Understanding we have a choice over the quality of our lives: Part 2 Written by Brendan Mooney Psychologist
What does it mean to truly change our quality of life? Is it about finally having the money to buy your dream house / car / boat? Is it finding a partner who will say that they love you every day? Or is it through having a good job and maybe doing some charity work? What if none of these things actually change our quality of life?
This article follows on from Part 1 which can be found here.
Is it possible that we chase things in life believing they will deliver us a better quality of life, but what if this approach is a little misguided?
An example of a certain quality of life, albeit a disturbed one, is anxiousness. And irrespective of whether a person experiencing anxiety drives a nice car or has lots of friends and family, their inner anxiety will ultimately be their actual experience of life before anything else around them. Whilst we can distract ourselves from being aware of our anxiety by doing something (such as keeping busy at work), at best we will experience a temporary reprieve from the anxiousness only for it to return as soon as the distracting activity stops. For many, going from one distraction to another becomes their way of life in an attempt to manage the uncomfortable emotions they are experiencing within.
What if changing our quality is not about changing our circumstances on the outside, for whilst this might appear a good thing our true quality of life has not actually changed.
Here are some examples to consider:
A person can say I love you but it is the quality in how it is expressed that is going to determine its effects– It will not be felt by the person receiving it, if it is not first lived by the person saying it.
A person can be feeling angry but act nice to others, but that doesn’t change the quality of anger inside them.
A person can exercise after a stressful day at work, and whilst the exercise may reduce their symptoms if the person has not addressed the work issue they will still remain stressed after work.
The illusion is we think we have made a different choice, but if for example the anger isn’t truly dealt with it just becomes a ‘surface fix’ whilst the real underlying choice remains the same. The anger may be buried or managed but it is still not actually addressed.
Hence we can choose to change our behaviours, clothes, and outside environment. We can choose to go on holidays or change jobs, get a new partner or have a bath at the end of the day. However, unless we choose to change the actual quality we perform all these activities in, we have not truly made a different choice, but instead merely improved our landscape, so to speak, on the outside.
More will be written in an upcoming series of articles on this topic. If you would like to read more be sure to subscribe to receive email updates.
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.