Get out of your head!

5 min read

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We engineers love to use our head. It helps us to think structured and analytical. Also, it helps to make calculations, to model, make lists and predict outcomes.

The command line [If…then…else] is one of the first things I learned programming in BASIC. This is also one of the lines in our mind. But sometimes the outcome of [else] is different from what we did expect. This can be frustrating. We try to understand what happened. We then get stuck in our head.

What happens when I am stuck in my head?

When stuck in my head, there’s no creativity and energy drains. This happens when I am stressed, panicked, worried or in trouble. This also tends to happen with short deadlines, a lot of work or angry clients. My breath gets short and I make mistakes (something that causes me to get even more stuck in my head).

It also happens when I try to communicate with someone while thinking of others things. We call this multitasking and it doesn’t really work (try the exercise 2 in this article). If we’re stuck in our head, we tend to stay there. Why? Because we’re certain the  answer is between our ears.

Do you recognize this?

This article is about how to get from your head to your heart. If you’re working from the heart, you’re in flow, you’re creative, you’re connected, fear disappears and “I” disappears. Also, time passes quickly and you actually enjoy what you’re doing. Furthermore energy flows, you work more efficiently, you are more productive and joyful.

So, what can you do to get out of your head and into flow, in your heart?

Move to the present

First be aware that you’re stuck in your head and move away from the information overload.

Do this by becoming aware of your breathing.  Just breathe in and out and focus on each inhalation and exhalation. By focusing on your breathing, you are in the present, in the now. You’re in connection with your body. Not in the past where you made that mistake. Not in the future where the deadline is. Next become aware of your surroundings: the computer, the desk or the people outside.

An exercise to ground

An exercise to come in connection with your body and your heart is to ground. Stand up , spread your legs  and bend your knees slightly. Next, put your left hand beside your left hip with your palm facing downwards. Place your right hand before your heart with your palm facing forward. Then push your left hand downwards and your right hand forward hard. You should feel heavier, grounded. If you feel yourself becoming lighter then you should push harder!

 

The Haka

There is an ancient dance from the Maori warriors in New Zeeland. The dance is about grounding, expression, teambuilding and to come in contact with your own energy.  For more information about the Haka, to experience it for yourself and with your team, click here.

Task completed!

Next imagine one of your tasks and how it will make you feel once it is completed. Feel the euphoria, the happiness, and the pride to have completed something. You can also do a short and easy task which will give you satisfaction and joy.

Time out!

Take a break and change your surroundings. Walk through the building, drink water or go outside for fresh air.

Other things you can do to get out of your head is to do sports, create art (draw, paint, make music and dance) or do something for someone else. Ask if you can help someone and give a gift to a stranger! Laughing also works very well.

Reflect

By reflecting on the situation you can let go of it and you can decide to take action.  How to reflect and the benefits of self-reflection can be found here.

Also it can help just talk with someone (a co-worker or a coach) about what is keeping you in your head. By talking about it, you’re reflecting as well. This will help you to better understand the situation and let it go.

The heart

By working from the heart you’ll feel more energetic, more creative, powerful, more focused, more joyful and happy. You’ll become more effective in whatever you do.

How do you get out of your head to your heart? Is there perhaps a meditation exercise you’re doing? Please let me know in the comment box below. I look forward reading from you!

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