Why Are We Tearing Ourselves Apart?

How to avoid becoming a useless string.

You have a rubber band in your hand. You start stretching it apart to see how far it can go. Stretching and stretching and stretching until — snap! It breaks, and you’re left with a rubbery string that’s essentially useless to you now.

Reflecting on your actions before the break, you think: why did I continue stretching it when I knew it was going to snap?

Well, welcome to the human mind.

We want to go-go-go all the time and never stop for air. Stretching ourselves farther and farther because we need to finish just one more thing.

There’s just never enough time in a day, a year, a lifetime for us.

We have endless to-do lists, bills to pay, work to be done. There are very rare moments when we can sit back and not feel guilty about relaxing.

And that, my friend, is quite a problem.

We seem to be stuck in a constant adrenaline state where our minds are buzzing with unchecked boxes and our bodies are begging for one night of rest.

But there’s no time. So what do we do?

We drink coffee or energy drinks, we shove granola bars in our pockets for lunch, we walk into poles because we’re so busy checking our phones. We do everything in our power to “Keep calm and carry on.” But that calm can only last us so long.

If we’re lucky, some of us eventually learn to compartmentalize. These lucky few have drawers in their mind where they place each task in a clearly-labeled category. Everything runs smoothly because things aren’t scattered on the ground everywhere in piles.

But what about the people who can’t compartmentalize?

It’s like having a really messy room and not knowing how to clean it. You pick up an item and look at it for a second, determining whether it’s the right time to put it away or if it’s going to take up too much of your time.

Some items you might be able to throw in a drawer really quick, but what about the trickier ones?

You think, “I’ll just do it later,” and set it back down in the same place. But what are you really accomplishing if you’re just picking up pieces and putting them back down?

Chances are a lot of those objects are going to take time and energy to figure out, and by putting them back down, you are slowly burdening yourself with more and more unfinished responsibilities.

After so long, you’re going to stop and take a good, long look at the messy abyss you call your mind. With the countless tasks that clutter your room and the space that’s slowly dwindling with your ever-growing burdens, you’ll be forced to a halt.

And it’s going to look bad.

Real bad.

So bad, that you can’t even take it anymore.

You’re going to stare and stare until — snap!

You stretched too far.

Now you’ve done it. Here comes suffering from a panic attack, a mid-life crisis, a depressive state, or even a mental breakdown.

Think back to that broken rubber band. Your mind now resembles the useless rubber string.

Not fun and definitely not productive.

You’ve now set yourself back even more.

So, how can we stop this from happening?

Sometimes the answer could be as simple as taking a half hour break everyday to let your mind clear of all the noise and distraction.

For others, it might be a bit more difficult to solve. It might not be possible to take a break without thinking of all the things they need to do.

In this case, the answer might be a bit harder to face.

You may have to *cue dramatic doomsday music* eliminate something from your schedule.

Deep breaths now. Nice and easy.

In order to keep a cool head and continue on with healthy living, some steps must be taken.

Although it may seem impossible to take that small step, it is fundamental to avoid a future disaster.

Not only did I mention that you will most likely suffer from some sort of panic attack or crisis, but dwelling in a state of stress and anxiousness will only lead in one direction. And that is: a drop in your health.

Your busy schedule could be leading to that tighter feeling you’ve noticed around your waist or that annoying blemish that sprung up overnight on your face. Sleepless nights, poor memory, digestion, headaches, and even reduced libido are other factors that affect your health when you’re pushed to the breaking point. Yuck.

So, no matter how close your rubber band is to snapping, or if you’re already just a rubber string, remember that there is always another day to take that small step away from thoroughly imploding.

Stress less and you will learn the extraordinary benefits of having a clear, concise mind. As well as a tight, no-bullsh*t rubber band.

Writer. Avid reader. Stay-at-home astronaut. Prone to be obsessive when I really like something.

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