On the Importance of Reboots and Mental Health
You know what I think the world really needs right now? A reboot.
No, I don’t mean the annoying movie trend that just won’t seem to die.
In my short time on this digital era earth, one of the more important things that I’ve learned is the importance of reboots. If you don’t reboot your computer, phone or tablet every now and again, it will crash. Ending and restarting the thought processes of the machine is essential to keeping the machine working properly.
Why then, do we not hold the same truth as a standard for our own brains? For our own lives? For our country, our systems, our world?
Instead, we keep adding processes. We keep expecting everything to happen faster, better, and at the same time. We hold ourselves to harder and harder standards.
Today, during my lunch break, I decided to leave my computer and head out to a local cafe for lunch. I wanted to unwind, clear my head, and just be.
I was amazed, as I sat and stared out the window, at how many groups of business people sat around me, talking in pushed, angry or sarcastic tones about business, business politics, making money, and how to do more. Young, old, male, female — it all was the same. And none of it matters. I mean, I guess it does to them.
But isn’t it weird that it’s all they talked about? That this is where we, as human beings, have brought ourselves?
[On a sidebar — Wouldn’t it be strange if humans had continued to barter instead to turning to a currency system? What do you think life would be like? Discuss amongst yourselves…]
The world is a scary, angry place. It always has been — I mean, we’ve all been killing each other for ages. The difference now is that we can do it rapidly and without any warning. And we are inundated with information and stressors and pressure, pressure, pressure. You’d think being more aware of each other would be helpful and lovely and we’d all hold hands and sing kumbayah, wouldn’t you? Instead, however, we’re given bits and pieces, which increases tension, and we don’t really have the time to do the deeper research, because we’re all trying to keep up with the Jones’.
Now, of course, this is all a generalization. There are those who damn the man, and those who take the time no matter what, and those, and those, and those. But, especially in this country, when it takes the average worker 7 months to earn what their CEO earns in an hour, the majority of us who just want to get by are still screwed.
We live to work, instead of working to live.
Could it be that we need a reboot? A way to stop the spiraling processes that are leading toward the system crash in order to start them again in a fresh and new way? Would that even be possible? I think it could, if it was focused in more on a smaller scale to start with.
I heard a radio spot the other day (I want to say on NPR, because that’s usually what I listen to when I’m listening to talk radio, but I may be wrong about that) about how we are driving ourselves insane, literally. Because of the hustle and bustle and digital-ity of our everyday lives, we are constantly firing the fight or flight reaction in our bodies. It’s throwing us off balance and increasing our chances for mental health issues. And yet, we just can’t stop. We’re addicted to our phones. We’re addicted to Facebook. We’re addicted to terror porn newscasts that are written as entertainment instead of for educational value.
I challenge you to get this reboot process started.
Tomorrow, at some point in your day, take however long you feel comfortable with (at least a minute, please) and turn everything off. Sit, or stand, or move, or dance, but don’t force yourself to do anything. Let your brain go, recognize your thoughts, write them down if you choose (pen and paper please, no screens). Be with yourself, whatever that means for you. Stop the processes and let them start again.
If you are a business owner or a boss or a person of some sort of power, and you feel any change within yourself from this exercise, carry this over to workplace. If you are a human being and you feel any change within yourself from this exercise, share it. Encourage others to do the same.
Do what you can to get the reboot revolution going. Change the way we think about ourselves and our lives. Can we get back to a place in which the goal of work is to be able to live, not to have? What would that do? Would it be helpful? Are we too far gone?
I’ll think about those questions tomorrow after my reboot.