I had a useful reminder of this one recently.
Watch out who you’re letting rent the space in your head. It’s ok to evict any tenant who’s dragging you down.
I’m normally pretty good at being able to keep other people’s ‘stuff’ out of my ‘head-rent-space’. But there’s been a situation over the past week where I’m having to deal with someone who is feeling very stressed and pretty sad – and I’ve been letting them pass it on to me.
How did I spot it?
Because I was spending a lot of my spare time thinking and talking about that person and their behaviour and – here’s the crunch – I was feeling irritated and stressed, whenever I thought about the situation. My Monkey Mind’s story machine was in overdrive.
I was letting them live in my head, rent-free, and was letting their issues impact the way I was feeling.
It’s a surprisingly common problem.
It can lead to stress and worry, with a massive dollop of negative thinking and generally feeling bad.
What can you do, when someone else is camping out in your head?
Let go of the story!
Here’s a quick – but highly effective – 3-step action plan:
- Ask yourself (very honestly!): what’s true in this – and what’s drama? Let go of everything that’s drama. It will feel better – instantly – especially if you do this from a place of compassion, rather than anger. (Remember: all criticism is borne of someone else’s pain)
- Ask yourself: do I need to take any specific action to improve this situation? If yes, do it. If no, let go and move on.
- Each time that person pops back into your head space, lovingly remind yourself that you have chosen not to play that game any more and think of something else. If you find that hard, you can always experiment with the ‘cutting old ties‘ exercise.
It’s not about rejecting the other person.
It is about setting clear boundaries (with yourself!) and accepting responsibility for the fact that who and what you let hang around in your head will impact your exoerience of life – and we always have choice.
I’m curious: is there anything going on for you where this might help today?
When you experiment with this, you’ll notice you end up with a wonderful sense of relief, when the job is done.
Wishing you a day full of sunshine and laughter.
This article is an excerpt from The Little Book Of Daily Sunshine by Clare Josa.