At the same time, it can also give way to some pretty big complications. When working so much for so long, it's bound to need a break or risk having a part break. After so long, you're bound to have some things and some parts start wearing out and misfiring. Ever seen a machine work too fast for too long? What happens? Pieces break, pipes break, products don't come out as good as when it first started working. You're brain is a machine. So, it's only logical to assume that after a while, some brains start misfiring. And that, ladies and gentlemen, is how you can end up with a various array of mental health problems.
I met a very awesome man while at Highlands Behavioral Health. His name was Brad Feaster. Amazing guy. He talked to us like we were people, not patients. He told us we were overworked, not faulty. We just needed to upgrade our systems, not trash the entire thing. And he was very right. I see that week I spent in the hospital as a reboot. And now I'm upgrading all the programming (which for those computer nerds, they know that can take a while). So here it is.
It's called Mental Gymnastics by Brad Feaster.
Before going to bed write out 10 goals by hand. The reason you want to write them out is that doing so forces your mind to loop the thought many, many times. Your brain is capable of having a ton of thoughts in the time it takes to write out only one. To keep the sentence on track in your mind loops and refines the thought of the goal you are writing many times as it waits for you to put it on the paper.
Contrary to popular belief you cannot have a "Good Day" or a "Bad Day" at the same time. You have a "Good Day" that had a few unpleasant things happen in it. You can have a "Bad Day" with a few shining moments of joy of the steaming turd that was your "Bad Day." At the end of the day, however, it is either Good or Bad overall.
Writing the goals out before bed has been shown to increase the odds that while you sleep, those thoughts will be what your mind focuses on and processes while you sleep. If your goals are on imagining the life you wish to live, happiness you are working to feel, and on your action plans for achieving those plans - the better odds our dreams and mood upon waking will be influenced by those positive and happy thoughts.
Write these goals using the P3 Action Goal writing method.
Positive - Write your goals in the form you want, not what you don't want. If you, "don't want to lose my temper," what you want is to remain, "Calm and in rational control of my emotions." Note the difference between what you know and what you feel. You can have less money than you want, but still have and feel pretty good now about having all the money you need.
1st Person - You are the only human being in the world who can use "I" and have it mean you. When you are writing your goals, don't write them down as blanket statements ("Have a million dollars," vs. "I have a million dollars"). Your unconscious mind sits up and says, "Oh crap! She means us!" It gets that very powerful, unconscious part of your mind aware and engaged.
Present Tense - Tomorrow never arrives. Tomorrow becomes today, and the day after tomorrow becomes today's tomorrow and so one. You unconscious mind is wonderfully and terribly literal. If you write your goals as if they were here, in the present, it causes a grinding hault of the gears of your unconscious mind. It can fool your unconscious as it tries to process the data error and compels you to unconsciously take actions that help you make that goal a reality now. This works really well for goals involving how you would like to feel, what you would like to notice, or see.
Now the actual Mental Gymnastics Exercise. This is intended to literally use your conscious mind and actions to hack into your unconscious mind and unleash the processing power of your brain. Most of us major in minor thing and one of the biggest wastes of time is doing very well something that need not be done at all.
These 10 goals you want to write are designed to systematically harness and focus those unconscious thoughts much like a magnifying lens used to focus the ray from the sun. If you do this correctly, the results can be incendiary.
First - write your top three character goals (honor, love, beauty, honesty, leadership, etc.)
Second - what are your top three goals for this year? If you could only accomplish three things this year, what three would be the most important to you?
Third - what are your top three goals for this month? If you could only accomplish three things this month, what three would be the most important?
Finally - Number 10. If you could only accomplish one thing tomorrow what is that one thing you know is the most important or would make the biggest difference?
What really makes this whole thing work is repetition. If you do it before bed and review the list after you wake up in the morning, it primes your attention on what matters most, influencing your unconscious thoughts, attention, and actions. To really make this exercise have an impact, the next night repeat the exercise but do not look at last night's list. Ask yourself the questions all over again. Make it up from scratch while in the moment.
What matters to you most about who you coose to be will be in the forefront. Goals 4-5 will change and alter at least every 365 days. Goals 7-9 will have to change at least every 31 days. And goal 10 if chosen new every night. It's very important to make sure number 10 is something you can do.
Focus on the difference between what you can do and what you can only influence. You can't make someone happy, you can do something in hopes it cheers them up. You can't make someone fall in love with you. You can choose to be more charming as to convince them it's a good idea. Do you see the difference?
Number 10 is about breaking things down to the smallest possible step that you can take, regardless of the results. If a goal is to get a degree in engineering, a 10 goal might be, "Google engineering schools I can apply to," "Call the admissions office at Monster University," "I turned in my course paperwork for this semester."
If you do this correctly, you can create an unconscious compulsion to do the task, set your mind up so that whatever you write in that 10 spot you unconsciously have to do, and feel great once it's done. This can be very useful, so it's important when you start you set yourself up for success by choosing small actions you know you will be able to do. This will train your mind to take action and expect to succeed.
If you get too ambitious, choose something beyond your ability to control, that data error will cause your mind to break and damage the ability of this exercise to impact your unconscious thinking and behavior.
But do you see how this could impact your present state over time if you stacked 365 "just one little thing," 's together? That can make a world of difference. Just remember to stick with it. It won't change over night. But a year from now, you will notice a huge difference in your entire life, not just your mental health.