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The question is very small, what does the sentence "Lose yourself" mean?

I searched on internet and got many different meanings. Two of which are quite contrary to each other. One is,

"preoccupy yourself with something other than yourself".

The second is,

"to free your mind from worry"

If someone preoccupies himself with something then he is not going to relax at all.

I found many different meanings, e.g. here on Quora.com and here on yahoo.com. I guess it is a subjective phrase, which can have different meaning depending upon the context.

So the question is:

Does its meaning depend upon context, dialect in which it is used, or something else? If it has a fixed meaning then please tell that. Is its meaning opinion based? When is it used, that what meaning does it convey or in other words what is its purpose?

  • To "lose oneself" can mean to become so focused when doing something that one's sense of self and one's sense of time passing are temporarily non-existent. It can also mean to lose one's sense of self psychologically; an "identity crisis". – Tᴚoɯɐuo Feb 20 '15 at 13:03
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    I think your final sentence just about sums it up. The exact meaning is subjective/context-dependent, so the question itself is Primarily Opinion-based. – FumbleFingers Reinstate Monica Feb 20 '15 at 13:13
  • @FumbleFingers I've tried to edit the question so as it could have a well-defined answer. Is it ok or should I change it further? – user31782 Feb 21 '15 at 11:45
  • Googling define "lose oneself", the first seven results are online dictionary definitions, and the eighth is a Yahoo answers discussion on the usage. I don't know where you got "to free your mind from worry" from, but that sounds more like something you might find in a site promoting, say, Buddhism or Transcendental Meditation, rather than a dictionary definition. – FumbleFingers Reinstate Monica Feb 21 '15 at 13:11
  • I found the "to free your mind from worry" line on yahoo(link). Is my question ok now? – user31782 Feb 21 '15 at 13:15
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Probably you refer to a song by Eminem. Text here:

http://de.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=lose+yourself

In the first line we have "You better lose yourself in the music..."

Here to lose has its original sense as in "Damn, I've lost my keys." OALD has "lose yourself in something" as an idiom meaning Forget everything else and become one with the thing you are interested in.

As a maxim of life of dubious value.

http://www.oxfordlearnersdictionaries.com/definition/english/lose?q=lose

You'll find "to lose oneself in sth" at the bottom of the page (phrasal verbs).

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The free dictionary defines the phrase as "to lose oneself in" something or someone: http://idioms.thefreedictionary.com/lose+oneself+in :

to be thoroughly absorbed in someone or something; to become engrossed in someone or something. Frank loses himself in his children when he is at home. When I lose myself in my work, time just rushes by.

I would only add that is is the engrossment or absorption of ones' attention to the point where they have forgotten normal personal concerns, such as time, hunger, social engagements, minor aches and pains, daily routine, worries, anxieties, etc.

I agree with rogermue that the Eminem song probably has popularized the simplified "to lose oneself".

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Perhaps it just means simply to lose yourself. Lose who you are as a person, not for the sake of freedom and refreshment, but simply because your mind will not quiet and so you tear yourself apart and in that process you are lost. You have become nothing.

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When you feel a stirring of something light inside yourself. Something old and deep rooted. Like everything is refreshed and new. When you forget about the pain and problems and truly lose yourself. When all you do is focus on one thing only which is staying alive.

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