My College Major Changed Me

I have been out of college for many years now, but I can tell you one thing, the major that I choose has changed my life.

I’d like to say that it has changed me for the better, however, it has also changed me for the worse.

Background

Once I graduated high school, I was not certain which path I wanted to take in terms of a college major. I was always told to just feel each subject out and see which one that I was drawn to, it sounded easy and like great advice and it ended up being just that!

I had many classes that I thoroughly enjoyed. I would say that my top two subjects were Psychology and English. I loved both for different reasons. Given the nature of the job that I wanted to pursue at the time and an extreme interest and passion mine, I chose to major in Psychology. Little did I know, it would change the way that I saw myself and the world around me forever.

My Love

Psychology drew me in because I have always been fascinated with the human mind and finding out why people behave the way that they do. We are all born as blank slates, yet we all develop into very different beings, that is fascinating to me!

As I took many Psychology courses over the years, I learned so much about myself and the world around me. I was able to understand why I had become the person that I was and how the brain works and responds to people and life situations. I was able to understand others better with this newfound knowledge and empathy that came with it.

It was almost as though Psychology was the book of life, it felt as if this subject held all of the answers to the complexity of the human mind and behavior. I was captivated!

The Downside

As with many things in life, there are usually positives and negatives. I adore Psychology and all that it entails, but learning this subject to the extent that I did was detrimental to me in some ways.

Years after I graduated from college, I noticed that my anxiety was much worse than it usually had been. I have dealt with extreme anxiety since I was very little. I began to realize that the way that we are taught this subject and the ways that they have us learning the material truly changed the way that my brain responded to life and even to myself.

In Psychology, we were taught to analyze, analyze, and analyze some more. We were taught to observe very carefully and taught to look at people, situations, and ultimately life in many different ways. Yes, this sounds like a great thing and it is to an extent, but it became a constant in my life.

Taking Over

I found myself analyzing my life, thoughts, and behavior to an extreme. Psychology teaches you that there is a reason behind everything and that includes people’s actions. Therefore, I was always hunting for reasons and the meaning behind everything.

I started seeing life in many different aspects. I started viewing other people very differently, I was so curious as to why and how people behaved the way they did. It seemed as though I was always searching for information to complete my analysis and observations.

I wasn’t comfortable with this new way of viewing life. I understand that these are all necessary and helpful skills to have, especially if one is to become a therapist or social worker for example, however for me, it was overpowering, and I wasn’t able to separate myself from it.

Question

I know several of you talented individuals are in the field of Psychology. For those of you that are therapists, social workers, or even those that majored in Psychology as well, did you ever notice a drastic change in the way that you viewed life and other people after studying Psychology?

Closing

This subject was and still is my favorite subject of all time. I truly adore it and there is always so much to learn and gain. There are many times that I wish that my mind wasn’t so “stuck” in Psychology mode, but given this, I still would have chosen to major in this field.

It’s pretty amazing to me that what we expose ourselves to in our life truly does have a tremendous impact on us. Just a little food for thought as you go about your day. Surround yourself with good people and try to live life the best that you can, we are like sponges are we are truly changed by what we experience for better or for worse.

Hardwired to Write

I took one of my children to the doctor a few weeks ago for a routine check-up. My children see several of the doctors there and they are all fantastic.

The one that we were meeting with a few weeks ago is always so pleasant and kind, she is very caring and likes to carry on a conversation to make everyone feel more comfortable.

An Interesting Conversation 

The doctor and I were just making small talk as they checked my child over. I asked her how she’s been doing. She asked me how I was and then she asked me a surprising yet thoughtful question.

The pediatrician stopped the exam for a brief moment and asked me what I do to relax after taking care of my young children all day. It felt awkward because after all, we were here for my child’s visit and not for me, but the fact that she cared enough to ask truly melted my heart.

Everyone is Different 

I proceeded to tell her that my favorite ways to unwind are being out in nature and writing. She looked up at me and said “wow, you like to write!?” I told her that I absolutely love to write and I always have.

The pediatrician was finishing up with the exam and was busy making my little one laugh and making the visit as bearable as possible.

Right before we left, the doctor told me to keep writing and pursuing my passion. She told me how she thinks writing is such a beautiful form of art. I asked her if she enjoys writing as well, to which she replied, “my brain doesn’t work like that!”

It was so interesting to me that our brains all work in different ways. She is so bright and very knowledgeable about the human body. Her brain is wired in such a way that she is capable of being a doctor! I wish that my brain could work in that way, but I am not cut out for it.

I Was Amazed

I have seen several amazing doctors on this platform who are also writers, they have the gift of both abilities!

This very response got me thinking, what creates a writer? Is it our love for expression, our deep way of thinking? Is it an obsession with words and the way that they come together to create a beautiful story?

One could think of many reasons and perhaps it is a combination of things. Some are born to write and others discover their love later on in life.

Part of My Soul

One thing for sure is that writing is an actual part of me. It is a part of my soul, and I would be lost without it.

Maybe it’s safe to say that some people are hardwired to write!

It’s Just an Emotion

I have been a very sensitive person ever since I was a young girl. I remember being able to feel others’ emotions so profoundly to the point that it oftentimes would negatively impact me.

In my early teens, I would cry a lot because I wasn’t sure how to regulate all of these emotions. Couple that with being a teenager and having emotions all over the place anyway, and you have yourself a recipe for a pretty challenging phase of life.

