Get Out Of Your Head

My old guru regularly spoke about thinking too much. He reminded his students that unbridled thinking brings our focus onto “me, me, me”. When we constantly think in such a manner, one result is worry and another result is egotism. Working the brain without discipline and restraint can bring about destructive thoughts and behavior. It is good practice to get out of your head and expose your senses to air, nature, and awareness of the world. This gets the focus onto the bigger picture and puts life in perspective.

His advice was correct. Running thoughts over and over leads to inefficient use of brain power. We get stuck in mental ruts that lead to stress with either no action or wrong action. We become obssessed with the past when imagining how we could have done or said something differently in a situation that caused us embarrassment. We become obssessed with the future when we worry about an upcoming event. Regardless of our imagined failures and glories, we generally end up in the same place anyway.

This is not to say that prudent amounts of remorse over past wrongs or careful attention to future plans are bad things. It is good to pay attention to our behavior and thoughts. The problems begin when we overthink them. Getting stuck in our heads happens when we feel disconnected with our body, breath, mind, and the essence of our being. Getting out of our heads reconnects us with the totality of our existence.

When there are no ethical or practical pitfalls that affect a choice, we are wise to consider immediate action. Getting locked into a dithering mindset will lead to frustration, missed opportunities, and dissatisfaction. If the pitfalls of the choices are mindfully considered, we can proceed with confidence and increase self-respect. Even if the action becomes an error, at least we did something and lessons were learned. Inaction brings regrets about our inaction and more overthinking about the past. We realize that while we took so much time to think about situations, time already moved on without us.

The above discussion is the opposite of what was mentioned in yesterday’s bluejayblog post regarding impulsiveness and fast-thinking. The extremes of either way show the thoughtful person that moderation is usually the wisest approach to living. There are exceptions to this guideline with discernment being an important, decisive tool to help us better understand.

Like many people, I’ve often been plagued by spending too much time in my head. It takes extra effort to quiet the monkey mind and refocus onto careful, helpful analysis. There are certain significant instances when extended thought are appropriate. Determining whether the experience and its ramifications will matter in a year or longer will help manage the thinking process. Will going ahead help or hinder everyone concerned?

This brings us full circle–back to the old guru’s remedy for getting out of one’s head: When one notices that the mind is stuck inside the head, then it is time to take three deep breaths while concentrating on the physical process. This triggers a conscious micro-meditation that refreshes the mind. This removes our thoughts from problems that don’t even exist in the first place.


The Blue Jay of Happiness ponders an idea from designer, social critic, and writer, Mokokoma Mokhonoana. “Only about two percent of one percent of our thoughts deserve to be taken seriously.”

About swabby429

An eclectic guy who likes to observe the world around him and comment about those observations.
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