Enemy Territory

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I have a friend who frequently says,  “When I am in my own head,  I am in enemy territory. ”

There are many moments in my life when this is more true than I would like. On the racquetball court, if the ball has a nice,  lazy bounce and I have plenty of time to check out where my opponent is,  have plenty to time to think about the perfect placement and the precise force needed to hit a winner,  I will invariably hit a poor shot.  Why?  I am too much in my own head.

The same is true in other places in my life: I have a tendency to overthink,  to overanalyze,  to get in my own way as I live my life.  Enemy territory,  indeed!

What to do?  How do we get out of ourselves and live more in the present and more fully?  I have found four important ways to do this:

1. Spend time outdoors.   Nature is endlessly fascinating and it always fills me with wonder and gives me new perspective.

2. Read a book or watch a movie.  There’s nothing like getting absorbed in someone else’s head to get out of your own!

3. Perform an act of service.   Sometimes this means we spend a chunk of time helping others,  but even a small act of kindness (such as helping someone load their groceries in the car  or holding a door for someone) can get us out of our rut.

4. Laugh.  Laughter reduces stress,  helps us feel good,  and enables us to take ourselves less seriously.   I know it is sometimes hard to find something to laugh at,  so if you need something now,  remember this: when you are in your own head,  you are in enemy territory!

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