How to Get Out of Your Head and Focus on the Present

Written by: Ankita Kathad – MA (Psychology)

Last updated date : October 25, 2022

Table of Contents How to Get Out of Your Head and Focus on the Present
  1. Living in the Future
  2. What Happens if You Don’t Get Out of Your Head?
  3. How to Get Out of Your Head?
  4. Endnote

Have you ever caught yourself or someone else who is always thinking about the future? Are you someone who thinks a lot about all the ‘what-ifs? Have you caught yourself worrying a lot about what will happen in the future? People who worry a lot about their future are always in their heads and forget to live their life. They do not enjoy the present. In this article, we discuss how to get out of your head and be focused on the present.

We define what the future worry looks like, further we discuss why some people are anxious about the future. Additionally, we talk about ways in which we can embrace the present and not think about the things that have not happened yet. In summary, we understand how to get out of the head and live life meaningfully.


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Chapter 1:

Living in the Future

Thinking about the future is normal. All of us do it from time to time. We plan our future for a better tomorrow. This helps us make smart decisions and stay safe from any potential dangers. However, when the worry starts interfering with our present lives, it becomes a problem. In this case, worry about the future starts consuming the moments from our present. We end up wasting a lot of time thinking of what’s to come. It becomes difficult to get out of our heads.

The ‘What ifs’ and ‘What will happen slowly make room in our heads. Our brain’s default mechanism, sometimes, is to think of the worst outcomes. This can be due to many reasons such as past trauma, experience, or observing others. However, this catastrophic thinking leads to constant worry about the future. It impairs our decision-making. This is the reason why people get scared while thinking of the future.

Why is it that we worry about the future? The main reason is uncertainty. We do not know what will happen in the future. This makes us feel powerless. As humans, we want to have control over our life events. Chronic worry about the future makes us look at the possible outcomes negatively. Moreover, anxiety also impacts your functioning in the present moment.

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Chapter 2:

What Happens if You Don’t Get Out of Your Head?

When you are too occupied by the thoughts of the future, many aspects of life get affected. Here are some ways in which your present gets affected due to the thoughts of the future.

  • You think negative events will occur more than positive ones.
  • You waste a lot of time and cannot concentrate on the job at hand.
  • You don’t enjoy the present moment. For instance, if you don’t get out of your head, you will not be able to enjoy the here-and-now moment.
  • Productivity at work worsens.
  • It affects well-being and mental health. This is because frequent anxiety can lead to anxiety disorders.

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Chapter 3:

How to Get Out of Your Head?

As discussed, a normal amount of worry about the future is helpful for planning and decision-making. However, it is harmful when it is in excess. Here are some ways you can get the worry out of your head.

Avoid Predictions

When you have anxious thoughts of the future in your head, you are mostly thinking about negative outcomes. Even if you try very hard, you cannot control everything that will happen in the future. Therefore try not to predict a future nobody is certain about. You can be at peace once, you start focusing on the present. Worrying about the future serves no purpose if it’s adding stress to your daily life. Additionally, you can take better decisions if you are calm and in the present.

Exercise

Exercise helps you stay focused on the present. Whether it’s running or swimming or dancing. All these activities require you to stay in the present. Therefore, exercise helps you big time to get out of your head and stay focused on the present. Additionally, it helps you clear your mind and focus well. A lot of times, we stay in our heads because of anxiety or fear of the future. Exercise helps us feel confident and positive.

Replace Worrisome Thoughts With Positive Ones

The best way to get it out of your head is to put it down somewhere. Write down your thoughts and feelings about the future somewhere. You can write it on pen or paper or make a digital note. Analyze your thoughts. If you think of negative outcomes, analyze the risks. Are those risks worth worrying about? Are those risks manageable? All these questions can be worked upon and eventually you will realize that you have been worrying about things that can be managed easily.

Relaxation Techniques

Learn some relaxation techniques that can help you stay in the present moment. Here are some methods you can use to get it out of your head.

  • Deep breathing: This exercise is very helpful if anxiety is getting the best of you. Even when you find yourself worrying about the future, deep breathing for a few minutes can help you get the worry out of your head. Try practicing breathing exercises every morning and practice them whenever you find yourself worrying.
  • Muscle relaxation: This technique involves focusing on different groups of muscles. Additionally, the focus is on progressive tensing and relaxation of those muscle groups.
  • Meditation: A beautiful concept called mindfulness meditation involves, staying focused on the present moment. This also involves letting go of the doubts and worries and focusing on the here and now moment.
  • Journaling: Journaling or making entries about future worries can help you think practically and realistically.

Talk It Out!

Connecting with loved ones can help us get the worry out of our heads. They help us get a better perspective on the future when our mind is filled with negative outcomes. Talking to your friends or family can help you because they too may have worried about the future at some point. They can share their experiences about dealing with worries about the future.

Set a Worrying Time

Set aside some time for thoughts about the future. Use rational dialogues while thinking about those worries. Take twenty minutes or so to worry as much as you can. However, do not engage for more time thinking and worrying about the future.

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Chapter 4:

Endnote

Worry is a natural part of thinking. Learning the above-mentioned strategies can help you think rationally and reduce the frequency of worry. Relaxation and meditation help you improve your window of tolerance and hence you do not get easily worried by the thoughts of the future. If you are still unable to get it out of your head, you can try several courses available at Epsychonline Courses like Social anxiety can help you in reducing your anxiety about future outcomes. There are many articles that help you understand worry about the future and ways in which you can manage it. Do check them out 


"Learnt a lot from this course" Sally

50 sections

6-Weeks Self-Paced

  • Educational Content
  • Quizzes
  • Self-reflection material
  • Suggestions & feedback
  • Worksheet, tips & tools to use

$9.00 $12.00

25% discount