I'm so SICK of the damn phrase "focus outward" lol
I made it up awhile back as my briefest answer to what you "should do" when the dp states are unbearable, then we all used it alot and now it's taken on a life of its own. lol
What I, the original FO creator, meant by the idea is this:
When dp is at an alltime peak, we all say "HOW can I make this simmer down a bit? How can I live through the next second, let alone the next hour or month?"
Our INSTINCTS at those time tell us to search for answers or to carefully tune into how we're feeling, to watch it (ourselves) very closely and look for "am I better now?" or "am I worse now?" moments. Our instincts tell us to be careful with our own thinking and to note it all, to watch ourselves watching ourselves....to monitor our experience instant by instant.
NOTHING could be worse. That is precisely what is driving the DP state deeper and deeper.
The only way OUT at those times is to force yourself to think about ANYthing that is not about Self. Read a newspaper, listen to a tv show, thumb through a magazine and look for cars, or count the number of red dresses you can find in the pages....SOME little game or some distraction that, even for a moment, takes your mind AWAY from self-examination.
We all know when we felt okay that we could "get lost" in a good book or a movie or a conversation or a puzzle, etc. That is the objective here. TO get so INTO something for a moment or two that you can NOT be aware of yourself doing it.
OUT of self, out into the External reality - that's where we want the mental energy to go. If/when we're invested ENOUGH - even momentarily - the experience of THINKING becomes something besides self-awareness. We "forget about' ourselves for an instant.
THAT is the thing that eventually alllows the mind to "re-adjust" and take itself out of the dp experience. NO amount of inner searching, or self-observation or careful scrutiny about the experience of being me will take away dp. It only makes it worse.
Focus outward = focus your conscious attention on anything besides self. IF you're aware of watching yourself focus outward, you're not doing it right!