How to Break Free from the Mental Prison You Are In

5 Things That Will Help You Escape This Limiting Way of Living Your Life

Neel Raman
6 min readOct 4, 2022

While breaking free from anything often relates to something physical, the mental prison you are in is the one you must learn to break free from.

Have you ever felt trapped or imprisoned? Perhaps you were in a state that caused you to feel hopeless or depressed?

If you have experienced those emotions, you were living in a mental prison.

1-Minute Summary Video

What is a Mental Prison?

A mental prison is a state in which your mind focuses on the negative aspects of a situation or your life. It can cause you to feel trapped.

It’s when you cannot fathom a different reality and struggle to generate new empowering thoughts.

A mental prison causes you to feel you’re a victim and everything or everyone is against you. You feel restricted because of your beliefs and cannot see something different for yourself. It can feel like a life sentence.

When you’re in a mental prison, you’re in a negative pattern. You feel stuck in a cycle of self-doubt, self-loathing, and fear, which stops you from taking new actions.

A mental prison can develop from external factors, like your environment, education, or culture, or it can develop from internal factors and habitual mind patterns, like your programming, thoughts, and emotions.

To break free from the internal prison you are in, you must overcome self-doubt, self-criticism, and get out of a victim mentality.

Why Do People Live in a Mental Prison?

People stay in a mental prison because:

  • They don’t know they’re living in one.
  • They have low self-esteem.
  • They don’t want to face a challenge in life or their reality.
  • They’re afraid of change.
  • They allow themselves to be affected by the opinions of others.
  • They do not know what they want.
  • They’re afraid of being alone.
  • They let their situation be an excuse for not changing their life.
  • They focus on what could go wrong.
  • They don’t believe they deserve to be happy.

If you think you’re in a mental prison, first recognize you’re in one and take responsibility for your situation, then take action to change your reality.

mental prison

Signs You May Be Living in a Mental Prison

Signs you’re living in a mental prison of your own making include:

  • You feel anxious and have anxiety attacks.
  • You worry about things that have not happened.
  • You feel sad or depressed and don’t really know why.
  • You focus on the negative aspects of things and question the meaning of life.
  • You allow other people’s opinions to affect your mental and emotional states.
  • You talk about your problems often.
  • You easily quit when you don’t think you’re making progress.

You can either let yourself live in an illusory prison, or you take on a helpful perspective and learn to break free and direct your energy to what will improve your life experience.

The Costs of Remaining in a Mental Prison

The dangers of staying in your mental prison include:

  • You will not enjoy your leisure time.
  • You will not bring the best out of yourself.
  • You are more likely to experience health issues.
  • You will feel disconnected from your true self.
  • You will not take good care of yourself.
  • You will not give yourself a chance to create the life you want.
  • You may act irrationally.
  • You will hurt your family relationships.

How to Escape Your Mental Prison

Here are five steps you can take to break free from the mental prison you are in so you can experience empowering emotions and live the life you want.

1. Recognize you are in a mental prison and find out why

You cannot escape from a prison if you don’t know you’re in one. Acknowledge your way of doing things is not giving you the results you want.

Assess what you are telling yourself about who you are and what you’re capable of. Identify what may have caused you to get to where you are.

2. Live by the philosophy your life is not about you

If you make your life only about you, you’re limited to what you believe about yourself. When you have a broader perspective and make your life beyond yourself, what you focus on will change, which will also change your reality.

Accept you are here not to live a self-focused life. You are here to share what’s great about you with others.

3. Focus on serving others to overcome your self-doubt

A powerful way to get out of your mental state is to focus on helping others. No matter where you are or what your situation is, you can serve.

Service is the greatest attribute you can practice. When you do, you will take the focus off your reality and help others improve theirs. That will also improve your reality.

4. Develop new skills and awareness

The more you know about you, the better you will become. When you develop greater self-awareness, you will have more self-confidence.

That will enable you to deal with challenges from an empowered state rather than from a victim state.

5. Improve your relationship with money

Money or the lack of it consumes people’s thoughts and how they live their lives. When you struggle with having enough money, it can limit your options.

When you improve your relationship with money, you will reduce mental and emotional stress. That will help you have better experiences in life.

Final Thoughts

If you continue to believe your self-created limitations, you will remain in your mental prison. When you break free from the mental prison you are in, you will love and accept yourself more.

To become the best version of yourself, choose to overcome anything holding you back from living how you want to.

Action Step: Reflect on an area of your life or something you have not been able to change. Evaluate why that is happening. Identify what you believe is true and question whether the beliefs you have are leading you to what you want. Change what’s not working, so you have the freedom to create the life you want.

Question: What are other steps you can take to break free from the mental prison you are in?

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Neel Raman

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