6 Signs Your Brain Needs A Break & How To Give It One

If your brain is stressed most of the time, it starts to feel normal.

Fatigued man on a bus, pressing the pause button on brain Getty Images | Unsplash, Impro Studio, Science Photo Library | Canva

A healthy brain is crucial to your whole health. When your brain is stressed, then your entire body is stressed. Worse, if your brain is stressed most of the time, you begin believing this is normal.

The good news is it does not need to be this way. Your brain needs a break periodically. Take a moment of silence and notice how busy your mind is. If you have a busy mind, here are some suggestions you might find helpful.


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Here are six signs your brain needs a break & how to give it one

1. Your mind is busy, busy, busy

Do you frequently experience a stream of thoughts in your mind that is hard to control and find yourself struggling to solve a particular problem? Does it feel like an endless and disordered meeting with your inner thoughts? If you answer yes to any of these questions, you can benefit from finding ways to calm your mind. Your brain needs a break periodically.

Think about what helps you calm your mind. It could be listening to music, walking, hitting the gym, or watching your favorite movie. Meditation is a powerful way to quiet your mind; many practices can help you achieve this. Choose a mantra to help you center yourself. Start with brief periods of silent prayer and gradually increase your prayer time to 30 minutes each day.


Mindfulness is also a great practice, and there are many techniques to choose from. Mindfulness is all about quieting your mind and connecting with your inner world. An excellent tool for mindfulness is using a meditation app to help you in your practice.

2. You experience persistent sleep issues

Are you facing difficulty sleeping? Do you find it hard to fall asleep? Are you waking up several times during the night? Do you feel tired and unable to function correctly during the day? If you are experiencing any of these issues, it could be a sign your brain needs support.

Having trouble sleeping may indicate you are struggling with unhelpful thoughts. Thoughts that keep going around in your head like a broken record prevent your body from settling down. Perhaps you are trying to control things beyond your influence. The more exhausted you are, the more challenging it becomes to care for your mind because lack of sleep affects its functioning.


You can learn to calm your mind and body before bedtime. Avoid using your smartphone and take a break from social media and news to disconnect from the world's problems. Some people find journaling an effective way to release their thoughts and worries. You can light a candle and sit in silence or listen to soft music to help prepare your mind for sleep. Try not to stimulate your mind and emotions near the end of the day.

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3. You notice increased fatigue no matter how much you sleep

Are you tired all the time? Even when you are getting to sleep? Does everything feel difficult? Do you easily get overwhelmed? Again, the good news is you don’t need to live this way. To overcome exhaustion, it is essential to take care of yourself. You should engage in activities to help you relax, take care of your body, calm your mind, and enjoy life. Ensure you eat healthy meals, get enough rest, and spend time with people you trust.


Keep healthy boundaries. Do not allow other people to suck energy out of you. Pay close attention to what is happening in your inner world. As soon as you feel something out of alignment, discern what you need to do, even if it is just to take a moment to do some deep breathing. Don’t be afraid to ask for help from a family member, a friend, or a professional. It is a sign of strength to ask for help. Your brain needs a break often enough to stay healthy.



4. You feel irritable more than usual 

Do you notice you get upset for no reason at all? Do you get angry at some minor issue that usually would not bother you? Are friends starting to avoid you because of your behavior? The good news is it does not need to be this way. You might want to seek help if irritability is getting in your way. There are probably underlying issues that have been repressed, and you can benefit from a professional who can shine the light on the issues so you can heal. Ask friends and family to help you. Permit them to let you know when your irritability affects your relationship.

5. You've noticed changes in your mood

It could mean different things if you find yourself crying for no reason. It is very likely you are overwhelmed and need some time for yourself. Your brain needs a break periodically. If you feel on an emotional roller coaster, you must find ways to slow down and discern what you need. You will benefit from slowing down and getting in touch with the sensations of your body, the emotions of your heart, and your quiet mind.


Put yourself first, know what you need, be honest, seek help without shame, and reveal your courage to be your best self.



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6. You have difficulty concentrating

Do you find it hard to concentrate? Are you missing appointments because you forgot them? Do you struggle to remember the birthdays of loved ones or significant anniversaries? Maybe you even forget to meet your basic needs sometimes. If you're having difficulty concentrating, it's a sign something isn't right. Your mind might be overloaded with information, trying to process too much at once. You may be replaying old stories in your head that are full of lies.


Your inner critic, the part of you that aims to keep you safe by holding you to what you already know, can hinder positive change. It might be attempting to prevent you from moving forward. If you find yourself stuck, it may be beneficial to seek professional help. Additionally, taking a break from work to focus on your personal needs could help you get back on track. The first step is to admit you have some challenges that you need to address.

having fun being a mess

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It's important to remember you're only human and imperfect and there's no shame in admitting you have challenges. Everyone goes through difficult times. Sometimes, we need some help to get through them.

To stay healthy, productive, and joyful, we must focus on our needs and seek support from honest and loving family and friends. Consider seeking professional help from coaches, counselors, or psychologists. Don't be afraid to interview them to find the best fit for you. Remember, you have the power to create the life you want, so follow your dreams and find the courage to live well each day.

Don’t ever forget your brain needs a break periodically.

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Roland Legge is an author, certified spiritual life coach, and teacher of the Enneagram. He helps people connect to their inner selves and find alignment with their highest purpose and values.