Break Free From Depression Helplessness
I recently posted an article to my website about how certain beliefs underpin stress, depression and anxiety. One of the main beliefs I briefly introduced concerns helplessness. Helplessness is a majo...
Believing you are helpless in life is a truly terrible feeling and I write from personal experience here. For five years, a number of traumatic events led me to the point where I believed life held nothing but pain and anguish. I truly believed life would unfold in a way that would destroy me and there wasnít a single thing I could do about it.
Perhaps youíve felt this way too?The underlying belief is the important factor here. It is a firm belief that life is something that happens to you and you have NO CONTROL over anything. In short, you are a powerless, passive recipient for whatever life decides to throw at you.
It is an awful state to be in. Furthermore, this belief simply isnít true.
Let me give an example. Say you and your partner split up. Now, this can be one very traumatic experience, Iíve been through it, so have many others. You react in a highly negative and emotionally arousing way:
ďIím devastated. He/she was my whole world and now my world has fallen apart. Everything I do in life always goes wrong and this is another disaster. Iíll never be happy again.
ĒWow. Itís a powerful reaction isnít it? Iím sure you, like me, have either reacted this way to an event or youíve heard someone react this way. It is a very damaging way to assign a meaning to an event you are confronted with.
The last two sentences reveal the belief in helplessness. The key words are: Everything always goes wrong and never be happy again. When you react in such a way, you are telling yourself that you are helpless because nothing has ever gone right for you and youíll never be happy no matter what. Youíre saying you cannot control anything and therefore, you truly believe youíre helpless.
How do you think youíll feel when you react like this? Exactly. Youíll feel deeply unhappy, confused, frustrated and of course, helpless to change your life. Why would you feel anything else? Everything ALWAYS goes wrong and youíll NEVER be happy again so whatís the point of doing anything to create change?Do you see how helplessness works? But it simply isnít true. Of course, there are many things in life that are entirely beyond your control. Other people and Mother Nature to name but two. There are things in life you have some control over Ė where you live and work for example. It is important to keep these facts about control firmly in mind.
Hereís the most important fact about helplessness: There is one thing you have full control over in your life and that is how you react and assign meanings to everything you are confronted with. In the example above, a better reaction would be:
ďOK, my relationship hasnít worked but other things in my life are going well and Iíll concentrate on them for a while as I come to terms with whatís happened. Just because this relationship hasnít worked out, it doesnít mean future relationships will fail and once Iíve got over this, Iíll get out there and find someone better.
ĒSee the difference? Youíre keeping control by assigning a less emotional meaning, a meaning more in keeping with reality. Youíre acknowledging that youíre hurting, but that this is temporary and when youíre ready, youíll try again. You know you have other things in your life that you can concentrate on and this reaction will prevent a feeling of helplessness arising.
See you soon.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Former anxiety sufferer Chris Green is the author of ďConquering StressĒ, the internationally acclaimed program which will help you to permanently conquer stress, depression and anxiety without taking powerful drugs. For a free mini course, please click here => http://www.conqueringstress.com