29 January 2022

Cognitive Dissonance

 Yesterday I was very down. I used to get really, really depressed. Thankfully that doesn't happen anymore but I can spot when I'm feeling down or depression is coming. So yesterday I was feeling down and I couldn't quite put my finger on why. The budget is out of control and that was bugging me. But that was mainly my fault and something that I kind of knew was happening but I wasn't stopping it. So that was a bit of it. My knee was acting up again and that was kind of bumming me out. I thought I was making progress but now, here it was, as painful as ever. So that was kind of bumming me out. But these things aren't huge and I've dealt with them before so they shouldn't be making me feel down enough to actually see it. After walking Mavy, which definitely helped my mood, I sat down to watch the judges because that always makes me happy. But they weren't on because they were broadcasting a golf game. Ugh!!!! So I said, screw this I'm going to play on my Oculus. And I did. For about 90 minutes. I did some Beat Saber, Lady Gaga which I love. Trying to master some songs. Then I played the Room, it's a game where you have to solve a disappearance. It's really fun. So I lost myself in those things for about 90 minutes and when dinner was ready I felt awesome and back to my old self. I seemed to shake the blues. Yay!!!!

This morning, as I'm meditating, it suddenly hit me. I was down because of cognitive dissonance. Cognitive dissonance is defined as:  

The term cognitive dissonance is used to describe the mental discomfort that results from holding two conflicting beliefs, values, or attitudes. People tend to seek consistency in their attitudes and perceptions, so this conflict causes feelings of unease or discomfort.

This inconsistency between what people believe and how they behave motivates people to engage in actions that will help minimize feelings of discomfort. People attempt to relieve this tension in different ways, such as by rejecting, explaining away, or avoiding new information.

This!! This is what was happening. And I believe that is was building up all week long. I love playing with my Oculus and it really does help me relieve stress and feel good. But during last week I didn't pick up the Oculus at all. Not even once. Every time I looked at it at night I thought I just don't have time for that. And it would create a conflict in my brain. Now there are things that I can do for literally minutes on that thing. Instead of laying on the couch coloring, I could be slashing cubes to Lady Gaga for 4 minutes. So I have to change that. If I feel like doing it, do it. Plus the movement is good for me. If I plan my classes well this weekend, I won't be doing things during the week. I can sit and grade CTY quickly and then do a short blast on the Oculus. Done and done. No more cognitive dissonance for me. 

Another thing that is causing a little cognitive dissonance within me is the money. I say, we need to stop spending, then I hit Amazon or Old Navy and boom, I'm spending money again. I don't want to think we are broke - what you think generally becomes reality - I want to think do I really need that. What is more important, getting that or having money in the bank? What you think you become. So I need to think that I am a saver and not a spender and hopefully that will help things out. 

Okay, a large part of the battle is figuring out what is causing the depression or down feeling. I have a decent handle on it, at least I think I do, so time to battle it. 

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