By Dawn Walton
Guest writer for Wake Up World
Have you ever worked with someone who is good at their job but can never seem to see it? Has anyone ever paid you a compliment that you’ve dismissed because you didn’t believe them, or twisted to take it as an insult?
We all interact with the world on the basis of the reality in our heads. We each have a different version of reality that we live in. (Take the tale of the two dogs and a mirror, for instance.) This is the reason that you can’t be talked out of feeling depressed. You only hear and see things that match the reality in your head.
As a cognitive hypnotherapist, when a client sits in front of me for their first session they often say things like “I don’t know what’s wrong with me. I have a good life, a good job and people who care about me. I should be happy.”
Should. It’s an interesting word isn’t it? It’s the biggest clue about what is going on…
The thing that leads most people to feeling depressed is not about reality. It’s about expectations versus reality. It’s about the word “Should”. It’s not the reality that is causing the problem, it’s the expectation.
Expectation that they should be somewhere in life and that doesn’t measure up against where they are;
Expectation that they should be able to cope with life better than they feel they are coping (often the case with post-natal depression);
Expectation that they should be a better person that they think they are.
Where do those expectations come from? Expectations come from growing up. They come from rules learnt by the subconscious as you grow up, that are followed to keep you safe once you are an adult. They come from our upbringing, and not necessarily a negative one; I have as many clients that want to make a much-loved parent proud, just as I have clients who have been abused into believing they are never good enough. And either way, it’s the word “should” that causes the problem. It stops you seeing what is around you. It stops you living in the moment.
So next time you hear yourself thinking that you “should” feel or act differently, ask yourself “whose voice is this, that says I should?”
- If it is someone else’s voice, imagine time travelling back to when you first heard them say it. Then change their voice to something ridiculous, like Donald Duck, or a helium balloon voice, or even Barry White (or Barry White on a helium balloon!)
- If it’s yours, ask “what age am I when I am saying that?” and time travel back to the you at that age. Ask them why they believe that to be true. Ask them who says? And then follow the step above.
It’s not your fault you are depressed. It’s a symptom of a warped reality. But there is a reason and because of that, it’s possible to change.
The Caveman Rules of Survival
A book by author and therapist Dawn Walton…
The subconscious is overdue a software upgrade. This primitive and emotional part of your brain follows rules for keeping you safe and well based on the caveman days, where sabre-toothed tigers and other predators were the biggest threat. If you have ever had a battle going on in your head between what you believe you want to do, and the part of you that seems to hold you back, then this book – The Caveman Rules of Survival – is for you.
“This is a fantastic book. It is simple, straight to the point, and offers great advice for people wishing to feel happy and get more in control of their lives.” ~ Dr. David Hamilton, best selling author.
About the author:
Dawn Walton is an author, public speaker and therapist based in the UK. Her passion in life is to help people realise that being screwed up is normal, and that everything can change.
Dawn is also the author of The Caveman Rules of Survival.
- Email: [email protected]
- Facebook: DawnatThinkitChangeit
- Facebook discussion group: DawnsCave
- Twitter: @ThinkitChangeit
- Skype: @Thinkitchangeit
- Therapy site: www.thinkitchangeit.com
Recommended articles by Dawn Walton:
- You Are Depressed For a Reason… But It’s Not What You Think
- You’re Not a Mind Reader – Stop Worrying What Other People Think of You
- Even Positive People Have Negative Thoughts
- The Caveman Rules of Survival: How to Overcome Subconscious Instincts That Don’t Work in the Modern Day
- Sleep Problems Come From the Day Not the Night
- Addiction is Not Necessarily an Addiction for Life
- Fight, Flight… or Fun? Turning Anxiety into Anticipation
- Forgive Yourself For Not Forgiving Them