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Managing Your Mind

A Poetic Insight to Dealing with Your Insanity

You know how it feels. You have a larger-than-life load of homework, sports practice for two hours ... You can't focus because your family won't stop arguing, and you really just feel done. 

We've all felt this way at one point or the other, and we'll probably all feel that way again, but the big question is, "How do we deal with it?"

Step 1: Take a deep breath.

I know this is super cliche, and I've heard people say this a million times before to me and I've always rolled my eyes and thought, "Yeah, like that'll work." But there was a time where things were really bad for me. Sports and homework were overlapping each other in fight for dominance over my mind. My dad and I couldn't go an hour without arguing. I was about ready to give up. I had had two panic attacks in one day, and I couldn't seem to get a grip on anything.

And then I thought back on something that my swimming coach had said early that week at the end of practice. "Breathing is important. It's the foundation of everything that we do." Right when I thought nothing would get better, I found light. It was small, hard to see, and at the end of a very long tunnel, but it was more optimism than I'd had in a least a week. So I took a deep breath and I still hear those words today.

Step 2: Assess the situation.

I like to think of the mind (or at least, my mind) as a pair of extremely tangled earbuds. You don't even know how they got tangled and it's nearly impossible to untangle them. But what do you always do when you're untangling a cord? You find where it starts.

For example, say you've had a bad day at work, your coworkers are driving you nuts, you can't get along with anyone for the life of you, not even your dog.

Assess the situation. What started out as just a bad day at work turned into a bad day at home, and at the grocery store, and it's just a domino effect of bad days. So, when you think you're about to explode, take a minute to step back and look at the problem from an unaffected point of view.

I like to think of it as like you are escaping your physical body to look at things. Like in the Avengers movie, Doctor Strange, when he enters the ... Is it the quantum realm? Anyways, you need to look at it from an unbiased perspective. Just because the old fart who's office is down the hall from yours is peppering you with personal questions in the lounge area, that doesn't mean that you get to explode at everyone within a five foot radius of you. Just remove yourself from the room, calm down, and make a plan as to how you're going to deal with the problem, and make a promise to yourself not to blow up in everyone's faces.

Step 3: Make a list of the things/people you love.

Another cliche one, I know, but it really does work. The most common reason that bad days only get worse is because we wallow in self-pity and all those other ugly emotions. So when you find yourself in a situation where you are struggling not to release your inner madness, make a list of the things you love ... Like sunsets and puppies, or whatever you like.

Have a good day, and thank you for coming to my Ted-talk.