Today, we have with us, our third Guest Blog Thursday, where YOU, bring us fresh and intriguing posts to share with the rest of the world. Today’s blog post was written by Marija Kuzmanović and in it, she discusses a rather unique topic, a topic where our mental health is compromised by none other than ourselves. If you would also like to contribute to PsiHub, visit this page.
Here is a short introduction to the author. Marija has two degrees, one in Tourism and another in Psychology, but the second one is her favorite. Her field of interest is Clinical Psychology and she likes to discover new ways of helping people to cope with mental health problems, so she started writing her blog ’Daily Dose Of Mental Health’ to share her knowledge, experience and feelings.
Approximately 2 months ago, I started writing my blog about mental health. I had a feeling that there were so many things I needed to share with other people. I wanted to bring my experiences and my knowledge to light in the form of this blog. I had bursts of inspiration when I would sit and, within half an hour, I would finish writing . On my way home from work, the sentences started to arrange themselves in my head and they seemed so touching and powerful that I even shed a tear. (a little narcissistic, I know 😀 ). I could barely endure my journey home so I rushed and wrote them down.
And when my posts began receiving positive reactions, I started to feel an increased responsibility towards my readers. I started to read and learn about the technical aspects of keeping a blog and about some of the basic rules recommended by experienced bloggers.
One of those rules is that one must be consistent in writing. This means that you should not take a big break between two releases and you should publish a minimum of one post per week. By that time I had already used up all my initial ideas that I thought were important to share and I needed new ideas and inspiration. After all, it says that you must respect the schedule.
Well, there came my writer’s block. Suddenly there were no good ideas. Or there were, and I would write a few sentences or even paragraphs and then all of that seemed like it was written by a first-grader for their assignment so I would delete everything and close the document. My self-imposed deadlines were more and more pressurising and my inspiration had reduced to a minimum. And then I asked myself, what is it that has created such a block?
My thoughts took me back in time, to a conversation that sounded something like this:
Me: “I have to go over the entire book for this exam. I still have 100 pages and don’t know how I’ll make it, but I have to.
Friend: “But, Mary, you don’t have to read everything.”
Me: “What do you mean I don’t? If I don’t go over everything, I risk failing the exam, so there is no other way. ”
Friend: “You don’t have to but before you realize that, you will probably have already read everything. ”
That was it. This is the conversation that made me deeply think about this. I realized that this MUST have caused a huge block and anxiety in my head and that as long as I think that there is no alternative, I would not be able to focus on what matters. I tried to explain that I do not have to read for a number of reasons to myself. One is that maybe, if I skip a part, it might not even be on the exam. The second is that, even if this part does come, I may be able to get a passing grade without reading it. The third is that it’s not the end of the world if I fail the exam – there is always a next time.
And then it was magic! When there was no load, I read with ease and with interest and, of course, finished everything in time. I decided to apply this to my writing situation. I told myself that I will write, not because I have to, but because I want to and whenever I want to. I did not actually have time limits for my blog posts and I could afford this luxury. However, when some people depend on you, then there should certainly be a different approach. But here, there were only self-imposed requirements.
And when I started to look outside to what was happening around me, and think about other things and not about how I did not have ideas and about how urgently I have to figure something out, inspiration returned.
One of the reasons why I’m writing about this subject is that this approach is applicable to most situations. We give ourselves unrealistic requirements that only bring us back to square one, where are objectives remain objectives. If you tell yourself that you must not smoke cigarettes for the rest of your life, what do you think, what will constantly be on your mind? Or if you go on a diet that excludes your favorite dish, how do you think your brain will feel when you tell it: “Well, well, from now on, and to the end of eternity, forget the grilled cheese sandwiches forever!” How long will you endure?
But if you tell yourself that you CAN take any of it, but you CHOOSE not to take it – now, that’s another story! Then you can afford the occasional sandwich or chocolate shake, but you won’t be constantly thinking about it, as when you completely restrict yourself.
Do you have any thoughts on this subject? I would like to hear from you in the comments below!