Change, no one likes change. For many, it may be one of the most difficult experiences to experience and will be avoided at all costs but is precisely on creating change that can make life more worthwhile and also break barriers that are keeping us from moving forward.
In this blog post we are going to discuss change and how important it is for those who are trying to tackle depression and anxiety and how although it is tough, can be very rewarding.
Why change is so hard?
For many, our primary goal is not just to survive but survive in comfort and pleasure. Very few people want to actively go out of their way to put themselves in difficult situations but it is precisely on facing change and difficult circumstances that you find life can improve greatly.
In an ideal world we would win the lottery and not have to worry about facing change or difficult experiences to achieve our desired comfort or pleasure, we could just relax, prefably on a desert island, with all the food and drinks we could possibly need… but the reality of this happening to us are very small, instead to achieve our desired level of comfort we have to work at ourselves and sometimes we have to face the difficult decision of changing or staying with the same situation we are in.
First, identify what needs changing
Quite often than not we live in our comfort zone. It’s cozy, its warm and nothing bad can happen to us so why would we change that?
Well if you are reading this blog I am guessing you aren’t happy with your current situation, right? So how can we change your current situation? What needs to change? What would be your ideal situation right now to make your life amazing?
Sometimes it can be small simple things like a change in your mind set, it can be a change of attitude or a change of what you do with your time or it can be more drastic such as changing your living location or changing who you spend your time and energy with.
Take a look at your life, see what is making you feel miserable and choose to take the difficult path of change. I like to refer to this scene from Big Fish when thinking about deciding whether to take the difficult step of change.
One road is paved and the other is not. That road is old, dark and unknown what is along that road, very few people to choose it because it’s a change from the norm.
The unpaved road is the path of change, full of uncertainty but also full of the ability for an adventure, an interesting life and great reward where the paved road is comfortable, cozy, uninspiring and you’ll live a life like the majority of others.
So, which road of life would you want to go down?
An example of choosing difficult change from the founder of BoM
In life we come to situations where we quite often we have difficult decisions and sacrifices to make.
I know change isn’t easy and I want to give an example of how choosing to change things in your life, even though difficult, can drastically improve your life and it is possible.
When the founder of BoM had been diagnosed with severe depression and at high risk of suicide he slept often for the first few months of recovery but eventually he thought about how he could change his life so he decided to set some changes in motion and these were as follows : –
- Changed my body and got fit, using Wii Fit and walking the new family dog three times a day I lost 2 stone(28 pounds) in 4 months. Even though when in the depths of depression I found it hard to do anything, I forced himself to get fit because I knew having a healthy body would also help in improving my mind. You don’t have to go to the gym you can get a Wii or an Xbox kinect and you can exercise in your own home.
- Learn a new language. Using an online program called Babbel.com I decided to learn a new language ‘Spanish’ , the 2nd most commonly used language in the world to expand my chance of securing work somewhere in the world. Not necessarily a change but the ability to allow change in future.
- Changed my skill set in order to secure a job in something I was more interested in. I had always had an interest in computers and web design but when I had a breakdown I was able to stop what I was doing and focus my attention onto skills that mattered to help me get the life and job I wanted. I combined my artistic training with technology over a year’s period to find a job I really enjoyed doing.
- Accepted a seven year relationship had ended when I had my severe mental breakdown and she couldn’t cope with it. We both weren’t happy any more so it was best for both of us and it allowed me to decide to take the next more complete life changing decision below.
- Migrated 200 miles away from his hometown, even though still taking antidepressants to find a job. This was the hardest change I have ever had to take, particularly still not being fully better when moving but I knew a job was an important part of my personal healing process. I was definitely on the mend by this point but securing work was one of the final and most important parts of my journey.
Change can be very hard & painful but the reward is great
The four items listed above didn’t all happen together like you read them, they happened at least over a year’s time period with smaller changes in between, but eventually, by choosing to change in various aspects of life that weren’t helping me I managed to turn my life around and being mr average proves… you can do it too.
I became healthier, I became more knowledgeable, I enjoy the work I am employed to, I met a Tibetan woman in London who was more understanding, supportive and spiritual who eventually became my wife. Leaving my hometown and family behind was tough but really opened my eyes to how much opportunity there is, how vibrant and amazing people can be in the world whilst also so different.
Your life can be colourful as long as you are able and willing to make the difficult decisions of change that you need to for your life.
I have been fortunate, but you can be too,
you just need to decide to want to change and then identify things that you want to be better and try to become really driven towards your goal that you know can make you feel better.
Task : Take a pen and paper and write down things you aren’t happy about with your life( but leave a gap between each sentence). Once you have the list write below how it would be possible to change that thing you don’t like and then identify ways in which you can make that change happen. Sometimes it may be hard to achieve but you have to stay driven and focused and realise it is down to you to make the change happen, no one can do it for you. IT IS YOUR LIFE.
You don’t have to leave where you are living like I did , working was a really important part of my healing process and why I chose to move (unless you think moving will also help you. It can certainly open your mind) but you do need to accept if you want your life to improve and get better you must be willing to walk the hard path and take the pain before things get comfortable and happy again.
Believe me, life can be more rewarding if you choose to change and leave your comfort zone, experience things that you never thought you would or were to afraid to and you will see your life become more fulfilling. Please comment below about change or how change has affected you.