I recall periods in my childhood when the word therapy and therapist began floating in and out of my vocabulary. For whatever reason, growing up in Ireland therapy/counselling/psychotherapy were only for "crazy people" or at least we were conditioned to think that way. Sure, why would you confess all and become vulnerable to a stranger?
I started to read a book called Broken Open by Elizabeth Lesser and she constructed an argument that resonated with me. It does not really matter if your childhood was very traumatic or easy flowing or very happy. By the nature of life and its stages we all suffer, grieve, suppress and avoid. It is part of the nature of who we are as humans; furthermore, the sooner we realize psychological health is just as pertinent as physical health the depth to which we experience life and other people will drastically change.
Here are five reasons psychology is important for everyone.
Psychological well being is having satisfaction and overall contentment with all segments of your life. The tricky part about well being is that one might feel as if "they have life figured out" not realizing that we continuously need to focus on self growth, self acceptance and our overall development as a person. This might mean some uncomfortable reflections but in the end they will be key to helping us grow. We are constantly experiencing different thoughts, emotions and behaviours within ourselves and then integrate them into a wider society so psychological well-being should be like our homework of life. You cant claim you have everything in life figured out when you can not remember the last time you self reflected and made room for change or growth.
There are several explanations as to why we choose friends along the pathway of life. The psychological understanding is that we don't only select friends because of who they are but we select them because they love and accept us for who we really are. Friends bring things to the table like honesty, loyalty and truth all of which need constant work attention and involve a lot of risk and vulnerability. We attach to others in secure or anxious ways which explains why some friends can have a negative effect on each other as opposed to the healthy positive friendships. Friends come and go throughout life and only you can be the person to determine that decision. Psychology plays a pivotal role in friendships and the shift of focusing on ourselves first before the friend or friendships can answer many problem friendships face on everyday.
If you ever think that a job interview is based on what university you graduated from you might need to think again. Executive recruiters from all over the world use psychologically tests as a final say to the person getting the position or not. Within these tests employers use methods like "The Big Five Personality Trades" which are (1) Openness, (2) Conscientiousness, (3) Extraversion, (4) Agreeableness and (5) Neuroticism. It sounds daunting at first but these are all traits that apply to us and human nature.
In 2017 the connections between psychology and success cannot be overlooked as Dr. Joyce Brothers said "Success is a state of mind. If you want success, start thinking of yourself as a success." Maybe that uncomfortable self reflection might be 10 thousands dollars difference to your yearly salary.
Centuries ago ancient philosophers had different theories about love and human romance even before psychology had its own theories. If we want to encounter love we ought to be aware love it is connected to ones feelings, behaviours, and attitudes. We can't avoid looking inwards as the very nature of a relationship opens us up to the point we become vulnerable naturally. There is no avoiding psychology in a romantic relationship. Love is both a strong emotional connection and physical connection that always requires reflection of the self and the another. If a man for example loved his wife more than he loved himself he's dependent on another being to experience love as opposed to loving himself first and setting the standards to which he needs to be loved.
If you have not read the book Great Expectations by Charles Dickens it may be worth a read. The book delves into expectations verses reality and highlights the truth around how much we expect of other humans throughout the lifespan. For years psychology focused on expectations proving that they lead people to unhappiness and lead to a great deal of pain and dissatisfaction. Constant high expectations of oneself might be detrimental as it sets people up for disappointment. The hardest part to grasp is if the outcome sucks we really only have ourselves to blame for expecting so much to begin with. Just like we can place high expectations on ourselves we can project that onto family, friends and loved ones. The key is we cant control another persons actions and the only reality we have some say on is our own, even that can be limited. According to Shakespeare "Expectation is the root of all heartache."
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