Understanding we have a choice over the quality of our lives Written by Brendan Mooney Psychologist
In every moment of every day we make choices. For example, in general we can choose what to eat, what to wear, who to talk to, etc.
However, have we really considered the extent to which our choices affect our quality of life? And is it possible that every single choice we make affects our quality of life in some way?
Often we equate quality of life to our circumstances, for example if people are nice to us we often describe that as a better day than when we have to deal with other people’s reactions. But what if we can choose the quality of life we want without it being dependent on others or situations?
Ultimately we cannot control outside influences so it is not wise to depend on them for our quality of life. Hence whilst we may not be able to change the circumstance we are in, for example, we may not have a choice as to how much we are paid at work, this does not prevent us from making choices throughout our day to deepen our quality.
Realising we can make choices to affect our quality of life is very empowering, and prevents us from perceiving that our life is dictated by our circumstances.
But what does it mean to make choices that affect our quality of life?
We have two choices in life: to respond or react. There is no other choice, and our choice to respond or react will govern our entire quality of life.
Whether we are consciously aware of it or not, we are making choices everyday that affect our quality of life, regardless of our gender, status, education or nationality.
But to what extent do we examine the choices we make on a daily basis, not only in terms of what we do but the quality we make those choices in? What if quality of life has much more to do with the quality we make choices in rather than the mere function of what we choose to do?
For example, we have a choice whether to eat food that will support our body or to eat something that will make us feel tired and bloated. We have a choice whether to go to sleep at a time that will support us to rejuvenate for the next day or to stay up late resulting in us feeling sluggish the next day. But even beyond these choices there is more…
The quality of our movement will reflect the true quality of our choice.
For example, we can exercise (which is a healthy thing to do) aggressively, which will tighten our bodies unnecessarily and put extra strain on our working body, or we can exercise gently which will allow our bodies to more easily accept the exercise. Both instances involve exercise, but one will have a far more truly calming experience than the other.
But our quality of movement is not just about exercise. At one time or another we have all experienced being at an event of function and having to walk into a room full of people that we don’t know. How we move through the space will determine the quality of the interactions we have with people in the room. For example if we shuffle into the room, with eyes downcast and beeline for the nearest corner we are going to have a very different experience from the person who walks in with their shoulders back and an openness in their gait.
Hence what if we not only chose more supportive activities for ourselves but also consciously chose the quality of movement we did all the activities in?
BIOGRAPHY Psychologist Brendan Mooney works with adults, adolescents and children. With a genuine interest in people's well-being, Brendan brings a warmth, practicality and an equality that supports clients to truly address underlying issues and blockages that are preventing them from moving forward.