Shut Up, Brain

Human brain NIH

I’m one of those people that has trouble with ruminations. Ruminating, if you don’t know, is going over and over and over (and over) something in your head. I tend to replay stupid things I’ve done or said in mind, sometimes for hours. It keeps me from falling asleep. It keeps me from concentrating on other things that I need to be doing. It ratchets up the anxiety to the point that I think my head is going to pop off.

For example, last week I had some text message confusion with some people I work with at the clothing store. Long story short, my phone doesn’t like group messaging, reply all is a fucking crime, and I should have put that phone list in my phone when I got it. When I finally figured out what was going on and why, I felt like a total idiot.

And so, my brain set to work not only replaying that whole fiasco out, but also trying to come up with a way to explain myself should it come up in conversation during the next floorset about how I’m a moron without looking like a huge moron.

For two hours, I tortured myself with this garbage that everyone else involved likely laughed off and probably won’t even remember the next time I see them. But I don’t like being an idiot or looking like one, so I must be punished, I guess.

Finally, after driving myself crazy, I decided to try a little meditation. I do yoga daily and though I don’t usually do the meditation portion at the end of my workouts, I will do it on occasion when I’m feeling stressed or anxious, or in this case, dumb. And it worked! I did a quick meditation and immediately felt better, the anxiety and burden of stupid lifted off of my mind.

So what did my brain do?

Marvel at the fact that I was no longer thinking about it by trying to think about it again. Like someone with a sore tooth realizing the tooth is no longer sore and then poking around to see if they find any trace of that soreness left, thereby making the tooth sore again.

Yes, I’m that kind of dingbat. Or at least my brain is.

So, of course, I started thinking about it again. And then I meditated again. And then I poked around again until I started thinking about it again. And so I deleted the evidence from my phone. And I meditated again.

And then I said, “You know what? I need a blog post for Monday. Here. Let me just write about how stupid my brain can be and how stupid I can be. THAT will fix it.”

So there. Maybe now my brain will shut up about it for good.

Well…maybe a little more meditation.

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