete opposite, and just staying in the now, accepting what is and not over thinking is how it works best. After all, it’s called “Love”, not “Thinking”. But how do we do this if we are naturally a busy minded individual?
Here are a few suggestions to try.
When triggered into a mind fest, where your mind starts to spin in circles and gets stuck on a repetitive thought, like “Does he love me?” “What does this mean?” or “Will this happen or not happen?” “Why did they say that to me?” My first suggestion is to scratch that record in your mind and get up and move. Literally, get up and move your body. Stand up, stretch, shake your limbs and take a deep breath. Like when a dog gets into a tustle with another dog, they often get all aggressive then they will shake it off and get back to life. This is a good technique for humans too. Sometimes making a loud sound can shift your brain away from the toxic thinking as well. Another easy trick is to wash your hands. When you wash your hands, you have to focus on what you are doing and that will take you out of your mind and then while you are out of there, keep going and be productive.
Another way to stay out of your mind is to work out, as I said earlier, dancing is a good one because you have to listen to the music and move to the music so there is little time to think.
Any sort of cardio exercise to music is good, the music keeps you moving at a certain tempo as well. Yoga is a great way to escape the mind. In my yoga class we sing at the beginning of each class and that is also another way to get out of your mind When you feel yourself slipping into a tornado of thoughts, turn on your Alexa or and play some fun sing along music and sing yourself out of your mind.
Reading is yet another activity that takes you out of thinking. And, you get the added bonus of learning new things and hearing new perspectives – so next time you end up over thinking you will have new material to throw in the mix and that would probably be a good bonus don’t you think? Here’s one of my favorite, “The Daily Om ” by Madisyn Taylor.
I’m sure there are many more ways to stay out of your monkey mind. I hope you will remember that one of them is to take a moment to get in there so that you don’t have to do it all day. When you consciously take “a Moment of Me” then you can enjoy the rest of your day without thinking or pondering because you’ve done it. But if you get stuck, try one of the things I suggested or, please share below what you do to get out of your mind. I’m sure you have some great ideas as well.
Thanks for reading and stay tuned because I’m also hard at work putting together the Carrie Ann Conversations Podcast… (it’s just another way for me to stay out of my own way.) I hope you will enjoy it when it goes live.
Have a blessed and beautiful day.
And thanks for taking the time to be here.