Mental Health for the Common Man
The document linked below is a very brief overview of the ‘Lies’ we tell ourselves. It is something we have learned to do from childhood
and it binds us to imagined fears. Fear is a very useful emotion for self-preservation. However, when it permitted freedom without the
and guidance and limits of logic, truths become shadowed and we become enslaved by the very thoughts that could provide meaningfulness
to our lives and the lives of others. We were designed for significantly more than this. Enjoy!
The Lies We Tell Ourselves
The most important fundamental principle in Psychiatry is discovering the content of our “self-talk”. We rarely stop and think that our actions arise from “how we think” about a person, a situation, a place etc.
We live life collecting experiences, boxing them up and storing them in our mental library. But did you ever stop and consider how many times you visit your life library each day? If I asked you about the car you drive, the friend you respect or recall one of your favorite restaurants you have ever dined, your memories were triggered. Automatically, you journeyed to your mental library, unpacked some common experiences (with all of their emotional color attached to the contents) and returned to this page you are reading, without even knowing it.
It is the “automatic” process which is the point of this article.
Our Memories are Emotionally Charged
Have you ever talked to someone about something which you would consider to be an ordinary, nonconflictual matter which seemed to unintentionally strike a vulnerable point in the listener? Sometimes, “out of nowhere” an argument or a cold shoulder occurs and you are left wondering, “what happened?”. Well, it is helpful to remember, “If the emotions displayed are more than what seems relevant, the feelings are coming from somewhere else”
When you become aware of this occurring, you can be certain that an “emotionally charged” box was unpacked and brought back to your dialogue. We all do this, even though we are rarely aware of it.
Emotions are more about the Label
Our Emotions nearly always occur from “how” we feel about what we experience. Yet the feelings arise from our assessment of our thoughts about the experience. Two different people can have a similar experience and yet evaluate it differently. We all see this when we join others to watch a movie, see a play or listen to music. People evaluate the shared event more on the degree it relates to them, both positively and negatively. Watching a war movie would not impact me the same as a war veteran. Hearing a song that was popular in my youth in high school will not bring the same charm to others, especially if they were not my classmate.
Our assessment of what we think about particular experience results in how we feel about it. It does not matter whether our thoughts about it were based on what really happened or not. Our take -away conclusion may be far from the truth, yet it will still carry an emotional label, based on what we determined.
Freeing people from their past has more to do with seeing accurately what was experienced and learning how to evaluate it honestly, in truth. This is where these principles below will prove helpful.
Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), introduced by Dr. Aaron Beck, has been established as a very useful therapy for those suffering from a wide range of emotional problems. The effective application of this therapy has been a powerful tool not only for troubled individuals but for anyone who desires some sort of compass to navigate through the rocky terrain of everyday life.
The principles are based on uncovering the lies we have learned throughout our lives and how they introduce obstacles when we hold them as truths. The most valuable aspect of CBT is that it does not require a lifelong therapist. In fact, the pace of healing is centered on those who earnestly acquire the skills to keep their mental dialogue in check. When we learn how to extract truth in our interpretations of life events, we are able to break free from the anxiety and fear that threaten our freedom to live life fully as intended
This is not a new concept or strategy. In fact, it has been around for thousands of years.
In fact, if you have a Bible handy, you will find this “framework of mind” in the book of Philippians, chapter four, verse eight.
Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things. (KJV)
Here, I will share the condensed outline of six basic lies that rob our freedoms with a short example of each. If you learn how to identify these lies, then you will be in a better position to begin replacing your self-dialogue with truths that will begin a journey to your freedom.
Now, Go Apply what you learn