Understanding Mental Static

There’s a peculiar sensation I have when my mind is struggling to comprehend something.

It’s an odd numbness and tingling on my scalp, unlike the squeezing pain of a headache. Most times it will be localized, yet it can be all over the place at others. It travels back and forth between my forehead and the crown of my head, drifts over to the right or left and occasionally takes the shape of a mohawk.

It’s as if something is gently trying to get through my skull.

Since last May, I have had it fairly often, usually for a day or two–though it has hung around for several months, too. When most pronounced, I felt slightly disconnected from my body, like a portion of my “me” was hovering above my head like a wispy stratus cloud.

I’ve taken “mental static” to be a symbol of change.

Admittedly, the fogginess is unsettling. You know something’s off-kilter, yet you’re unable to totally put your finger on it. God is trying to reach you and your cell phone has only the faintest of signals. Regardless of where you stand or how you tilt your head, the call always seems to drop when He says “I’ve got to tell you t–“.

Frustration ebbs and flows.

This feeling is one of the consequences of evolutionary change. As you go about the process of unraveling your thinking–and all the experiences shaping it–your brain stomps its feet and screams. When it comes to shifting in a new direction, it is the most petulant of children:

“No! I like the way I am. It’s too hard. I’m staying right here. I don’t wanna.

Part of you crosses its arms and pouts during metamorphosis.

For our ancestors, survival depended upon the ability to detect subtle differences between shadows on the savanna. Traveling to new areas created new problems in separating “food source” from “possible predator.” The heightened awareness that comes with uncertainty is merely your bloodline speaking up after 200,000 years of development:

“Hey! Be on the lookout.”

When your lazy modern mind hears the echoes of its hardened primitive ancestors, it sits straight up on the couch. Instead of being more conscious of what surrounds you and choosing each step carefully, fear tempts you to stay amongst what you’ve come to categorize as “safe.”

There are two things you must do when encountered with this situation:

1. Be patient
Look, your psyche has been living quietly in a cushy environment for years. It has had its way for as long as it can remember and is assured by the easy routine of its situation. It will attempt to run back to the known with all its might.

Hold its hand–firmly–and tolerate the tantrum until it relents, regardless of how long it takes.

2. Accept it
Though this second part would seem to work hand-in-hand with the first, it bears mentioning on its own. The situation is what it is–in fact, everything just is–and you must relinquish the tendency to pass judgment on it. As Shakespeare wrote in Hamlet, “There is nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so.”

Don’t be the person that stands in a long line cracking jokes and “making the best of it,” then complains to the attendant upon reaching the front.

You’re on the road to a better mindset. Don’t turn around just because it’s unpaved.


“Joy cometh in the morning.”

3 People You Meet During Change

Rewrite Your Code


1 Response to “Understanding Mental Static”

  1. 1 uberVU - social comments Trackback on April 23, 2010 at 12:32 am
Comments are currently closed.

Enter your email address to receive notifications of new MeBuilding posts by email.

Join 21 other followers

The MeBuilding Fan Page

MeBuilding on Twitter

%d bloggers like this: