The human mind is powerful, complex, and fascinating. Going too deep into trying to understand it can sometimes lead a person to feeling overwhelmed by the abstract, and lost in the deep layers of our consciousness (i.e., our thoughts).
Without getting too abstract in this very post, the purpose of this week’s blog is to explore the many reasons we have for our reasons. Think about it: it’s not unusual for our mind to come up with explanations, or justifications, for the things we are already telling ourselves or wishing to believe. For example:
If a person has mild social anxiety and tells themself they shouldn’t go to a party they were invited to because they are likely to have difficulty socializing with others, they may use even just one previous experience where this occurred to justify their reasoning that this will happen again. This becomes significantly amplified if a person experiences more moderate or severe social anxiety, and uses multiple previous negative experiences to justify their decision to not go to the party.
Our reasons keep us telling our story about why we are the way we are, justifying poor self-worth, why we can’t do things, why we shouldn’t do things, etc.
Why We Stick to Our Reasons
This type of reasoning can be applied in so many situations. What is behind this is:
- Our desire to justify the decisions we have already made.
- What we already believe to be true.
- What we have told ourself for so long that we continue to find and look for information that supports our perspective.
The problem with staying with the status-quo, and allowing your mind to stay on auto-pilot and direct you to the same conclusions is that you continue to do the same thing – over and over. Meaning, you essentially keep yourself stuck in the same bubble of sameness that really may not be actually working for you. Stuck in the same patterns of behavior that lead you to feel anxious or depressed.
Change Comes From Willingness and Open-mindedness to Alternatives
We always talk about the idea of “if you want things to be different, you have to change them.” Part of this change is opening your mind to other perspectives, which many times can require you to become aware of your reasons and then examine them for fallacies. And let’s be clear – our reasoning is full of fallacies. But if you are stuck in the mindset of not being willing to look at your reasons, and to dissect them a bit further with the goal of finding the most realistic way of looking at a situation, things aren’t going to change; your experienced level of depression and anxiety is not likely to change much.
Exploring Your Reasons in Therapy
In therapy, sometimes this willingness and reason exploration can look like a bit of a debate between you and the therapist, particularly as you stay grounded in your reasons that support your habitual thinking and behaviors. Keep in mind, your therapist isn’t actually debating with you! They are presenting alternative perspectives, and likely more neutral, objective, and realistic perspectives – not because your therapist is perfect and completely reasonable at all times in their life, but because they are unbiased and a neutral observer to your thinking. When these types of discussions happen in therapy, and you are open to thinking differently, significant change can occur.
WE’RE HERE TO HELP
At Tampa Therapy, we are committed to providing a relaxing, healing, and non-judgmental environment to support you on your journey to mental and emotional growth and health. If you want things to be different, you have to change them, and true change comes first from a willingness to look at things differently. This can often be aided with the support and guidance from the professional assistance of a trained mental health professional. Our therapists are highly-skilled at helping people make important changes in their life and effectively address the symptoms you are experiencing through different therapeutic treatments. Give us a call or email us today to start the process of making important changes in your life.