So your mind is over active, much like mine. You have been driven to insanity not by your environment but somehow by your inability to control yourself. Our minds are more powerful than we lead on. We are merely on a boat of consciousness – where sometimes we are the captain and sometimes we sink.
My brain took control for a long time. The only remedy I found for my obsessive nature and uncontrolled thoughts were drugs. I self prescribed myself so many drugs I may as well have been a doctor, which led me to poverty and unlawful acts to receive my fix.
We are all different, and there is no right way to fix your mind, but I can tell you what worked for me. The key to calming an out of control mind is to give it a job. I will give you a harsh comparison, since it just came to mind. Lets compare a mind to a stray dog. This animal has no direction and acts simply off of instinct, reacting to action, with no method of proactive thinking. This wild animal will not know it lacks direction, but will almost always act outside of what would be considered civilized, or in this case, tame. Now imagine this wild dog is feeling anxious, imagine it has been cornered by another wild beast, what would it do? It would be surely be petrified and react instinctively. The question is, would this be for the benefit of the animal? Most wild beasts will hurt themselves when reacting to fear. An example of this would be – give a dog two options, a hole in the wall sightly smaller than its body with serrated edges, and a room engulfed in flames. The dog will surely cut itself open in an attempted action of self preservation. The issue here is, we are not a wild animal, our brains are so powerful that we can imagine a blazing room – and immediately dart our way through this hole.
Now give this animal a job, give it purpose. Create a mind that can think not only instinctively but also methodically and proactively. Animals such as a dog with purpose have been proven to be more fulfilled and naturally more pleasant animals. Our minds, much like that of animals, need a purpose. At the very least we need something I will call “brain food”. Brain food is what distracts us from our demons. It is that thing that we can find comfort in. Within a sane persons mind this may be called a hobby or a liking. Within and less than sane person, such as myself, this may be called – sanity.
I found my brain food in academics. I dated a very smart young women who, unbeknownst to her, had pushed me to become smarter, more successful, and driven. I was anxious throughout the beginning processes of school, and I had many melt downs during this time. I used to have moments where I would hear voices and see vibrant shapes and colors. I was sure I was insane. What I determined about myself, later in life, is that I caused my own self destruction.
Have you ever wondered if you can believe something about yourself until you became it? When I first started getting sick I would always believe I was a new level of crazy. First I was depressed, then I had a speech impediment, then I was schizophrenic, then I had OCD – I would believe it so much, that, what do you know, it would come true. My mind literally was so out of control that I could give myself issues, honestly. The only way I was ever able to relieve my self demise was with a soothing distraction. I started a program in electronics through a college, and I discovered I was good at something! Math came naturally to me, as I could finally use my obsession and pattern recognition to my advantage. My brain food was math and puzzles, and then electrical engineering as a whole. It truly doesn’t matter what it is that you do, you just need to keep your brain healthy with the correct diet of brain food. And to all those people that preach diet over mind set for mental health, you are only partially correct. I do believe that diet is important – as the minerals and vitamins we ingest on a daily basis do aid in productivity. More importantly, in my opinion, I believe that our mindset and self control is of the utmost importance.
Some of my recommendations for healthy brain food would include: regularly stepping outside of your comfort zone – this could include talking to someone new, challenge yourself – this can be very difficult to start, but I can assure you it feels good once complete, and discuss your issues – this isn’t me saying tell everyone your problems, but be aware of your issues, and be honest with yourself and those closes to you.
Everyone has different types of brain food, but they all have the same ultimate outcome – you have a reason to be awake, alive, and in control. Your mind can over power you, and it may win more days out of the week than you do, but those small victories should be appreciated, even celebrated. Allow yourself to be happy about the small accomplishments throughout a day. I feel happy after having a good conversation with someone (which is a far cry from my initial OCD which caused me to be useless while talking). I enjoy teaching people new things, especially when they are excited about it and I can see the light in their eyes.
Ask yourself what it is that you want to do with your life, and if you are in such a deep place that you haven’t the ability to decide this for yourself, then try these.
Math games, reading, writing a book, day dreaming, playing guitar, watching a movie (try to get as deeply involved as possible), talking to someone (verbally), text an old friend, go for run outside, play with your pet, draw a picture of something, draw a picture of what you’re picturing in your mind, take deep breaths, imagine yourself on a beach, meditate, imagine your most precious memory and play it again and again your mind, picture yourself in 5 years – is it where you want to be? If not make a list of the things you need to do to accomplish it.
Brain food has given me the ability to have meaning in society. Beware that you cannot function by always being in your comfort zone. Yes, eating brain food will make you happy, but it will not make you completely useful in society while only partaking in these activities. These ideas give you an outlet, giving you control over your mind. You can, in theory, become the puppeteer of your own existence while using these tools to get you there.
Everyone has something to offer this great world of ours, and everyone needs to find it. What is the brain food that works best for you? How are you going to change this little thing we call the world? Each and every one of you is beautiful in your own way. Challenge yourself, and for you own sake, eat some dam brain food!