Don't go into your head alone, it's a dangerous neighbourhood!

The title quote has been with me for some time. There is a profound truth in it. It's clear from my client's work that people have a busy mind running the show. The 'servant' has become 'master'. It is often unhelpful and can cause anxiety, stress, depression, and in some cases even lead to suicide.


What to do with this 'inboard terrorist' you might say? Most people arrange the externals: people, places, and things. They do this to get something outside to help them feel better inside (a bit like rearranging your seating position on the Titanic).

This might explain the compulsion to stay and be busy. Given our technological advances, we now have such access to the outside that we can get stuck there. This may sound judgemental but it is not meant to be, we do live in the material world and have to engage with it.

The problem arises there. Our awareness is there most of the time. Then the mind is the master. All the data is overwhelming and drowning you inside, the resting awareness. The normal state of the mind seems to consist of questions like; What do they think of me? What should I say/do/think? What is my purpose? On and off the restless and 'dis-eased' nature of the mind.

There is another way to be, allegedly! It is very simple but requires practice and effort. There are many ways to do it. I don't have 'the map', but I have stolen a few clues from others. I have used the work of Michael Singer. It is excellent, but not new. It comes from many distant traditions including Buddhism, Hinduism, and Christianity.

One way I work is to help clients focus their attention. They focus on the breath. And that is it. But stay there. Or, keep coming back. The mind pulls you there 100k times a day! If you do this and relax and let go the mind begins to quieten down.  

What does 'let go' mean? In this context, it means allowing the mind to be busy, allowing the heart to feel, begin to sit with yourself. Imagine a state where it feels good inside. It matters less and less what is happening outside.

Anxiety and fear are of the mind. That is not to say if a tiger walks into the room you don't take immediate action but how often does that happen? The mind spends 90% more time on this. It creates a story about the future and what might happen. Then, it lives as if this calamity was fast approaching.

It is not our natural state. We live in a world full of distractions and part of the problem is a hyperawareness of all data coming in. This does not equate to a peaceful state. Focusing on the breath, counting to 20, and then repeating can help a person stay centered. Once someone can get comfortable there, they can let their heart emote. They can let their emotions 'have their moment in the sun'.

This means not pushing away feelings. And not using people, places, and things to change how. Instead, we should accept and allow all the feelings. By doing so, you begin to free yourself of the emotional garbage that you have suppressed.

This internal garbage is being triggered by the 3 p's. The 3 p's are people, places, and things. Our internal garbage is the problem. How often has something happened in reality and then lived on within us?

Practising this pulls one less to worldly things. The possibility of getting comfortable inside becomes more real. By not engaging the mind to figure everything out, one saves energy. That energy goes back to the resting being. The upshot is you get to feel better! Win, Win.

You begin to tap into the natural state of being, that of joy, energy, enthusiasm, energy and a lightness of spirit. This is the natural state. Not a constant state of neurosis eased by temporal moments of external pleasure. Another person can centre themselves by using techniques. Mantra, yoga, and meditation, for example. But, the work is to stay centred. It's to allow the slings and arrows to do their bit and deal with them. But, keep coming back to the resting centre.

Most of us are so swayed by outside approval. We have little connection to our true selves. This can be confusing, how do we know what we like, what we want, who we are, and what works for us and what doesn't? That then enables us to get our needs met or at least get some idea of what they might be.

The breath is constant and automatic. You can stay aware of it while engaging with the world. Try and experiment with it now. Take a few deep breaths. Then, let your breathing return to normal and count each breath up to 20. Then, repeat.

The views expressed in this article are those of the author. All articles published on Counselling Directory are reviewed by our editorial team.

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London, SW12
Written by Dominic Ingham, Individual member of BACP. Dip.
London, SW12

My name is Dominic Ingham I am a fully qualified therapist. I often work with clients who are struggling internally and uncertain of their purpose or goals. Working to connect the client more fully with themselves can release great internal energies and direction. It is an inside job!

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