Get Out of Your Head – How to Shift Your Mood in 3 Easy Steps
Ever feel like your racing mind is ruining your day?
Our minds are great problem solvers. Never stopping, constantly churning on problems and finding solutions. Which is great because that churning helps us find and implement solutions throughout our day.
What is not so great is that we can’t stop.
We’re so used to continually problem-solving that it’s hard for many of us to stop ruminating on the problems. We think, think, think (aka overthink). Worse yet, we’ve trained our minds to look for new problems to try to solve, even if there are none.
That treadmill cycle of looking for (and possibly creating) problems and then overthinking the possible solutions, and potential for negative outcomes, is exhausting. It takes our focus off the present moment, off the joy of the now, off of the ever fully enjoying the problem-free moments when despite the on-going “problems”, we otherwise would actually feel surprisingly good!
What’s also not great is that cyclical, non-stop, find-problem-solve-problem cyclone drains your battery and fouls your mood.
So, let’s fix that.
Learn how to step off the mental treadmill when you realize it’s ruining the moment, robbing you of positive energy and an otherwise rather better mood.
Give these three tried and true steps for getting out of your head, back to your heart-center and shifting your mood to a calmer, more grounded, (most likely) happier direction.
1. Notice your bad mood.
It’s the first step because without this step, ya changin’ nada. If you don’t notice you’re caught in an unhealthy head spin, you can’t shift it. Start by catching yourself when you’re feeling super-stressed, depleted and “stuck” in a bad mood if you’re in an overthinking cycle.
“When you get in your head, you’re dead.” – Tony Robbins
Once you notice your stressed or bad mood, you have taken back your power. Now you have a choice. Stay stuck in the unproductive, low vibe, overthinking mood or move toward helping yourself out of it. You want out, don’t you? Me too. So, come along with me to step two.
2. Breathe to re-shift your mood.
The overthinking cyclone often makes us anxious. And with anxiety frequently comes shallow breathing. You don’t even realize it, but your racing mind can literally restrict your otherwise complete breath. After you notice that your thoughts feel like they’re choking you, the next step is to consciously breath.
I use the word consciously because breathing is something we do without thinking (thankfully). But in this case, when you want to calm your mind down, get re-centered to your natural state of being, and hit the mental reset button, focusing on your breath for a few minutes is a powerful mood shifter.
“As you focus on calming your breathing, your anxiety will quickly reduce and you will start to think clearly again.” – Liz Miller, MD, Mood Mapping
You can get from a full-on mental panic to an I need to calm down, it’s going to be ok with just your breath. Seems impossible, but try it, it works. Take a few slow, deep, chest and belly expanding breaths. Release slowly and fully, maybe even visualizing the stress escaping your body along with your breath.
This is not meant to oversimplify what you may be going through.
The inner and outer issues triggering the panic and anxious over-thinking may need to be addressed, but a calmer mind always feels better and helps us find more reasonable solutions.
Stressing to find solutions when your mind is spinning and you feel like you can barely breath usually leads to the worst possible imagined outcomes and to good-mood destroyers like fear, anger, and shame.
3. Pivot your focus.
You’ve noticed, you’ve breathed. Now is your chance to turn inward. Not further inward to your thoughts (where things have already spun out of control) but to pivot your focus toward your heart.
Your inner truest self always has the answers you need. You may not always want to hear them, but they are there.
Tuning in to your intuition, to your inner knowing of what to think, do, feel that is for your highest good, that serves you best in your heart, is where better answers and more grounded thoughts are found.
When you’re cranky, anxious, overwhelmed, in a rut, decidedly down and mentally scattered – it’s hard to shift your mood because you’re stuck in your head.
“You can not find the answers with your mind. The road to authentic power is always through what you feel in your heart.” – Gary Zukav, Seat of the Soul
When it comes to getting out of your head, moving out of your own way, and following your own natural, instinctive lead – your heart always knows the way.
Feel beyond your thoughts, deep into your gut, to help yourself see the truth and not the exaggerations. Help yourself intuitively shift perspective by asking yourself better questions about what is real, what you can do, what feels right. How much of the stress, worry and overthinking is truly necessary and helpful. How you can better approach the situation. How you can get more heart-centered insight to positive solutions rather than remain in the overblown negativity storm.
Feel the separation between your inner you (heart) and the ego-based you (head) that is operating from fearful, angry, anxious thoughts. Start learning to feel your way out of the cycle instead of thinking your way out.
We always have choices when it comes to our mood.
The bottom line is that your mind can sometimes play on the opposing team, but your heart is always on your side. You can choose to notice, breathe, and pivot your way to get out of your head and into your heart to shift your mood.
Cheers to our ever-learning, ever-expanding journey! – Marlene
All healing and transformation comes from within. And journaling is a tool that can take you there.
Looking to dig deeper into how to use journaling to reduce anxiety and feel better? Check out Journal to Joy, my self-paced online course designed to show you exactly how to journal for the greatest emotional transformation (in just 10-minutes a day!) – Details here.