Let Your Brain Do Its Job
“Your brain’s job is not to keep you happy. It’s to keep you alive.”
Me: “Brain, I’ve decided that today we’ll be happy.”
Brain: “You’ll have to take that request to another department. The Brain department is currently at maximum capacity with the 20 panic attacks scheduled for today.”
When I learned that my brain’s job was to keep me alive, I felt a heavenly light illuminate my face, and I swear I heard angels singing somewhere in the near distance.
I’ve been feeling terribly down lately. I’ve been fighting my brain, my emotions, my anxieties, and this constant and exhausting battle has left me depleted to the point where even crying is too much of an effort.
I’ve been numb.
Your Brain’s Purpose is To Keep You Alive
I picture my brain as my guardian angel. The poor thing has been sounding alarms every day in the hopes that I will avoid the same dark holes into which I inevitably fall every single day.
My brain is on the lookout every morning, scanning all potentials dangers that surround me, and it makes darn sure I’m aware of them through my emotions, and even through physical sensations.
Sure, my brain is taking its job a bit too seriously, and sometimes it can be a bit of an alarmist, proving to be sorely misguided as to what real danger is. (No, chances are I’m not surrounded by serial killers, Brain. But thank you for the constant reminder. Eyeroll.)
But I feel for it. The brain does not have an easy job. It is the CEO of the entire body, and the advisor to the mind. And if I’m being honest, I don’t always take the best decisions. In fact, sometimes I go completely against my brain’s advice.
The poor thing doesn’t know what to do with me anymore. It’s been sounding the alarms to a very real danger that I’ve ignored for years. I know the exact source of my anxiety. I’m well aware of the decisions I need to take in order to eliminate these mental swords that stab me every chance they get. And yet, I do nothing.
My brain has been trying to warn me by flooding me with anxiety, by showing me worst-case scenarios, by inundating me with tears… and I keep ignoring it.
Instead, I blame my brain for not making me happy.
“Do your damn job, brain! Give me some serotonin!” I demand through tears.
“I AM doing my job, you wretched woman! I’m trying to keep you alive!” it screams at the top of its lungs.
My brain’s job is NOT to make me happy. It’s to ensure my survival.
Instead of judging my brain for not giving me what I want when I want it, I should start listening to it.
“What are you trying to tell me, you beautiful, squishy thing?”
Every time the brain sounds an alarm, it’s trying to tell you something. Granted, perhaps the brain is not the most adept communicator, and instead of telling you “Hey, you probably shouldn’t do that,” it’ll use emotions to fill you with dread, and fear, and sometimes, just for fun, it’ll add a few tears.
Take Care of Your Brain
I know my brain has been sounding more alarms than it should, but that’s partly my fault. I’ve neglected it. I’ve wrongfully assumed that the brain can take care of itself without my assistance. I’ve been running on autopilot.
Meditation doesn’t mean that you’ll empty your mind of every thought. It doesn’t mean you’ll become a better person or that the Universe has bestowed its eternal secrets upon you.
Meditation simply means learning NOT to judge your thoughts. It means letting your thoughts come and go without attaching any special meaning to them. Anxiety comes from judging our thoughts and from attaching meaning to them.
Have you ever tried to talk to someone who keeps interrupting you every chance they get?
That’s exactly what you do to your brain every time you judge a thought it presents to you.
Let your brain relax. Let it present to you everything it wants to tell you without you judging it even before it begins to communicate. When your brain is overwhelmed, it may throw thoughts at you faster than the speed of light. Don’t judge it. Let them come and let them pass.
Mindfulness means nothing more than being present and being fully engaged with whatever it is that you’re doing. It means converging your thoughts and your energy into the task in front of you. Don’t think about the past, the future, or any other BS that may be floating around your head at the time.
Note: Practicing meditation or mindfulness does not give you bragging rights. Please do not go around telling everyone what an evolved person you are because you practice these things.
Thank Your brain. Your brain is not the enemy. It is simply trying to do its job. Let it.