The Watering Hole Blog

Mental Real Estate

brain inside

Who or What is Taking Up Too Much Space in Your Head?

Image by John Hain on Pixabay

And are they at least paying you RENT?

Didn’t think so.

This blog is about mental real estate. It’s a bit of a follow up to the boundaries part of last week’s blog, “Unpacking Difficult Emotions.”

This is my brilliant insight:

When it comes to boundaries and dealing with boundary-pushers, it is not just the time spent setting and enforcing boundaries with another person we need to be aware of; it is also the time and energy spent thinking, worrying, stressing, fussing, and fuming about the fact that we DO have to deal with them, as well as figuring out how best to.

When it comes to dealing with the people in our lives who want, expect and/or demand more from us than we are willing or able to give, it is important to be aware of how much time and mental energy we are expending on them…likely without them even realizing it (nor caring, probably).

I don’t think we necessarily always realize how much mental space WE are allowing another person to occupy in our head. Click To Tweet

An incident (such as a nasty comment) that triggered the need to set a boundary may have only taken a few minutes in real time.

But the emotional and mental aftermath – in our heads and hearts – can take up an awful lot of precious time and energy that could likely be spent far more productively.

Of course, it’s not just a person that might be consuming the lion’s share of our mental attention. It could be a recurring thought, idea, story, obsession, belief, worry, task to-do…you name it.

Whatever it is, if we are constantly thinking about the same thing over and over again, we better be damn sure it is serving us in a positive way. Click To Tweet

However, it seems to be human nature to allow someone or something to take up valuable real estate in our head far longer than is necessary – or helpful.

Instead of stopping long enough to process and get clarity, then take action and move forward, we often get caught in a mental loop of thinking, fuming, fussing, worrying, stressing…thinking, fuming, fussing, worrying, stressing…and on and on, like an endless rollercoaster that isn’t even FUN.

Is there anyone – or anything – that is taking up valuable real estate in your head and/or heart these days?

If so, what action could you take to evict them from your mental space? Or send them a bill for their overdue rent and see what happens 😊

Either way, you are the landlord. You get to decide who or what occupies your mental space.

We must choose our tenants wisely.

Our mental health is more important than ever these days. Remember that the next time a squatter-thought comes to visit and refuses to leave.

Thanks for reading, please take care & stay well!

Maryanne Pope is the author of “A Widow’s Awakening.” She also writes screenplays, playscripts and blogs. Maryanne is the CEO of Pink Gazelle Productions and a Director with the John Petropoulos Memorial Fund. To receive her blog, “Weekly Words of Wisdom,” please subscribe here.

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6 thoughts on “Mental Real Estate”

  1. This comment just came in via e-mail:

    This blog was a very good reminder for me. Since the renter of our rental home was such a jerk…I’ve let him rent FAR too much space in my head with his ungratefulness and rude comments that were so uncalled for. Not only did he rent our actual investment property and ruin it, he also ruined my mental peace for a time!

    Your blog was a reminder for me to LET THAT GO!

    Thank you 🙂

  2. Another comment via e-mail:

    Great advice – especially in bereavement during a pandemic. Eviction notices should go out for thoughts as well as the virus. It is also a time to shut out offending people who plant the wrong comments.

    Thank you,

  3. As a lifelong empath boundaries are difficult for me. I am finally, at 37, gaining a better grasp on evicting recurring thoughts and worries and people from my mind. It’s a lot of work upfront, however, I have already made progress in the last couple years and weeks that is helping me gain my own headspace for me and what I choose to spend mental energy on. I’m only a couple chapters into The Empath’s Survival Guide, but it has had a positive impact over the last week.

  4. Hi Rose! Oh…I will check out “The Empath’s Survival Guide” – it sounds excellent. I am so glad you are making headway with dealing with boundaries! It IS a great deal of work up front…but you are so wise to become aware of what you are spending your mental energy on.

    Take care, all the best & thanks so much for reading this blog and sharing your thoughts & experience.

  5. Hi Lydia! You are very welcome…glad this blog about mental real estate was of help to you. I felt very strongly about writing it…because mental real estate IS very valuable!

    Take care & thanks for reading 🙂

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