The Profound Impact of Freedom On Mental Health
Freedom. It's a loaded word.
The meaning of it can vary dramatically according to the context.
And it's not a word that's often associated with mental health.
But freedom has its place alongside thoughts, behaviors, and feelings.
Without freedom, the air becomes stale, and behavior becomes stilted.
Let's consider freedom's impact--and what we can do to bring more of it into our lives.
The Impact of Freedom on Mental Health
How often have you been told what to do? Where to go? How to go about it?
How many times has this happened to you in the last month? The last week?
Freedom often emerges before us as an abstract concept, a term far from moved from ordinary life. Freedom is frequently used in conjunction with words like government and democracy. It's connected to politics and populaces instead of personalities of individual people. It's forced down and captured rather than given room to breathe.
Freedom is the space to breathe. It's room to grow. It's being able to choose your viewpoint while also striving to understand the viewpoints of others. Freedom is an antidote to anger, and stigma, and hatred, and everything else that exists to put people in their place.
And so it's worth talking about in new and more varied ways.
How to Bring Mental Freedom Into Your Life
Without freedom, it's only a matter of time before you feel confined and that your life is not your own. It's a dead-end path.
So how can you go about bringing freedom into your life?
You start with yourself. You take the time to understand what makes you feel claustrophobic.
What's closing in on you? What's making you feel like you just need to get out? Take five minutes to understand the places and situations in your life that lead to the breathing in of stale air.
Next, analyze those places and situations. It doesn't need to take long. It just needs to take place in an intentional way. See if there are patterns that exist. Maybe you'll notice that some of your most common experiences are bringing you down. Maybe you'll realize that there are more of those experiences than you realized. The lack of freedom can be a slow creep. It can sneak into your life like a prowling cat, slowly stalking an imagined predator.
Make a conscious effort to think about freedom. What does it mean to you? It could be that you find that the concept is not very important to you at all. Even if that's the case, learning that simple fact would put you in a better position than you were five minutes prior.
Abstract concepts don't need to stay abstract. They can be brought alive by the meaning you give to them. It's up to you to pull them out of the ether and bring them down to the ground.
And it's up to you to consider the role that freedom plays in your life.
Maybe it's not worth your consideration.
But maybe, just maybe, its role is large, perhaps much larger than you ever thought.