The Silent Nervous Breakdown
Updated: May 4
Have you ever noticed in your day-to-day or weekly grind that it seems as though you’re quietly losing control of every thought that crosses your mind? When this happens, do your feelings follow quickly behind until it’s as if you’re in the middle of a self-made maelstrom? These silent nervous breakdowns happen to everyone, even me, despite my daily Mindfulness practices. It starts with an internal conversation, then creeps along to begin a self narrative telling you: "You're not enough, you’re doing it wrong, this thing is horrible, this person hates me, I CAN’T STAND ANY OF THIS!"
This cycle allows fear to lock in and slowly destroy your peace of mind from the inside out. Your mind creates habits where you see everything from a negative perspective. You may begin to believe that the people who love you actually hate you. You may start to feel that everything you've been doing was for naught. These thoughts become overwhelming to the point where you may wonder: Why am I here, and why am I doing this?
As someone who follows Mindful practices, you have a deep toolbox full of techniques to help you get through these moments. The only tool you need to remember in order to get started is that it all starts with a breath. You may be able to change your narrative quickly; it may take some serious work; and sometimes it may even need to end with a cry. Whatever your process, Mindfulness carries the tools to help you work through this silent nervous breakdown. Through the times when you think that you have no friends, that nothing you're doing is worth the effort, when the only thing you can focus on is crawling into bed and hiding from the world forever, an effective Mindful practice -- starting with the simple act of taking a deep breath in through you nose and exhaling from your mouth -- can set you on the path back out of this cycle.
You will always have these internal conversations, so being ready with an outlet to release the negative thoughts will keep them from slowly starting to destroy you. When the breath is not enough, and you are struggling with self help, remember that is okay to ask for help. When that internal conversation is out of control and triggering you, reach out to someone you trust. Take a moment to say “Hey, do you have a minute?” Remember as well that you can let me be that person if you there is no one you are comfortable talking to… sometimes you can't fix it on your own. I’m happy to listen and to remind you of the tools you already have so you can walk yourself out of the spiral.