Monkey Brain

Two poles—
North and south of me, up and down, or high and low. I am not alone here, not m I the only one the feels or thinks this way.
We’re not crazy, you and me.
We just wonder if we are.

We saw a post on social media the other.
It said, “I hate being bi-polar . . . it’s awesome!”

I had to laugh because well, deep down, I get it. And why not laugh?
Why does everything have to be so goddamned tragic?
Why can’t we look around (instead of argue) and just stop the commotion between us and the rest of the world?
Why can’t we pause for a minute and stop us before going too far?

I am wondering why we argue with people. I am wondering why we personalize and accept responsibility for things that have nothing to do with us to begin with.
Why do we own things that are beyond our control or that have nothing to do with us? Why do we fight. Why do we bitch and argue?
Does any of this work?
Does fighting ever solve anything?

All fighting means to me is that two or more people cannot come to a compromise between them—that neither side will budge—that being right is more important that communication—and that by any means necessary, even in the case if we are mistaken, we argue at the top of our lungs but end up hearing nothing.

When it comes to personal sanity, I am wondering when and where we realize that we have our own hand in the mix. In other words, where is our role in this?

I was on a call and waited on hold for a long time. I waited and waited. I was waiting to schedule a new class to gain a new certification.
I tried calling another number to a different company, with success; however, the girl that answered the phone was not the person I needed to speak with. She answered as a favor but she clearly was unaware of any information. She was unprofessional at best.
She laughed. She told me to call back later while laughing about something (who knows, maybe she was laughing at me—at least, this is what my ego assumed,) and then when I asked when to call, she laughed again, and this time I hung up.
Eventually, I received a return phone call. I explained the dilemma about my earlier call and guess what happened. Nothing, that’s what happened.
The instructor said sorry and carried on about the business at hand.

But wait—
I was angry. I was not spoken to professionally or treated well, right?
Although this is true and no, this is not the right way to conduct a business; in either case, I still need the class and I still need the certification.
And you know what else?
So what!
Big deal!

A girl mishandled a phone call. I mishandled many of them.
Where is the crime?
Where is the tragedy?
What is the truth of the matter?
The truth is with me and my personal inventory.
The truth is I was not at my best. I was facing an intimidating situation. I was uncomfortable with my surroundings. I am uncomfortable in classrooms and uncomfortable with state tests. I am decades older than the instructor and the girl that answered the phone. In all honesty, I was annoyed because my insecurity got in the way. The truth of the matter is I listened to my emotional thinking instead of thinking logically.
Yes, I was overwhelmed by a simple task but only because I allowed myself to be overwhelmed.

This was not a big deal and this was only a quick fizzle in my day. However, I believe in the benefit of honesty and an honest personal assessment. In this brief interaction, I openly explain myself to show how thinking, feelings, and behavior interact with one another.

With regards to mental wellness, we have to be sure to care for ourselves. Personal maintenance is crucial. It is easy to have thoughts that grow legs. It is easy to have what one of my favorite clients refer to as “Monkey brain.” This is when thoughts go nuts like a crazy monkey jumping around in a cage.

Two poles—
North and south of me, up and down, high and low.

The truth is everyone has a bad day. There are times when we are not at our best. The first step on the road to wellness is to stop the personal persecutions. This does not make matters well, but instead this only makes matters worse.
We do not perform better when we place unnecessary and unneeded pressures on our performance.
It’s okay to swing and miss and more importantly, it’s okay to have an off day. Everyone has them.

We need to find a sense of mental clarity to be at our best.
This takes work. This takes time as well.

I consider mental wellness like caring for an automobile with high mileage. We have to care for us the same way. For example, when one thing goes wring on an old car, it is best to care for this right away—otherwise two things go wrong, and then three, and then four. Next, the car is driven into the dirt—might as well drive it until it dies.
Meanwhile, the car was fine. It just needed the proper attention. The same thing applies with mental wellness. The same thing applies with resentments and fears and insecurities. Handle them as they come up and they are less threatening. Ignore them and then suddenly, we are like that car with too many miles, seemingly worthless, and driven into the ground.

We need to stay clear of the “Monkey brain!”
But how?

• Do not interact with the internal narrative
• Do not overthink; replace thought with action
• Make an instant change. Stand up, take a breath, take a walk or take something. Just don’t take the next step that will make matters worse.
• Do not make decisions out of emotion or overreact
• Do not operate out of spite
• Breathe in through the nose and out through the mouth
• Create a personal mantra, use it, and let this help you keep your focus

Sounds easier said than done, right?

So long as we have a feeling, it is within our nature to find accountability for them. We live in a mindset of fault and blame. We have to understand why things happen.
On the world of employment, feelings and emotion have no business in the business world. Consider a machine. Consider the jobs of a computer. Or let’s simplify this; think about a screwdriver. No emotion. No concern. Just fit the screwdriver into the screw and turn it.
The screwdriver doesn’t care about torque or how lone the screw is.
Just turn it. That’s it.
I watched a man spend a long afternoon, yelling at the air, and cursing at an air conditioning unit. None of this was successful in fixing the machine. None of this was successful or helpful in building a better day for this man either.

We do this too, don’t we?
Rather than accept the moment for what it is and instead of giving in to frustration—what would happen if we calmed down and faced our tasks intellectually and logically?
What would happen if we removed the energy of emotion and changed this to a simple, solid plan?

The truth is life has its challenges. The truth is people suck. And why not be honest about this? Not everyone is helpful. Not everyone will act, behave, or perform the way we want them to.

In an argument, someone charged and called me emotionally disturbed. He said I was mentally ill. He said to me, “I read your writing and you’re a sick man!”
Okay, so?

Why would I accept this man’s tirade as fact?
At one point in my life, I would have personalized and internalized everything this man said.

I think of this in relation to someone with Tourette syndrome, in which they involuntarily and uncontrollably vocalize profanity or perhaps physical tick. Would this offend me?
No, not at all.
The truth is the man shouting at me is sick and perhaps more sick than someone with Tourette syndrome. And I know this because anyone looking to hurt someone in such a way must be in excruciating pain.

People will do this though. They will look to discredit you and hurt you and berate you. I think it would be inaccurate to pretend this does not exist in the real world. However, if I would not be offended by someone with an illness, then I should not be offended by the verbal illness of someone so abusive that they need to aggressively charge people to feel better about their own little world

Again I say two poles—
North and south, up and down, high and low.
In this story; this is a case of a man not at his best.
Just because I do not argue, it doesn’t mean I agree.
Just because I don’t fight it doesn’t mean I like what happens.
This just means I value my sanity.
This means I found that personal maintenance will serve me better than arguing to be right.

I had a conversation about a new program opening up. We were discussing the obstacles we face. I explained, either way, we have a race to run, which means we have to perform.
We can have meeting after meeting and talk until the cows come home. Either way, we have a race to run. Life comes with enough complications.

There is no need to make matters worse.

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