Today is part 3 of our mini series on how to get out of your head which we started with Part 1. Understand + Remove The Cause, and then followed on with Part 2. Get Into Your Body + Develop New Habits.
And now, the final part:
Part 3. Eliminate The Triggers + Integrate.
ELIMINATE THE TRIGGERS
Now, there’s one final piece of the puzzle that often gets left out.
Triggers are situations that create an instant response of trying to intellectually solve a problem, thereby firmly placing you into your head.
Triggers are often things like:
- Money worries.
- Family disharmony.
- Fears about the future.
- Feeling insecure.
- And everything else that triggers you to end up in your head.
Which is why it’s important to become aware of and eliminate the triggers. This is how:
1. Find your triggers.
Practice what you’ve learnt so far in Parts 1 + 2, and spend more and more time in your body. When you notice yourself analysing and back in your head, take a moment to work out what triggered that response in you and note it down.
2. Use the triggers.
Once you know what your triggers are, you need to start consciously catching them and changing your response to them. Instead of going into your habit of worrying and over-thinking, use the skills you’ve learnt and move your attention away from your head and back into your body. Experiencing the moment rather than analysing the moment is a skill that you need to practice.
And with practice, habits are formed until this becomes natural for you.
Being able to stay present with your experience through challenging and tough situations is one thing. Being able to actively express yourself whilst staying present with your experience whilst in those situations is another thing completely.
If you’ve been thinking your way through challenging and tough situations for x number of years, then it’s quite easy to believe that in order to be able to take action, you need to be logically thinking about the steps you need to take and how you need to act.
This, of course, isn’t true.
Yes, there are some situations where you need to remember the steps and sequences you need to follow. Especially if you’re doing something you’ve never done before.
But for anything that doesn’t require a set of logical sequence of steps to work through, or does but you’re familiar with them, you don’t actually need to think your way through it.
So here’s a final challenge for you to help you integrate what you’ve learnt about getting out of your head.
1. Simple physical activities.
Pick the simplest and easiest task you can possibly think of and practice staying present with your experience whilst you’re doing it. Washing the dishes, going for a walk, raking leaves, anything that you can do without having to memorise steps to complete it.
Spend 15 minutes meditating (to get your focus in the right spot), then go and do that activity whilst practicing staying present with your experience.
If you notice your attention being pulled away, accept that it’s been pulled away and gently pull it back.
Keep going with that activity until you can do it without too much stress.
Once you’re comfortable, move onto a more challenging exercise like jogging around your block or climbing on play equipment.
Then, once you can do more difficult activities, it’s time to move on to the next step.
This is important because if you can’t master the act of doing simple activities whilst staying focussed on your experience, you’ll never be able to flirt, play, and connect whilst staying focussed on your experience.
2. Physical expression.
When you’re doing mundane activities whilst staying present with your experience, all you need to do is stay present with your experience.
The first step is finding a form of expression – anything artistic: dancing, painting, drawing, singing, writing, talking – that you’re comfortable with and is easy for you.
If you’re not sure, just ask yourself: where do I feel most free, open, and expressive in my life?
That’s a great place to start.
The next part is to practice staying present with your experience and allowing your body to do what feels right.
What I mean by this is that if you’re comfortable form of expression is dance, let your body move to the music however it wants to. Don’t try and perform dance moves, let all the music flow through you and take whatever form of movement your body wants. Maybe your body wants to flow like water, maybe your body wants to bounce like a jack hammer, maybe your body wants to spin and spin and spin. All you need to do is flow with it.
If your comfortable form of expression is painting, let whatever colours and shapes and designs that feel right flow from your brush. Don’t try and paint a picture, allow the picture to emerge from your paint brush. Allow yourself to move towards the colours that feel right, create shapes that feel right. Maybe you feel like red circles, maybe you feel like yellow triangles, maybe you feel like blue squares, maybe you feel like angry faces, maybe, maybe, maybe…
If you’ve never done this before, it will feel weird. Don’t fight it, that’s totally normal. Just allow that weirdness to be there and see what your body creates.
When you’re comfortable with this, it’s time to move onto the next challenge.
Take this sense of freedom and fluidity, out into the world, and share it.
Interact with people from this space of presence and watch what happens. People will respond to you in a way you can’t possibly imagine.
You will feel so much more fulfilled, confident, and in control of your life than you ever thought possible. You’ll be getting things done, moving forward with your life, and feeling energetic and capable whilst you’re doing it.
And the greatest gift is the ability to experience the present moment, which is what you’re really looking for. After all….