Before I had access to the whole world via my phone, I had times in my day where my brain would have the freedom to naturally process things. Everything we encounter in life, be it a conversation, a fight, a celebration, get's documented in our minds. As we have become a culture that is constantly feeding our brains stimulation it doesn't leave a whole lot of time for processing.
Scientifically, it has been shown that when we don't take breaks and allow our minds to process things we begin to get exhausted, depressed, and foggy. We may find ourselves lacking stability, identity, and purpose. I work with a lot of people who feel this way. I think there's a direct connection between people lacking purpose, joy, contentment, and identity because we live in a world that spends more time looking at screens then reality.
Over the last few years I have had to work extremely hard at retraining myself to just be. To allow myself to rest, to allow my mind to sit. It may seem like a waste of time, but taking ten minutes or so a day to just sit and be outside can do wonders for your life.
When we experience things in life, be it traumatic or fun we have to make space for those things. If we don't, they will begin to make ripples in our daily life until one day that ripple becomes a tidal wave and knocks us over. I have experienced this first hand. Having access to information every second of the day allows us to suppress and ignore anything that may happen to us.
It let's us off the hook from having to actually deal with what has happened.
If something difficult happens to us, we can just look up the answer and learn the head knowledge about it and then tell ourselves that we know the cause and how to fix it instantly. As people we don't enjoy sitting in the uncomfortableness of life. We don't value silence or rest. We live in a society that has ten different ways to showcase our life to people all day long.
By paying attention to someone else's life, it allows you to not deal with your own life.
Everytime we experience things our brain needs time to process them. Once we take a break our minds begin to take things that have happened and turn them into memories. As it begins to turn things into memories, it begins to log what's important and what's not, what we have learned, what is a threat, what isn't, and the list goes on.
It helps lay down the foundation for who we are... the narrative we tell ourselves.
If we never allow time to process, then we will find ourselves in the middle of everyone else's story.
We may begin to feel like we are on overaload all the time. When things get uncomfortable instead of allowing time to process we will turn to anything that can distract ourselves from having to deal with reality. The more we do this the more we detach from society and real relationships, the more we begin to lose ourselves as people.
Scientifically, the frontal lobe of the brain that is repsonbile for reasoning, planning, making judgements and choices, works best when our minds are actually resting and not trying to solve problems. It's as if it's hard wired into us to do our best thinking when we are actually not really thinking. This makes life simple and enjoyable. All the stressing and fighting and exhausting ourselves to figure things out just leaves us more stressed and exhausted, but when we take time to let our bodies just be, to just sit and relax, we are able to process and solve issues more effectively and in a healthy way.
To sit in silence and process really brings forth a lot of chatter. This noise can often be alarming to many people. As you begin to allow your brain to process more and more of what has happened you begin to see that this chatter is actually not near as intense as it once was. You can begin to see things more clearly, you begin to free up space in your head when you allow yourself to process and relax. At first it may seem impossible or that nothing is happening, but luckily we are created to naturally process things if we allow ourselves the space to do so.
As we create more and more space for the things in our lives, our brains begin to get stronger and more focused. Our attention begins to get sharp. Our identity and purpose begins to gain clarity. We begin to no longer focus on everyone else's life and begin to focus on who we are individually. We begin to take care of ourselves, which then allows us to better take care of others. Taking time to process is extremely important.
I want to challenge you this week to fight the urge to take out your phone when your in public. To just sit and watch what's happening. I want to challenge you to just sit outside in silence for ten minutes and see what begins to come up. As thoughts and feelings come up be it positive or negative, just view it as that, thought, and continue on in your time. Don't try to solve anything or start to dive deep into the chatter, just see it as your brain processing and trust that it will take care of itself if we allow it to. When the time is up or you have to go on to your next thing then do it, but fight the urge to fill every minute with something. Fight the urge to fill every moment of silence with an Instagram scroll. When a commercial comes on TV, fight the urge to watch something on your phone during the commercial. Just starting to be present in what you're actually doing will make a world of difference.
Learn to take time to process things and learn from my mistakes.