4 thoughts on “Living Inside Your Head: 6 Techniques to Become Present

  • August 10, 2016 at 7:19 am

    I think we have to create a balance of imagination and living in the present. Creative children are frequently jolted out of dreamscapes by aggressive parents who often lack imagination themselves, whereas coaxing would suffice, and in particular asking questions as to what kind of dreams a child has can indicate the potential direction of their life compass. I’m thinking of a best friend who has become a rather successful author despite being deflected into a rather mundane career by her parents. My bullying of her and another writer some years ago with my endless “go for it” mantra returns full circle to the offender, as I’ve signed up to be taught writing on a new course they are running. D’ya know, I’m getting quite nervy about it…Lol …

    • August 10, 2016 at 9:02 am


      I certainly agree with your assertion there is a fine line between acceptable daydreaming and imagination. I also agree children should be encouraged to explore their creative side without judgement, after all this is what childhood is all about. I was actually reflecting on adults in the article as they have many responsibilities and obligations unlike children. Fantasizing is a normal part of life, but it can become unhealthy when it interferes with daily functioning. However, In regards to the article I was referring to those that consistently retreat inward as a coping strategy. This strategy has allowed them to avoid things they feel are distressing or uncomfortable. Living inside one’s head in and of itself is not a bad thing, but when it results in additional problems such as the loss of time, inability to successfully engage with others, or failure to develop and cope with challenges than it has advanced beyond simple daydreaming. I actually have many colleagues that believe there are significant benefits of daydreaming (I do as well), benefits that include envisioning one’s life differently, making mental adjustments that can have real life implications. People that chronically retreat internally often do not realize they are doing so, how long they have been daydreaming, or have lost track of time leading to failure to complete work or other personal obligations. Once fantasizing has interfered with daily functioning or created additional problems than it must be viewed differently, not as simple daydreaming but possibly a maladaptive way of dealing with distressing issues.

      • August 10, 2016 at 8:11 pm

        Thank you for your reply…I should have perhaps expanded somewhat on what I said in connection to childhood trauma issues which I share with a much younger friend. We both sorta connected when we met in a Buddhist group, and quickly became friends. What we both have is DID and self esteem issues resulting from trauma at the earliest stages of child development, so we swapped notes and encouraged each other to come out from under the shadow of PTSD and hopefully individuate.
        The general prognosis for recovery from complex and historic PTSD is pretty awful, but I guess I inspired my friend to have a go. We found a lot of the linking of adult to inner child required quantum leaps of imagination, and dream time to build up courage to foray out into reality
        Luckily I’m retired and she created space to do it, so when we did note swapping we could assess our progress, if any.
        Sometimes we got stuck, but if its worth doing…etc.etc..
        Not everything worked out quite as we thought it would, though she is now a well respected M/H professional..and budding creative ..Result!
        As for this artist / writer, a calm equanimity.
        Both of us really “pushed the envelope” as they say to eventually get to the point where as birds of a feather we could step off the twig..
        Cue “Take these broken wings and learn to fly again” Lol

  • January 13, 2019 at 2:29 pm

    Dear Mrs Bates-Duford,

    I read your article with pleasure.
    I hail from namibia, Africa and grew up as a refugee in Germany.i never knew my mum n my dad n I never really had a relationship.i still live too much in head, perhaps it was a coping mechanism.i would really like to get in touch with u.regards, Nessy


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