Your mind acts like a giant trash can. You stuff all your unwanted desires and emotions there. But when, exactly, is trash day? Do you ever empty your overflowing bin of filth, or do you let it pile up day after day.
Because like it or not, your metal dumpster can only hold so much. If you don’t take out the trash regularly, it will overflow into your personal life.
Garbage duty has been a chore in my life as far back as I can remember. I recall slogging from room to room as a kid, bagging up the contents of our houses many trash cans and hauling everything out to the curb. It’s not something I like doing. Not in the least. But now, as an adult cleaning out my own house weekly, I understand the need for it.
A few times I’ve missed the trash (usually because I forgot to roll out the cans). Let me tell you, the next week is horrendous. Overflowing bags of moldering food, empty containers, the detritus of our daily lives. Worst of all, our sanitation system won’t take bags sitting on the curb — only what fits into the bin. So I have to dole out the trash over a period of weeks. All for one missed visit.
Your brain works the same way. You get hit with negativity everyday. From the news or your social media streams. A grumpy coworker or intolerant boss. Even random people on the stress can swing your mood in a bad direction.
All this stress piles up in your body. Like an emotional hoarder, you find new places to stuff the problems, all the nooks and crannies of your brain. It reminds me of an “I Love Lucy” episode where Lucy is trying to find a place to store all her son’s things in a tiny apartment. She has toys hidden under seat cushions and the sugar stored in the bathroom (because the kitchen is full).
In life, there is no actual sanitation department for your stress. No truck is going to pull up and unload all your emotional garbage. You have to do it yourself. The how is up to you. You need to find what works. I tend to rely on journaling to get the nasties out. Putting something down on paper really helps. Other times, just talking can do wonders as dislodging stubborn patches of stress.
I stumbled upon this video by Meir Kay about how people are like garbage trucks. In it, he delivers the message that people go around full of disappointment and frustration. When their personal garbage trucks fill up, they need a place to dump it. Check out the short video, it’s a positive spin on how to deal with the stress of this world.
So the next time you feel overwhelmed, take out your own trash. Because your dumpster is not bottomless. And you don’t want your emotional garbage overflowing onto your loved ones.