Worlds We Live In, Inside & Out
THE WORLDS WE LIVE IN
Inside our Head & Outside our Body
We all have an internal and an external world of which healthy functioning is essential for the development of our minds. How we navigate between these two worlds shapes how we externalise our internal wants and needs for them to be met, and in turn how we internalise the meeting of those need.
Linking Mind and Reality
There is a link between the part of the self which internally exists and that of its image which is externalised. This externalised image is not necessarily a perfect reflection of the internal image. Your inner voice may not have the same content, tone, or volume as your outer voice and vice a versa, with the linking becoming distorted, weakened, consciously altered as a defence, or even hidden, wrapped up in unconsciousness.
There is constant negotiation between the self that exists in our head and that which is presented to the world outside. Sometimes in our lives, when placed in unknown, uncomfortable, or threatening situations, we actively or unconsciously choose to distort the link between the internal self and its externalised reflection as a necessary defence, becoming imbalanced. This might be seen in withdrawal, acting out, taking up new habits, or changing behaviour.
Understanding how our internal world works allows greater insight into how we function, relate, and behave, in our external world. The external self is one’s expression of the internal world’s response to stimuli from our psychological state of mind and the outside world, and the relationship between the two.
The Creation of the World that Exists inside our Head
Our first internalisations (taken from our external world) provide scaffolding to who we are and who we might become. In healthy development we first use the resources of our primary care giver to develop mental processes, this expands to learning from others outside the family. Gradually, as we grow, we learn through our own experiences. We build a personal perception of ourselves and the world we live in, using our own innate temperament and qualities to form the unique being that we are.
We slowly separate from our parents becoming more independent. Through trial and error, we start to learn from the consequences of our actions. We come to realise that the parts of us which we consciously chose to present to the external world have an impact on our relationship with others and our self. As this happens, we discover a power in self-control, increasing our ability to master our body and mind. This in turn uncovers our capabilities and the possibilities of our future.
The Wish to Live in One World or the Other
Wanting to live solely in your head, or in a reality based on materialism and superficiality, can represent a difficulty in our ability to contain and process certain emotions, understandings, and experiences. There are many ways in which we respond to these overwhelming states. Commonly, we project these difficult elements out for others to hold, or we internalise them in an attempt to hide or manage the pain.
Projecting out and managing psychological stress by physical means such as exercise, diet, shopping, gambling, sex, denies the expression and processing of important thoughts and feelings and leads to the accumulation of stress and consequential damage. In detaching from our emotions and denying our experiences we limit our control in processing complex emotions, recovering from traumatic experiences, and repairing the damage left from life realities, reducing the chances of us developing in all aspects of our lives.
Internalising psychological stress by escaping to the sanctuary of our minds creating a fantasy world and cutting off reality greatly impacts on our identity and ability to relate genuinely. As with projection, internalising and cutting off emotions and experiences which cause pain limit our ability to influence and control our reality. The importance in recognising the existence and integration of the world in your head and the world which exists outside in reality is paramount in being able to take control, utilise your resources and create the life you want to live.
Often, we struggle to process our emotions and experiences on our own and professional is needed, offering a non-judgemental and containing space to work things through. Get in touch to find how Life Studio services could help you.
Meet Sophie Barrett MSc, BA (Hons), Dip, CertHE
I am a qualified Counselling Psychotherapist, accredited member of the British Association for Counsellors and Psychotherapists (BACP). As an accredited member I am recognise as having achieved a high standard of knowledge, experience and development in counselling and psychotherapy through my accredited MSc qualification as well as a through a separate rigorous application and assessment process within the BACP. As a BACP accredited member I receive supervision when in practice and am bound by the BACP Ethical Framework.
I am a qualified Register of Exercise Professionals (REPs) registered Pilates andPre and Postnatal Pilates instructor and a Level 4 Sports Massage Therapist with membership of the Association of Soft Tissue Therapists. REPS is an independent public register which recognises the qualifications and expertise of health-enhancing exercise instructors in the UK which provides a system of regulation for instructors and trainers to ensure that they meet the National Occupational Standards. All professionals on the Register are appropriately qualified and have the knowledge, competence and skills to perform their role effectively.