As I tweeted earlier today, one of the number one signs of depression is someone that feels they have no choice. They feel that every single thing is happening to them and there are no other options.
Even for someone that would not consider themselves depressed, this is still an issue. I would argue most people are so trapped in their minds that they have no clue anything else exists.
Being trapped in the mind is reactive, robotic, behavior and most people do this all day everyday.
They see a tweet they don’t like – react.
Someone cuts them off – react.
Husband/wife says something they don’t like – react.
This is not living; this is robotic herd like behavior.
Yet, 99% of people on this planet right now are like this.
And they are like this all day everyday.
If you were to ask them why, they would have no clue what you are asking them. This is normal behavior to them and its life’s fault, not their own.
But the fact that there are some people, even if very few, that don’t react like this all day, proves it’s possible; it proves we do have a choice.
In every single feeling you have today, you are making the choice to feel that way.
This is not to say bad things won’t happen; it’s to say that you have a choice in how to respond to it. But the first step is knowing you have a choice.
Depression occurs, among other things, because, as I said before, we believe there is no other way. Then anxiety hits because we think it will always be this way.
But in your studies, and even in reading these emails, you have heard another side, a side of choice. Knowing that this exists means you know how the game is played. When you know rules of the game inside and out, you know you have options. Or to put it another way, you can exploit these rules because you know the truth.
The entire point of me doing this, or of anyone studying anything, is to provide another view point; another option. I can tell you from personal experience that choices exist, and if they exist for me why cant they exist for anyone else?
Before you say “it must be nice to….” And add in whatever comment about how easy my life must be, I can tell you that you are mistaken.
Many times my life has been a shit sandwich with extra mayo. It has been anything but easy. But in the back of my mind I always knew there was a choice; that I could technically not feel like this.
I came to that conclusion in many ways. Some were probably some sort of “divine intervention” in the sense that I have no idea where it came from, and others were just plain truth; meaning I would have “gaps” in my thinking during rough times that showed me this rough time was mostly in the mind.
Think of it like having a horrible day and then winning the lottery; your horrible day wouldn’t be so horrible anymore. But what actually changed? The problems you worried about, or at least most them, would still be there. Even if money would solve them its not like they give you the winnings that second. So the problem is still there but a change in your context just changed your whole situation.
Its all in the mind.
There is a choice to feel another way. Take time to notice that choice in the times where you never notice it. Then make the choice.
My podcast explores these topics weekly, you can check it out here. Also my website can be found here.
Photo by Fabian Quintero on Unsplash