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.

You Can Run, but You Can’t Hide

I am sure that most of us have been in a situation where we were unhappy with life. Maybe we didn’t like our jobs, were stuck in a relationship that we didn’t see going anywhere, or possibly we didn’t like our social circle because we felt as if we didn’t belong.

For those of you that were in situations like these, how did it make you feel? What was your first instinct telling you how to handle the situation?

Natural Response

One of the reactions when faced when a tough situation in life is to flee. It goes back to the fight-or-flight response in Psychology. As we experience hardship, we either tend to stay and fight, or our adrenaline starts to rush, and we flee to escape the perceived threat.

We want to flee to avoid having to feel negative emotions, we flee as a way of avoiding experiences, even avoiding ourselves.

Question for You

Think of a time when you felt so upset and discouraged that you wanted to get up right then and there and leave. You wanted to pack up your office because you couldn’t stand your job anymore, you wanted to run away and hide from your significant other because you felt that you two grew apart instead of together. Think of a time when you felt like an outsider, that even with friends around, you still felt alone in this world. Did you flee?

Many of you did and that is a normal response. Even though it’s normal, it may not be the best way to approach these situations because instead of facing the issue and growing from it, we chose to run away. It felt right at the time, maybe even taking off some of the anxiety, but what ended up happening?

Noticeable Patterns

After we ran from the situation, we felt much better, but as time goes on, the past usually comes back to haunt us.

The key is to look at the issue at hand and see where you can learn from it. If there is some sort of inner conflict, then these types of situations that make us want to flee can give us great insight into what we can improve on.

Communication

Much of life and life’s problems revolve around communication or lack thereof. Sometimes we may feel as though we do not have the strength, or even the skills to solve what is happening to us, so we just decide to flee to make our problems instantly disappear.

I have learned this the hard way, the problems seem to have magically disappeared until, weeks, months, or years later they resurface again because they were not addressed the first time.

Try This

Those situations that make you feel like you would just rather run away than deal with it can be our greatest teachers. Try to live more authentically and see how you can fix your life circumstances. Work within yourself to discover that you have the strength and power to face any issue head-on.

I want to make an important note that in certain situations, we absolutely must flee. Those situations include those that affect our safety etc.

The Takeaway

Life tends to find us, we can move to a different state, change jobs, or even hunt for that “perfect” someone, but what we have not corrected from our past will eventually show up in our future. We may flee, but life follows. We are still the same person inside.

I believe that life is one big test and that we are here to learn many lessons. The lessons will keep repeating themselves over and over until we have learned how to master them. Pay attention to the things that make you want to run and hide, address them so that you have power over them!

Do You Have Time to Be Happy?

I think that most of us would agree that happiness is an utmost priority. Life is very complex, and many factors contribute to one’s level of happiness.

For us to be happy, basic life needs have to be met for us to feel comfortable. We need food, water, shelter, ability to pay bills, we need love, support, and respect. Of course, many other things can bring us happiness, some are considered a luxury, while others are a means of survival.

Happiness Is a Priority 

Above all, your happiness and well-being are priceless. No relationship, job, or situation is worth it if it takes away your happiness and zest for life.

There will be sacrifices when making adjustments in life, however, happiness is the ultimate goal! If you can get past the sacrifices and have the strength and determination to make changes along the way, you are on your way to a happier life.

Start Your Day 

What you expose yourself to first thing in the morning when you wake up sets the tone for the rest of your day. Start your day with positive words, inspirational stories, start with looking yourself in the mirror and saying that you love yourself, and mention some qualities that you love about yourself.

You may want to read religious doctrines, play some calming or upbeat music, write, journal, or even meditate. Anything that brings you happiness, even for just a few minutes is worth it!

It Only Takes a Few Minutes

Often people say that they don’t have time, that they are too busy, or too tired to include any sort of routine like this into their day, but it only takes a moment of your time, and the benefits will be worth it. If someone were to ask you if you have a few minutes in your day to feel happier in life, what would you tell them? Oftentimes the solutions to our problems lies in our own hands!

You Are Not Stuck

Have you ever felt that you couldn’t change certain aspects of yourself no matter how hard you tried? Do you keep finding yourself in similar situations over and over again even though you promised yourself that you wouldn’t go down that road again? Sometimes we hit a roadblock in life and it feels like we are truly stuck, it feels like no matter how many moves we make it’s always the wrong one. I’m here to tell you some good news…you are not stuck!

People are generally creatures of habit, we like the same route to work, we keep a similar schedule every day, and habit is what makes us feel comfortable. What if however, our habits are what is holding us back, causing us unhappiness, or giving us a sense of failure. As hard as it can be, you have the power to break the habit, you have the ability to free yourself from being stuck in life, you have the tools to overcome any obstacle that stands in your way. In most cases, the only thing stopping you is yourself!

Often times we make a promise to ourselves to change, we might make a decision to eat better, to exercise, to devote more time to our families, or we may simply be working on a part of ourselves that no longer serves us in life. We may feel that certain situations in life may be preventing us from moving forward and living our true authentic self. No matter how stuck that you feel, there are ways to help you become a better version of yourself and ways to move past certain situations in your life. Sometimes the solution is just taking another step in a different direction, a sort of indirect move that will ultimately land you where you are destined to be.

So often we find ourselves saying that we cannot leave a relationship because we have been with our significant other for many years, we can’t change our job because we don’t know if we have the skills to perform at a job much different than the one have, we cannot stop certain behaviors that we possess even though we know they do not have a positive effect on our lives. Many times we feel stuck because we don’t know what to do, or we may know, but not have the push to actually follow through. As with many things in life, true change takes a lot of hard work and determination.

Part of trying to get through the feeling of being stuck in life is knowing that there will most likely be consequences and sacrifices, but keep your eye on what you are wanting in life, keep your eye on your hopes and dreams and know that if you truly want change in your life, you have the power to do so in some way, shape, or form. Imagine the feeling that you will have when you reach a goal, when you no longer live with the daily burden of feeling trapped. I hope that in some way this gives you a sense of motivation to keep pressing for all that you desire your life to be!

Find the Meaning

Have you ever got to thinking and realized that some situations keep arising in your life? Do you get upset or mad at yourself when you respond exactly the same way to life each time? Are you confused on why certain things don’t seem to stop repeating themselves over and over? Perhaps you may think you are doing something wrong, or that your life will never change, but it can and it will in time.

I am a firm believer that all situations in our lives, good or bad, were placed there to help us grow and become the best person we can possibly be. They were meant to teach us and make us stronger. I truly believe that each lesson is there and will result is greatness once mastered. Think of how amazing the feeling is when you conquer something, or you no longer struggle with something that has plagued you because you didn’t give up on finding a way to change and make it work.

Life can no doubt be very challenging, sometimes I let my struggles get the best of me. Lately I have been trying to challenge my thoughts by thinking of what I am meant to learn by my circumstances. What lesson is this situation, or person trying to teach me? Life is all about learning and pushing forward.