Feeling trapped in your own mind is an unpleasant feeling and one many people with anxiety suffer with.
I could give a list of why this is but in my opinion the main cause is the endless thinking about ‘us’. If you think about the average person walking down the street, they will be thinking about the meal on Saturday, then the meeting at work later in the day, meeting friends for lunch, everything is outward, where as anxiety sufferers think mainly of themselves and how they are feeling, everything is inward, which causes many of the feelings of being trapped in your own mind.
I spent years thinking about me, worrying and trying to figure a way out of the way I felt, but this had the opposite effect and I began to feel more and more trapped and isolated. Of course I would feel trapped in my own mind, it makes sense to me now as I never let anything else in, the deep thinking about the way I felt and how to escape had sent me down a path where ‘anxiety’ had become me, I was so used to worrying and thinking that this became a habit, like a needle stuck in a record.
So what I needed to do was change this process and let other things into my day, live in the present and stop worrying about me, the past and the future, it was time to escape from my own mind, to unlock some doors and begin to live again. So I had to begin teach myself to live in the present. If I had to cook, then I would cook, I would not cook and worry about me anymore. If I went to the shop to buy some groceries then that is what I would do, I would not spend the whole walk thinking about how to escape from my anxiety. Of course the habit to think about me was there, I felt as though my mind was on me most of the day, but that was fine, that was a habit, this would thaw in time as long as I continued to practice this way.
Anyone who knows me will know I am not a big fan of forums, I really dislike them because again I think people become reliant on them, logging in everyday to talk and read about anxiety, day in day out and to be fair I see the same names there years later. I am anxiety free now but I am involved so much in the subject I do need to take a break from time to time, I need to have other things in my life and I make a conscious effort to play sport, to socialize, to go out riding my bike and other things. My week has many a focus and feels fresh and not bogged down with one subject.
So anxiety or not just try and add other things into your week, try not to worry so much, anxiety has a habit of making us think the worst and on finding an outlet things get magnified. Trust me once you take the anxiety away then you find it hard to worry, the need is just not there. This taught me a lot once I began to really make strides into my recovery. Before I would be in worry mode and think everything needed to be sorted out, worry about what people thought, worry about meeting someone, worry about how I was feeling, the whole cycle. But into my recovery I would have some really good weeks, almost anxiety free and the need to worry would not be there, I would smile at some of things that had me worrying the month before. The trick then was to realize that my anxiety magnified things and the next time anxiety reared its head I would just let everything go, it was not going to have me worrying, going over things trying to make things right, my anxiety was no longer going to send me down the road of worry, making me feel awful, the worries were false anyway, caused by my anxiety needing an outlet. In time I actually became a master in letting things go, the more you practice the easier things get.
Feeling free of my own mind was a gradual process, it came in layers, the worry slowed, my mind became clearer and I felt alive again, free of myself. Below is a list of things that helped me overcome this feeling and what caused me to feel this way in the first place.