Susan Hesk  Clinical Psychologist

Sometimes when you are feeling like quiet time, you might sit next to the window in your office. Perhaps, your quiet place is sitting on a bench under the acacia tree, or in the bath. Problem is, if you were unable to mark out such a place in your busy working life, you may have to turn over many stones to find it during retirement. Quiet spaces are about introspection. Taking stock of your day. Noticing different feelings, getting in touch with ailments, strong emotions, sadness, sorrow or joy.

Quiet spaces are special places to be visited when you need grounding or answers to grappling questions. It’s a delicious, imperative of indulgence. Critical for survival in the hustle and bustle, yet neglected because of it. Inward thinking is both positive and negative, depending on what you do with those thoughts.

It can at times, become paralyzing, as the thoughts circulate with only your consciousness to analyse and dialogue with them. Rumination is a by-product of inward thinking, which stimulates  churning of your thoughts, to the point where the initial inkling has gathered enormous proportions. The first small inkling you might have had,  now become an overwhelming angst. And then what do you do with this? How is angst actioned? It seldom fosters action and often links securely to other inward ruminations.

Alternatively, outward thinking is about stepping outside of self, taking the spotlight off deep introspection and increasing your vision, helping you to connect with others, your appearance, your purpose. Introspection is a solitary process. Outward thinking links to creating new relationships and investing in the ones you already have. Outward thinking is the antenna for creativity and relating. It has a power of its own but to action it, your thought processes would need to move from inward thinking solitary.