Your brain controls everything that you do. Every breath that you take. Every time you move to scratch your arm or sneeze on your neighbor. Every time you laugh at a meme or process that the food you thought was ice cream is actually mashed potatoes.
It's all your brain.
And it takes care of you. When you touch a hot stove, your brain jerks your hand away. When a car is barreling towards you, your brain kicks you into overdrive so that you dodge it. It initiates shivers when it is too cold, keeps your internal processes like digestion going so that you have the energy to keep going and sends you to sleep so that you can start again the next day.
So why don't we take care of it back?
Our mental health is arguably the most important thing that we possess. Without it, we cannot think clearly. We cannot react appropriately to the things that happen to us; we lose relationships, drop productivity and efficiency and put ourselves at risk for harming ourselves. Even if every physical system in our body continued to run at 100 percent capacity, we would not be human without our mental and emotional health guiding us in both providing enjoyments from our existence and helping us to process the world around us.
Yet we ignore it all -- we pull all-nighters to prioritize one arbitrary number on a piece of paper, we consume substances that dull our brains and we pick at ourselves over small details. We stress over work and factors out of our control, tear ourselves up over relationships with people that we only mildly care about and we eat foods that we know aren't good fuel for us.
And when the warning signs begin -- fatigue, irritation or even the start of a physical illness -- we hook ourselves up a caffeine IV and continue on. We berate ourselves and stare down our checklists, angry that we cannot stay up for another two hours and check off oneee more thing.
But maybe that's good. Maybe, just once, we need to take the extra half an hour and soak in the bathtub. Maybe we need to road trip to the lake on a Tuesday and lay in the sunshine. Maybe we should call our grandparents or our friends in the car instead of listening to a podcast because we need these breaks. We need the 45-minute cat nap before opening back up the email tab. We need the walk to the mailbox with the puppy. We need the full 20 seconds to microwave a snack to just stop. And pause.
Take a moment.
And your brain will say thank you.