Our minds are programmed to find trouble. This is because that trait helped our ancestors sense danger and deal with it before anything bad happened. These days, however, we have way too much information. Our mind can find a myriad of horrible dangers at any moment, if we let it.
The trick is to get out of your mind and into something positive. A good way to do this is to cultivate inner peace, also known as serenity. If you can learn how to shift your focus rather than diving deep into your own head, you will find peace like you’ve never known.
Get To Know Yourself
This may seem counter productive since you have to spend time in your head to get to know it but hear me out. We get stuck in our head and run away with our thoughts when we don’t fully understand ourselves. In contrast, people with a firm grasp on their habits and emotions know how to stay in control.
So how do you get to know yourself? Keep a journal, meditate, spend time really sifting through your thoughts and getting to know them. Don’t let your mind freak you out and take control. Stand firm and learn how to be the master of your own ship.
Tell Others What You Find
This is the part where you need to start stepping out of your head. If you stay in there too long, you will begin to ruminate, and your progress will stagnate. So, as you find difficult emotions and thought patterns to deal with, reach out! Tell others about your struggles and they may be able to offer help. Professional help is always a great option as well.
You are unlikely to master your own mind alone, so make sure to include others in your journey.
Ruffle Some Feathers
This technique works for some more than others. If you say or ask something slightly inappropriate, it can actually open others up. The reason for this is because small talk and introductions always go the same way. You aren’t even supposed to respond to “How are you?” realistically. It’s just a courtesy question.
However, if you probe a little deeper than is socially acceptable, people will look at you funny and then feel relief because they can actually have a real conversation. When another person is open to you, you can focus on them rather than your own head. So, try it out! Be just a little bit inappropriate and ruffle some feathers.
Focus On Someone You Love
Alice G. Walton of Forbes.com says helping others helps you because it forces you to get out of your own schtick and focus on something outside yourself. This may seem self-explanatory, but when you’re trapped in your own head it’s hard to see.
Spool up the energy to reach out to someone. Do something little that will help them. Don’t ask them what you can do and get frustrated if they don’t know. Be thoughtful and ask around if you’re stumped. Just don’t get so absorbed in helping others that you don’t help yourself.
Mindfulness, at first glance, exists in your head. Meditation might take you deeper into your turbulent thoughts, so you might avoid it. Mindfulness, though, does not merely take place in our head. It is a practice that brings you out of your head, mind, and body to take you into the moment.
If meditation isn’t working for you, try yoga or Tai Chi. These physical activities will bring you into your body and out of your head, but they will also teach you the mindset of mindfulness. You don’t have to let your thoughts control you and you don’t ever need to find a prison inside of your own mind. It’s your mind. You have the key to it!