In high school I was very active in the English Department. I wrote for the school newspaper, was involved in the yearbook, and was part of a special group that were focused on journalism as a college track. As I enrolled in college I found that journalism and English seemed to call me and my first year was spent enrolled in these programs. It wasn't until my first Introduction to Psychology class that I realized the value of mental wellness and eventually changed my academic journey to focus on the science of the mind.
ere in the US people don't speak about money concerns. Yes, we may briefly comment on some aspect of our personal finances but the financial reality we face seems to be more private than all the over-sharing we do with the world. On social media we seem to be willing to share where we are, what we do, who we spend time with, or even the various thoughts flying through our head. Yet interestingly enough, in conducting therapy sessions with individuals, couples, and families the one theme we hear often has been concerns about how to handle finances.
Financial stability has an active role in the mental health of a person and family. If money concerns are a factor in your life are you able to recognize how your mental health is affected? Do you see how your relationships are touched by the financial worries or challenges you and your family face? What is the relationship to finances you are instilling in your significant other and children?
We rarely think about it but each and every day is guided with choices we make. The choice to get up and meet our responsibilities; the choice to have coffee or tea; the choice to say hello to people you pass by; the choice to be positive or negative; and it goes on. But have you ever considered the far reach each of your choices actually has? Do you ever stop and think how something you do "automatically" has a ripple effect on the people around you?
Let's say you decided to stay up late to watch your favorite TV show. And as a result you oversleep the next day. You are now late for class/work and rush out of the house, you snap at your spouse because you feel rushed, you yell at traffic because it holds you up, you grunt a hello to your coworker as you race to catch up, and when you come home you just want the day to be over....
In Systems Theory it is believed that one person's attitude or behavior can affect an entire system. That means anything we do can have a domino effect on the people around us. Because you snapped at them, your spouse comes home grumpy and doesn't want to help with the household chores; Your hurried "hello" to your coworker has them giving you the cold shoulder all day.... What was an "automatic" response from you trickles down through your world and has effects that influenced more than just you. Whether you realized it, or not, sleeping late affected not only your day but the day of others.
It's very easy to say that you are not responsible for how others act, and yes that is true. But what if we considered choosing wisely to be proactive handling of our own needs? Being aware of the choices we make is important since our choices do affect the people around, just as their choices affect us. There are some socially responsible choices you may already make: recycling, giving to the less fortunate, donating your time…. But what are some every day choices we can make to cause a difference in our immediate world?
Some suggestions to consider with your everyday life that can have lasting impact include:
Gandhi said that we should be the change we want to see in the world. Are you ready?
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