The drive for more freedom of choice has over the years permanently occupied the front burner of public discourse. Probably, this freedom is supposed to be inalienable, but an absolutely unfettered freedom will definitely lead to clashes of interests and consequently anarchy.
But by nature, man has continuously continued to ask for more. Since time immemorial, it has always been a tug of war between successive government and those we can call ‘liberators’. These people operate in different climes.
There are activists who struggle day and night to make sure that you get your due from the society.
There are those that strive to enlighten you so that neither you nor someone else abuses your freedoms.
And there are companies that produce phone and computer applications that are meant to help you unblock US streaming services and any other form of censorship.
But how does freedom of choice impact on your mental health?
This is it.
Your mind is at the core of your faculties. It is the control room from where instructions are sent out to most part of your body. Invariably, the state of your mind determines whether you’re happy or not, the state of your overall well-being. This explains why mental disorders ultimately hamper freedom.
Besides, freedom and right are psychic concepts; so also is their exploitation. And depending on how you exploit your freedom of choice, your mental health is either impacted on positively or negatively.
1. Positive exploitation of freedom of choice
As sweet as this freedom appears, you just have to exploit it within certain constraints in order to genuinely enjoy it. These constraints come in the form of external or internal forces and guide your steps. They ironically present you with more choices.
You know, making choices is a necessary part of your life. Without it you can’t function, maintain control or grow. But that these constrains give you more options is advantageous, just as being able to freely choose is desirable.
This is actually what freedom of choice is all about.
It gives you a kind of satisfaction that comes with bliss of mind and a convincing assurance of being in charge. This certainly helps promote your mental health.
Freedom of choice also activates a sense of responsibility in you. You’re prompted to exercise your mental stability by examining situation thoroughly before delving in since you know you’re responsible for all your actions or inactions.
Finally, having a sense of fulfilment has been connected to freedom of choice. When this occurs, anxiety, depression, burnout and the like are banished and you’re sure your mental health is bubbling.
2. Negative exploitation of freedom of choice
Freedom of choice is negatively exploited whenever you engage in any activities that are capable of undermining your mental health, and by extension your well-being. Remember, with freedom of choice comes responsibilities. And reckless choices may lead to dire consequences.
So, when people do drugs, for example, it’s arguably a negative exploitation of freedom of choice. What is unarguable however is that it certainly puts their mental health at a great risk. And more often than not, they later suffer from one mental disorder or the other.
Negative exploitation may also come in through inordinate yearnings for things you can’t have, don’t have and shouldn’t have. This can lead to obsessions.
There is also the tendency to dismantle the societal institutions such as marriage, religion and family in order to be free from rules, norms and ethics. However, research studies have found that people are happier within these institutions than they are without them.