The brain is our body’s most complex organ; a network of a billion or so nerve cells, fixed in its capabilities but forever learning and digesting everything it sees – and sometimes, even things it doesn’t see.
Your brain is your judgement, your conscience; the voice which tells you what’s right from wrong, whether it’s your red boots or your suede mules which go best with your outfit and what cheers you on when you think your legs might drop off during a Spin class.
But your brain can also sometimes be cruel; it can tell you that you look awful, that everyone around you thinks you’re awful, so why don’t you just stay at home, because no one wants you there anyway?
A built-in frenemy with an acid tongue, that can’t be as easily unfriended like that annoying acquaintance who spams your Facebook feed.
Like everyone, I have a love-hate relationship with my brain; I love how it finds the best in things (most things), I love that it knows how to bake the best brownies (hate to be big-headed but truth, asks my mum), from scratch without looking at the recipe and I love how it stores my favourite memories so I can always recall them right before I fall asleep.
But sometimes, my brain can be a dick. An absolute cock-womble.
It tells me my thighs are hideous, my hips are too wide, my little toe is ugly (okay…arguably the last one is pretty accurate – but I still kinda like that little hunched wizard). Things which, if a friend said them to you, you’d cut them off quicker than split ends in a hair salon – so why do we take such negativity from our brain as gospel?
Your brain doesn’t know all the right answers to university challenge, it can so easily misjudge a situation and it forever tells you to buy the shoes WHEN IT KNOWS FULL WELL YOU STILL HAVE YOUR PHONE BILL AND RENT TO PAY – so what makes you think when you look in the mirror it gives you the gods honest truth every time?
We can all be guilty of having somewhat of a non-linear relationship with our brain; especially when lil ol’ Brain decides to invite round her fave gal pal – Hormones to join the fun.
Oh hormones, those fun little regulatory substances which are sent to stimulate specific cells or tissues so you cry like a little bitch* when you break a clothes hanger or can’t find a Tupperware lid; there’s truly no other time in the month where I hate myself more for crying over such insignificant occurrences when there are people truly suffering in the world.
The day before I started my most recent cycle, I went for a run with my boyfriend in the hope the endorphins would help to release some pre-menstrual tension. My boyfriend, oblivious to my internal calendar jogged happily beside me until a screeched; “STOP! I have to stop!” And let my head fall into my hands when we reached the nearest bench.
“…Are…are you okay?” My boyfriend asked tentatively; poised for my reaction.
“I….I just…hate myself,” I sobbed.
“Why?” He asked, flummoxed.
“I don’t knowwwwww,” I wailed.
Looking back, I can laugh at this scenario – and hope that you too have shared a similar moment of madness in your numerous years of womanhood (please lord, tell me you have).
I did know what was wrong with me that day; I was bloated (helloooo PMS), I was tired, I didn’t have my comfy knickers on and I had worn a body warmer and long running tights in 25 degree heat; needless to say, I was by no means feeling my best.
But still with this knowledge, I allowed my brain to degrade me with every stride I took; it told me what people would be saying about me in the cars passing by, what the King Charles Spaniel on his walk was thinking as he waddled past; even what my own mother thought about me.
Because sometimes, just sometimes; our brain doesn’t want us to feel happy or to feel our best. If there’s an explanation for this, then I don’t know it unfortunately; but you just have to trust that you’ll get through it and your brain will hopefully be kinder to you tomorrow, and by getting out of your brains way, or even leaving it to stew in a room of its own, is better than forcing yourself to listen to its toxicity.
So don’t always always believe your brain when it tells you you’ve put on weight, that you need abs like slabs to look better or that you aren’t good enough; if your clothes are a little tighter and you aren’t happy about it – focus on self-care in the form of a balanced diet, heavy on the veg, long walks, plenty of water and a G&T to stay sane.
We’re all doing the best we can, it’s not a race but a marathon – sometimes you’re ahead, and sometimes you’re behind, but it doesn’t matter how fast or slow you go just so long as you keep going.
If you aren’t happy, make the change; but remember that as human’s, we’re constantly looking for improvement, for flaws to pick away at and your brain will always find something to nag you for. So please don’t take it too seriously and certainly don’t sweat the small stuff, because trust me, you’re lovely just as you are.