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Getting Stuck In Your Head? 5 Strategies To Help You Get Out

Getting Stuck In Your Head Help Get Out

Getting stuck in your head doesn’t always yield any good results, to be honest. The more you get stuck in your head, the more you obsess over your thoughts which in turn leads to more negative thinking.

When I was a kid, one of the more consistent comments from teachers was how lost in my own world I could be, the walls could be falling down around me and I would have no idea. Later, as I got older, it would become the running joke amongst my friends, the lunch conversation completely escaped me, never mind my actual classes! I never thought of it as getting stuck, I was simply a daydreamer.

The phrase ‘getting stuck in your thoughts’, will either make perfect sense to you or leave you wondering, what does that mean. If you are reading this, chances are, you are in the first of these two groups. 

Getting stuck in your thoughts simply means that you are prone to overthinking, which can also be synonymous with rumination but also confused with just daydreaming.

Related: 5 Steps to Release and Let Go of the Stories You Keep Telling Yourself

Getting Stuck or Just a Daydreamer?

I always thought of it as just zoning out. I would come home from school, put my music on and just lay on my bed staring at the ceiling while I analyzed the day’s events. It could be a few minutes or a few hours… scanning and replaying the many conversations, interactions, and events that took place around me that day. 

When I think back on it, the thoughts definitely skewed negative, reinforcing the many negative ideas about how I didn’t measure up. Does this sound familiar?

Many of us struggle with this dilemma of sorts, I have actually found that when I am not able to get lost in my thoughts I can feel myself craving it. It might be why today, I enjoy alone time so much when I can simply lose myself to the inner world of my thoughts and ideas. It’s kind of a love-hate thing, losing yourself to the inner world of your mind.

My life today does not allow me to get lost in my thoughts the way I could at one point, it feels as though there are constant demands on my attention which is even frustrating at times, despite the fact that I know this is not such a bad thing, after all, is getting stuck in your head ever a good thing?

The Difference Between Getting Stuck and Daydreaming

These thought patterns, for me, persisted for quite a few years and ultimately led me to a pretty dark place. Years later I can see how this pattern developed and didn’t quite serve me, I never would have thought of my “daydreaming” as getting stuck in my head or intrusive thoughts

Despite the fact that I couldn’t control them, that was just me, or so I thought. And I loved to think, as I’ve mentioned, it helped me sort through the flood of feelings and ideas I had floating around in my very noisy head.

My experience with these types of thought patterns is not very different from many of you. We all have that inner dialogue going on, to one extent or another.

The question to ask yourself is where do your thoughts take you? Are you rehashing all of the things you feel you messed up in a day? Or are you thinking about ideas, things you want to do, possibly creative projects? This is where maybe it is more about the destination, not the journey, though the journey (thought pattern) is important as well. Let’s dive into that a little more.

Related: How To Shift Your Mindset Towards More Optimism and Happiness

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Meredith Flanagan, LICSW

Meredith Flanagan is a Mental Health Professional (LICSW) with more than 20 years of experience as a social worker, educator, therapist, and community organizer. She has worked in a variety of fields such as domestic violence and crisis intervention, developmental disabilities, healthcare, and public education. Among her proudest achievements is being an RPCV (Returned Peace Corps Volunteer), serving in Ecuador and Honduras. She has been in clinical practice for over 10 years and works primarily with clients who battle depression, anxiety, ADHD, PTSD, and Adjustment Disorder. Meredith has been working in the field of public education for the past 7 years and currently holds a position as a Special Education Administrator. Her passion is turning life’s challenges and roadblocks into opportunities and strengths that drive us forward creating new and exciting possibilities.View Author posts