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I was having a chat to a pal tonight about something I say all the time and frequently have people ask me about, it’s my use of the word ‘doing’ rather than ‘have’. 

For example, let’s take depression. Depression isn’t something you have, it’s something you do. It’s active, it’s a verb! Depression is the act of depressing yourself. 

I’m going to pause here to allow the silence to be punctuated by someone screaming ‘You don’t understand…’ at their computer. 

Now that’s out of the way can I just add, the act of doing is rarely conscious and doesn’t diminish the feelings someone feels. If you’re doing depression, anxiety, loneliness, jealousy, resentment, anger, sadness, disappointment, guilt or any other emotion then you will really feel like shit sometimes but i just want you to realise you’re not sick. You’re not broken. You’re just stuck in a pattern of thought and emotion that isn’t serving you. 

You can change. Everyone can.  If we treat these emotions as ‘things’ then it makes them immovable, permanent.  Let’s get straight, it’s a behaviour, a set of circumstances that, although feels real, is still just behaviour. To say someone ‘has’ depression for example puts a huge label on them, labelling in this case is not useful. In fact it will tend to force generalisations about behaviour and make it less likely that the person will be able to change. 

Does that make sense? There is a permanence to ‘has’ and a flexibility in ‘do’. 

The question is do you want to be sick and broken or do you want to tell yourself this is a temporary thing you can change easily? 

Flexibility is good.  Touch your emotional toes with your emotional fingers and watch how cool life becomes 🙂

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