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Living Life? or Living in Your Head?


Living Life? or Living in Your Head?


A defining characteristic of mental health struggles is that they can cause us to become stuck in our heads. But what does that mean exactly, “to be stuck in one’s head?” If you’re like many people, it’s probably become so natural to engage with every thought and feeling that enters your mind, you may not even notice yourself doing it. Here are some signs that you may be spending too much time in your head…


  • You spend a lot of time trying to figure out what others are thinking.

  • You ask yourself why you have certain thoughts, and tend to believe that all thoughts happen for some purpose or reason.

  • You assume that all of your emotions happen for good reason and then respond accordingly, avoiding things whenever you feel anxious or fearful, punishing yourself whenever you feel guilty, lashing out at others whenever you feel angry.

  • You focus a lot of attention on negative thoughts you have about yourself.

  • You review incidents from the past over and over again with no productive outcome.

  • You spend a lot of energy trying to remove doubt and uncertainty from situations that are unavoidably uncertain.

  • You try to mentally "figure things out" that can't really be figured out.

  • You  worry about circumstances that can't be changed, or at least can't be changed by any mental activity on your part.

  • You focus on rigid, inflexible thoughts about a situation that only make you more upset.

  • In general, you spend a lot of time trying to control your mental experience, trying to get rid of, or avoid, thoughts and feelings you don't like.


If any of these sound familiar, you may be spending too much time in your head. But rest assured there's hope. You can learn to direct your attention towards other parts of life. On the next page I share a few tips for starting this process...



Michael Parker, LCSW   |   2526 Monroeville Blvd #208, Monroeville, PA 15146   |   412.256.8256   |   Treatment for OCD and Anxiety in Pittsburgh, PA

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