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The Mental Health Benefits of Staying in Your Lane

We all one time or another have not stayed in our own lane. Maybe you got caught up in comparison and wondered why someone else’s life looks so perfect and yours doesn’t. Perhaps, you found yourself so busy trying to keep your friend’s life together that you could barely manage your own.  In the current age of social media, it can be difficult to focus on yourself or stay in your lane when most people’s lives are front and center. However, generally those are just glimpses of what people want you to see and not their actual reality. This type of engagement can easily fuel comparison and take energy away from focusing on your own priorities. Staying in your lane is a great tool to have in your mental wellness toolbox. It can be utilized when it comes to warding off comparison and with loved ones who overwhelm you with problems. It’s not easy to let people you love fight their own battles, but you can’t always carry everyone else’s baggage. Not staying in your lane and putting too much emphasis on others can cause anxiety, low self-esteem, feelings of inadequacy, and depressive symptoms.  Here are 5 reasons why staying in your lane is beneficial for your mental health.

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Saves you energy

If you think about all the energy you’ve used trying to save someone who didn’t want to be saved or all of the times you couldn’t manage your own stressors because you had to help someone else with theirs, you probably wound up with an empty cup. It is natural to feel that you want to help your family and friends with problems, because you don’t want to see them hurt or suffer. However, we can’t be everyone’s knight in shining armor.  Staying in your lane releases you from carrying their burden. Learning most people’s issues are solely theirs and can be solved by them helps you prioritize your energy. You can be supportive and allow people to carry their own baggage. 

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Allows you to focus more on your priorities

Saving your energy brings me to my next point. Now that you have the energy and bandwidth to prioritize yourself, you can begin creating the life you envision for yourself. Your priorities may look like achieving your goals, improving your mental health, healing from your past, and putting energy into things that are important to you. Focusing on yourself also allows you to recognize and avoid the triggers that are causing you to stray from your lane such as certain social media followers or people who consistently overwhelm you. 

Prompts other people to stay in their lane 

As you start to take the necessary steps to stay in your lane, the people around you will notice and follow suit.  In the past you and a friend may have been heavily entangled in each other’s business but setting boundaries with this person will help both of you start to realize your stuff is yours and their stuff is theirs. Setting boundaries with others and re-evaluating the role you play in your relationships makes room for you to be more intentional in how you show up. It also shows the people in your life that you are making changes that they will need to adjust to. You would be modeling healthy boundaries and behaviors in your relationships.

You improve the relationship with yourself

Social media and the people in your life may fuel comparison but it also fuels judgement. You may find yourself judging others and yourself very harshly. Yet, when you stay in your lane you begin to relinquish yourself from that judgment. Ultimately, you begin to feel better about who you are and where you are in life.  Allowing yourself to release the judgement, the comparison, and the negativity helps you clearly see the progress you have made. You stop overthinking about what people may think about you and start to think better about yourself.  In time, you start to treat yourself better because you recognize you are in a lane of your own. Let me repeat that for those in the back – you are in a lane of your own. 

You improve your relationships with others

Having a stronger relationship with yourself in addition helps you have a better relationship with others. Self-love attracts healthier relationships. When you stay in your lane and learn to feel good about yourself, you no longer bring as much judgement and negativity into your relationships. Furthermore, you allow love and trust to consume your relationships. You will feel better being around people and people will feel better about being around you.


Discover the transformative power of healing in community in Dr. Joy Harden Bradford’s debut book, Sisterhood Heals. Order your copy now!

Sisterhood heals
Order Now

Looking for the UK Edition?
Order here

Discover the transformative power of healing in community in Dr. Joy Harden Bradford’s debut book, Sisterhood Heals. Order your copy now!

Looking for the UK Edition? Order here