Mental Fatigue and Meditation
Ever had such a hectic week at work that by the weekend you are so exhausted you sleep most of it away, but your job does not involve any manual labor? You may be suffering from mental fatigue.
When we think about fatigue, we usually only think about the body, hardly ever our brain. The brain is the driver of the meat suit that is our body. If the driver fatigues from overworking, the body will start to fall apart and we will inevitably crash.
Initially, I thought this would only to happen to someone who is always working or married to their job until I realized it was happening to me. Starting work at 5 am, I was finding myself dying out by noon and brain dead by 7.
So how do you prevent this from happening? From everything that I have been trying and reading about, the general consensus is to just unplug. To relax the brain by any means necessary.
Meditation has been shown to be the most effective way to unplug and relax. Though when we think of meditation, we picture someone sitting quietly in the corner or lying still and breathing. This was my view that has recently been challenged after listening to the Jocko podcast with Tim Ferris on it (highly recommend listening to it if you have a couple hours). They talked about meditation being more of anything that gets your mind off of your to-do list, rather than just sitting.
That being said, here are some of the best ways I’ve found to “meditate” to fully recover:
- Guided meditation: Headspace app, Breathe app, Calm app, Primed Mind app, youtube.
- Listening to music: listening to songs that calm you or envoke happy memories
- Being outside: multiple Health benefits (http://mentalfloss.com/article/60632/11-scientific-reasons-why-being-nature-relaxing).
- Podcasts: Really whatever floats your boat. You can find podcasts about virtually any topic or hobby you are into. The Joe Rogan Experience is a good mix of everything if you are unsure of what podcast to start with.
- Physical Activities: Yardwork, recreation/pickup games and sports, bjj, boxing, hiking, etc.
- Reading: Get out of your head by diving into someone else’s.
- Video games: yes I am recommending a video game that doesn’t cause you to stress out.
- Power naps: If you are a hard napper like I am, elevate your feet above your heart to help you fall asleep. * Tip courtesy of Jacko Podcast.
- Taking 10 mins to close your eyes and let your mind wander.
- Journaling: Getting all your thoughts, worries, and fears out on paper.
As you can see, there are many ways to calm the mind and that there is no one perfect way. All of these could work or none of these could work, it just depends on you as an individual. For me, all of these have worked at certain times and some have worked better than others. Take this as more of a jumping off point to try some of these and see if you can find your way to unplug and get yourself mentally back in the game.