Why Didn’t Someone Tell Me This Sooner?

Apr 11, 2022
I finished _[Why Has Nobody Told Me This Before?](https://www.indiebound.org/book/9780063227934)_ yesterday. It’s a good high level intro into almost everything a person might go see a therapist for.  It’s better organized than 6000 Tik Tok videos, which seems to be the _de rigueur_ way to learn about these things.

I took a Psychology class in college, it was pretty useless. I’d much rather someone had just given me this book. Honestly a week reading this instead of an extra week of Freud and bearskin rugs or whatever might have been the most helpful thing for me in college. Oh! This is how anxious thoughts work? And strategies for stopping them? No, useless information. More on Pavlov’s dogs, please.

There’s a lot of overlap here with _[Atomic Habits][1]_ by James Clear, it’s even referenced a few times. There’s an idea they share: say you’re out of shape. A bad goal is to say, “I want to run a marathon”. You’ll probably fail (too ambitious), but you could also succeed then never run again. The idea is to not have a goal but to form a habit. Tomorrow say “I’m a person who runs”, then start running, even if just down the block. While “becoming more physically fit” is one easy to understand example, the crux of it is you reframe your thoughts and change how you think about yourself rather than being reactive (I’m depressed, I need to be happy) or problem solving (I’m burned out, I need a plan for relaxing). 

If you want the super short version of both books, it’s the song “The Next Right Thing” from _Frozen 2_[^1].

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I recommend the book. It’s a quick read. It unfortunately doesn’t cover finding or affording a therapist because your insurance won’t cover it, but I suppose that’s out of scope.

[1]:	https://jamesclear.com/atomic-habits
[^1]: I love this song and reference it often. While the lyrics are like the textbook example of helping someone overcome grief slid into a children’s musical, it’s also just _really good advice_. 99.9% of the time you can get through life… just doing the next (right) thing. Don’t overthink it! Our brains are dumb!

Posted: April 2022