The longer I work on my mental health, the more I realize that getting out of your head is invaluable to overcome what is in your head.
By nature or training or past, I overthink. I can exist entirely in my head, and while there, I can make anything true.
A rude awakening
Recently my partner went on vacation for 3 weeks. Left to myself, I slowly became more and more entrenched in solitude and in difficult thought patterns. Sure, at first I got a lot of work done, but eventually staying in that place started to take a toll on my mental health.
On my partner’s return, I simply didn’t have time to obsess and overthink. My rumination and world view swung back.
The problem is that this is a catch 22. The longer I was alone, the deeper I went down the hole, the less I wanted to see people. But that was exactly what I needed.
Get out of your head
This is the point of having supports. Other people can bring us back to reality. They can force us out of our heads. They can help us see things in a different way.
Others can force us out of rumination, obsession and dark thought patterns. But only if we are willing to reach out; only if we are willing to let people into our lives and our heads.
So how do we make use of this?
1) Notice when you are digging hole. Many of us have old mental trenches we like. We have spent time in them before. When you find yourself going back into that old groove, make a mental note that this has not served you in the past.
2) Make a 2 day rule. Even as an introvert, I don’t need more than 2 days of being alone. Make it a rule that you must get out and see people in a meaningful way every 2 days.
3) Realize you can’t overcome what is in your head by staying in your head. If there truly is a problem to be solved, or something you need to deal with- you need help. Maybe that is a therapist or a friend or an art class. Either way, healing is a group activity. No matter who you are, you will need the love and guidance of others.