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Mar 29

Getting Out of Your Head

We hear this advice a lot in recovery. Most people can’t, or rather don’t, get out of their own heads because they never realize that there is an alternative. We simply start to believe that this is how life is going to be. We strengthen our conviction that we have no control over our thoughts and feelings with excuses and even affirmations that we can’t help the way we think or feel. But the big question is if we don’t then who does?
We have all experienced that loud mental chatter – that much is true. Even in meditation or prayer the mind has a way of taking off in its own direction and we tend to wander along with it usually without even noticing. We most often blame this on our circumstances or other people. We just can’t seem to keep our thoughts from racing to whatever happened or needs to happen and rehashing what someone else did, said or might be thinking. It doesn’t take long before you’ve have lost focus, motivation and most likely your sense of peace and happiness to boot. But really what has changed? You’re still sitting in the same exact spot; everything is basically just as it was except now you feel rotten. In this way we sabotage many of our most sincere efforts and true desire for healing.Here are some really great tips for getting out of your head almost immediately and changing your state:

· First things first, take three deep breaths, put a small smile on your face (even if you don’t totally mean it) and turn the situation over to your Higher Power. Say a prayer, meditate if that works well for you. If you have a mantra now is the time to use it. “I choose to find the good in this situation, help me to let go and move on, I choose peace…”
· Physical movement and environment. Get up and go outside, or at least into another room to change your physical environment and then keep moving. Walk, hike, run, swim, do pushups, yoga or even start cleaning something! Just decide you’re not going to sit there and think about it anymore.
· Talk to someone who inspires you. If you have a sponsor call them, maybe it’s a mentor or a trusted friend, anyone you can rely on for positive feedback. Yeah, you may blow off a little steam venting at first but as long as you don’t blow it out of proportion, you have an honest desire to feel better and you’re talking to the right person the conversation will almost always lead you in the right direction. This includes going to meetings, support groups and therapy – all good ways to change your state.
· Help someone out. Service work can take many forms so your opportunities are only limited by your desire to help. A Twelve Step call is of course pure genius for this one but not the only option. Carry the old lady next door’s groceries up the stairs, wash your parent’s car, save the kitten on the side of the road. This one is especially helpful if you’ve laid some groundwork by joining volunteer organizations and maintain relationships with the fellowship or even nearby churches that can use your help.
· Make a list or journal. If writing things down helps you clear your head get out some paper. Grab a pen and be sure to spend a few minutes writing about something positive after the brain dump. I personally feel that the physical act of writing is helpful here as opposed to using a computer but do whatever works for you.
· Read, watch or listen to something that inspires you. A movie, the Big Book, a poem, a song, again choosing something that you already know makes you feel good and brings you joy or peace.

Those are just a few ideas but certainly not a comprehensive list. It doesn’t have to be one of these and it doesn’t have to be just one! The point is that we can choose our thoughts and we are responsible for our wellbeing. No excuses today, just positivity and progress. Love, Jane

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