Happiness is often not a choice

happiness-not-a-choice

I just read this quote

"Don't let your emotions immobilize you. View them as a choice" and I understand where this good intentioned guru is coming from, however what he is simply not understanding is that OFTEN EMOTIONS ARE A RESULT OF A LITERAL IMMOBILIZATION OF YOUR NERVOUS SYSTEM.

Don’t let your emotions immobilize you. View them as a choice.

When you feel genuinely depressed, lifeless and immobilized it is because your parasympathetic nervous system is actually signally to your body and your brain that you are in a state of deep conservation due to an overwhelm of your stress response. Your system has perceived more threat (STRESS) in your environment then you have the capacity to take in and the nervous system has literally moved you into a state where you can fare better when experiencing this overwhelming threat that you cannot overcome or escape from. 

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This state is called A FREEZE OR IMMOBILITY

and it is an unconscious, automatic, last resort response of the nervous system. And actually it is deeply needed when we are facing threat and we cannot fight or flee as it is way of dampening our physical experience of the threat if we must undergo it. Think when a possum plays dead when its about to be eaten by a predator. Problem is its suppose to be a time limited experience but for numerous factors this experience has become the dominant state of or reoccurring pattern in your nervous system. You actually have no choice at all but to feel immobilized (depressed, exhausted, unmotivated, lifeless, simply can't seem to get yourself to do what you want to do) because you actually are immobilized. 

Your physiology is literally directing you to be/feel that way. Its the same situation with anxiety, just a different branch and state of the nervous system, one of sympathetic fight or flight. Say tuned for my next post ~But I can't just calm down

Next Steps

If this information resonates for you and you want to learn more about this nervous system stuff you are in luck. I will be running a workshop called the Biology of Stress and Illness at Apollo on March 25 (1:30pm to 4:30pm) where i will be talking all about how stress and trauma affects the nervous system and why we get sick. 

If you suffer from PTSD, anxiety, depression, anger issues, any kind of pain, digestive issues, sleep issues or addictions this workshop is just for you. Hope to see you there and I look forward to sharing some really important information that in my opinion, every person on this planet needs to understand if we are to heal as a species. 

No one can do it alone and no one can do it for you
— Peter Levine