Rebooting our brains
"Your brain is like a computer. You have to refresh or it's going to crash."
Our brain requires 20% of our body's energy to function properly, and that's in a resting state. When we are processing and analyzing information, that number increases exponentially. And just like a computer, when we are doing too many things at once, like the 10 apps running in the background and umpteen tabs open in our browser, we get sluggish. Or is that just me? 😁 (OneTab helps me monitor my tab overload) To prevent our computers from crashing, we close down and reboot. We can do this for our brains too.
When our minds feel overloaded with too much mental clutter and pressing matters to address, it's easy to get stressed out or stretched thin to the point where we are unable to function throughout the day. Even with the right amount of sleep, our brains can still suffer from overload and overstimulation. Imagine how much slower of a pace the brain was accustomed to even just 50 years ago. The information age has certainly challenged our brain's capacity to process more information at a quicker rate. And we don't get to update our brain processors with the latest Intel or AMD chip, but there is help available.
I found the best practice for helping me prevent my brain from processing too much information at once is mindfulness. By being more aware in the present moment I am not thinking about the past, future or my To-Do list. I engage my senses and focus on what's in front of me. I still get tripped up and sometimes feel overwhelmed to the point where I understand I need to take a step back and refresh or even reboot. I call it "Ctrl Alt Delete" for my brain, for those of you who remember the trick to rebooting our crashed computers. For me, it could be a quick meditation or breathwork session. Maybe I'll go for a run or talk to a friend. It's my way of clearing my head and reorganizing or reframing my thoughts.
We all have our own outlets for getting right with ourselves mentally and emotionally. I found the key is to not resort to my old ways of working out my anxiety and frustrations by drinking alcohol past the point of moderation or lashing out at friends and family. I choose healthier options now. There are so many ways to address our mental health needs when our brains feel like they are on the fritz. These tools also help with prevention to avoid any crashes or meltdowns. The key is for us to put these tools to use so we can keep our brains and minds functioning optimally, helping us give our best every day.