My View

I viewed emotions very negatively in my younger years. Pleasant emotions of course were wonderful but feeling any sort of unpleasant emotion was such a great deal to me.

It almost felt that whenever I felt anger, sadness, guilt, or any other unpleasant emotion, it was magnified. I would do anything that I could to prevent myself from feeling pain or anything unpleasant.

I always felt so overwhelmed by my emotions, because not only was I feeling mine, I was absorbing everyone else’s. They call us, Highly Sensitive People (HSP).

Break It Down

An emotion is just that. It’s a feeling and if we give it power, it can consume us.

Emotions are fleeting, it’s important to acknowledge that they are there, but not place constant emphasis on them.

Emotions are a part of life and a part of being human. A lot has been going on in my life lately. I was talking with a friend, and she told me the other day that “feelings are just feelings, and we don’t have to let them play such a large role in our lives.” I started to look at emotions differently.

Suddenly, the extreme power that emotions had over me became more of something that needs management rather than bringing me from 100 to 0. I appreciate this notion that she shared with me greatly. Other people can have a profound impact on our lives!

Yes, emotions are strong, and they are valid, real, and important, but we don’t have to let them consume us. We can let the feeling stay a while and then we can work on ways of processing the emotion.

A Word Within a Word

Take a look at the word emotion. The word motion lies within it. Our feelings bring a great motion in and out of our lives.

They come and they go. Emotions are fleeting. The happy emotions we wish would stick around longer, yet the unhappy ones we are glad to get rid of.

Change is a Constant 

Everything in life changes. Sitting and dwelling on a certain feeling can prolong its stay in our lives.

We can look inside and acknowledge how we feel at a particular moment, realize the impact that something has had on us, and then chose to let it float away. Maybe not far away, but we can try to distance ourselves from it so that it doesn’t consume us and become “a part” of us.

I’m Trying 

Every day, I try not to get stuck. I try to remember my friend’s wise words about letting myself feel the emotion, but not becoming trapped in it.

It’s amazing how much humans can help each other. We all see things very differently and approach life in different ways.

The impact of another’s words is a constant reminder of how powerful they are!

Lost in Introspection

Where do you spend most of your energy? Do you spend it on yourself, or the outside world? Maybe a mix of both? I spend a lot of my energy projected outwards. While this has its benefits, it also is detrimental.

Life needs balance. We are human beings capable of so much, but our energy is precious and unfortunately finite. We need to take care of ourselves to function the best that we can in society.

I Have a Problem

I have always tended to not fully process things going on in my life. As with many of us, life has been very hectic, tiring, and nonstop lately.

When life gets crazy, I tend to be fueled by an adrenaline rush as I try to become Superwoman. Life happens, situations pile up, and I keep putting out the fires without truly processing what is in front of me.

It isn’t until I am depleted of physical and mental energy that I realize all that I am doing on a day-to-day basis without taking the necessary steps to process it all.

Introspection Comes into Play

The term introspection means to look inward at your feelings and become aware of them. It is a practice of examining your soul.

After going strong like Superwoman, my introspective side comes out as I try to take in what life has thrown at me. A little too late! At this point, I am already burned out and trying to build myself back up. Ironically, once I enter a state of introspection, it is difficult to get out of it. I then become almost lost in this state as a way to distance myself from reality.

Introspection is so important and should be done regularly. I have found myself in this situation countless times and I have vowed to now keep a journal of my thoughts and feelings so that I can process them as they happen instead of sitting back and collectively looking at a massive pile of things that have happened to me.

A Daily Check-In

It is so important that we look after ourselves as we go about our daily routines. Life tends to get in the way, and we do not take enough time to really understand all that we do and go through. In this process of introspection, it is then that we can learn about ourselves!

Fill in the Blank

The mind is an amazing and powerful thing. Most of the time it works for us, sometimes, however, it can work against us.

Much of our thought process is automated, we see or hear something, and our brains automatically process the stimuli. Our brains are capable of thinking many thoughts, sometimes it is as if our brain is on a never-ending hamster wheel. Our thoughts go around and around.

Interesting

I have noticed something that I do automatically, and other people have told me that they do as well. When I hear of a situation, or even when I am going through something, my mind thinks of what is going on without having all of the facts. Simply put, my brain is assuming that it knows about something, or someone given the facts that it has, but much of the time it is far off.

How many times have you been left on read, experienced the silent treatment from a loved one, or have not been able to reach someone? Chances are worry and anxiety take over and you run through the worst possible scenarios in your head without thinking much about it.

How Do You Perceive the Above?

Looking at the situations above, what is the first thing that your mind comes up with? If we are left on read, we may assume that someone is busy, or we may automatically think that this individual does not want to talk to us for whatever reason. When given the silent treatment, we may conclude that we have upset someone. Our thoughts might immediately turn dark if we cannot reach someone, we may fear the worst that something has happened to them.

What do all of these instances have in common? They cause our brains to fill in the blank without having all of the necessary information to reach a valid explanation. We experience something and we think that we know exactly why it’s happening. We have made an assumption and assumptions are dangerous.

As I Grow

I still automatically think of reasons when a situation occurs, but I realize that doing so, creates a lot of anxiety and unnecessary overthinking. I try my hardest now to look at a situation logically instead of out of fear and I also make sure to directly communicate and gather information.

I have found that my usual “fill in the blank” approach to life’s situations wasn’t working in my favor, so I try very hard to gather information so that I know what is happening versus what I think I know is happening. It has made a world of a difference!