‘It’s all in your head’
This statement can often come across as harsh, insensitive and as a misunderstanding to the person who you are, but something I quite recently learned, through my own experiences of reading books and taking part in Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, is that this statement is the truth… It really is all in your head.
They say the truth hurts and yes it does, but once you get over the shock of the truth, then you can work on how to overcome the hurt.
Everything is in your head and it is under your own control. Your thoughts are your demons and you are your own worst enemy. You think yourself into doom and then convince yourself that this is the way it is, even when there are so many other ways it can be, but your closed mind has defied you for so long that you aren’t even aware of it.
Most of the time, all is not as bad as it seems to be in your head. For instance, the dread of work. I used to dread Mondays. This whole stigma attached to Mondays meant that they were morbid, depressing and something to be feared. For months I had that ‘Sunday feeling’, having to wake up after a nice weekend and get back to reality. But is reality all that bad? I thought myself into believing that work was my worst nightmare. I went in with dread in my head and work got me down so much that I obsessively clock-watched, wishing for home time and hating the role I was in. But then I had a realisation.
I’m not entirely sure what sparked it. Perhaps it was from the therapy sessions I was attending, or from the mindfulness book I was reading at the time, who knows, but the realisation was that work was not all that bad and I did not need to dread it. Ok, so it isn’t the best job in the world, but it’s my life, my reality and my own little world that I escape to, away from my personal troubles and university stresses. I started to list the positive aspects of my job at the airport… the lovely people I worked with, the fact that I interact with so many multi-cultural people that are flying out, the geography I learn everyday, the busy periods where time goes really quickly, the fact that I get along with my team leaders and of course, the fact that I actually have a job and I’m earning money, so it could be a whole lot worse.
After listing these positives, my whole outlook on Sundays changed. I started to look forward to going into work, getting dressed up nicely and walking into my other world. I no longer woke up instantly sad that it was Monday. I lived in the moment and through this change of thinking, I have made my life in general a whole lot happier and easier. I am lucky to have a well paid job that doesn’t give me too much distress. No more Sunday blues for me.
Ok, so I’m not saying this will be the case for everyone, especially those with depression, or those that have genuine problems at work or in other parts of their lives that make them dread it. I suffer with a mild form of depression myself and mornings are always the hardest, but just through battling my mind and convincing myself that things really aren’t as bad as I thought they were, I am living a happier life. There are the odd days where it is more difficult of course and a few setbacks where I am exhausted, but I will continue with this mind battle and enjoy each aspect of my life more than I did before.
Our minds are biased and its almost like they are filtered to think certain thoughts, which has a huge impact on our moods and our behaviour, but if we break these cycles and open up our minds to a whole new way of thinking, then this will bring so much more positivity into our lives.
Try it for yourself, maybe with work, or something that plays a big part in your life at the moment. Write down the things you look forward to about it. What are the positives? What can you do to enjoy it more? What aspects of it makes you happy? Is it as bad as your thoughts have convinced you it was? Would you be better off without it? More importantly, is there a reason to be grateful for it? Is it a blessing that has been disguised by your automatic thought processes?
Once you start emptying the negative thought patterns from your head and begin feeding it with positivity, your life will change, just like mine did. It takes time and practice, but once you keep reminding yourself of these things, they will become part of you.