Lately I have been working on my own advice by meditating, reminding myself to breathe and making myself exercise even if it is only for 20 minutes. That last one might sound surprising to those that know me for my background in fitness. But when work becomes stressful and long hours prevail I’ve found my good habits have slipped. When you feel too tired to attempt any regular training and organised nutrition falls to a bag of Cheetos and a Chunky Kit Kat you know things are awry.
Now I won’t make this a long post, because frankly I could talk for hours about stress, finding balance and how anxiety has strangely stepped into the place of depression in my life. Instead I will make this a short chat with myself. For those reading this I am going to write to myself or rather my monkey mind, the bit of my brain responsible for all the emotions and irrational thinking. So don’t worry I am not going mad at you! I am doing this to shine a light on how my monkey mind has been behaving and have somethings out with it. Here goes for Part One.
Hello Monkey. How goes it? Actually don’t answer that. I know how you are going because you have been causing me a great deal of anxiety lately. Would you mind if I lay a few things out for you? No? Ok great. Look I know that work has been a bit full on recently, it’s difficult changing jobs for you, there’s a lot of emo shit to sort out. Like leaving all the great people at your last job and then having to meet a ton of new people at your new place who may or may not be judging you a little bit (there’s currently no factual evidence of this btw). I recognise it is tough going from a super structured company to one that is much more “laissez faire” (you remember french right? It means we’ll leave it to take it’s own course.) Then of course there is learning a whole new industry, your own role (which is multifaceted) and working out how to use Microsoft again (WTF?) Of course I see that you haven’t been able to gain enrichment from the fun stuff like you did at the start, you’ve become the “email bitch” again, massaging people’s own fragile monkey minds. It’s tiring and frustrating I know. You want to punch someone don’t you? No? Oh sorry. Maybe that’s the “other mind” talking. Anyhoo I just want to acknowledge all the shit you’ve been through and say thanks. I also want you to know that you don’t need to worry, or do this alone. I’m here for you as the rational Tom. Ok maybe that sounds like an oxymoron (look it up later), but it’s true. I’m here to talk you down from the ledge and remind you of all the awesome things you’ve done, but more importantly that things are never as bad as they appear and will normally work out. I say this because I’ve noticed how cramped I’ve been in this head of ours. There’s not much space to practice my rational shit or even the musicals that I love. You’ve kind of taken up most of the room with worry and anxiety, even when we aren’t at work. But what we are going to do is help each other out. I have already started doing that mindfulness meditation you loved before and we will exercise you more frequently so you can box, run and lift that energy of yours. How does that sound? Plus we wrote that book together and we can write some more, so that people don’t think we are completely nuts ok? What’s that? You feel a little more relaxed already? Well that’s marvellous. Though it may be the double gin and tonic we just drank…
Stay tuned for Tom’s Monkey Mind Part Two. Thanks for tuning in and be sure to let me know how you control your monkey mind.