Is it possible to be unknowingly committing Passive Suicide?
Passive suicide sounds provocative. It is more normal than we think. Letting life slide. Feeling dominated at work or home. Discover how passive suicide shows up in every day situations.
What is Passive Suicide?
Have you ever just “given up the reins.” Let someone else make all the calls? Sounds benign? Not to our brains. Our brains like active roles. Passivity is detrimental to our well-being. The wrong signals are sent to our brain. Passivity to our brain…a signal that we don’t really care.
And as we may know. Our thoughts directly affect the action we take each and everyday. Passive thoughts becomes passive engagement. Passivity could be critical to our health. It could be suicidal.
Dr. Bernie Siegel offers a great read. His book, Mind Medicine and Miracles is psychology and health. I loved the book. Great information on health and recovery. Learning that we can empower our recovery. Impact our long term health through some pretty basic steps.
He talks about Passive Suicide. Doctor patient relationships. Illuminating important yet underutilized Psychology research. Understanding psychology of health is important.
What else could be considered Passive Suicide?
Not pursuing passion. Suppressing emotions. Not doing what needs to be done. Allowing someone else make all the decisions.
Passive decisions, a faulty belief system that limits our power.
Why? Limiting ourselves to “Comfortable choices”, is a form of inaction. Not actively being involved in a discussion that involves us, is dangerous. Ignoring choices that may challenge, is a form of passive suicide.
Dr. Caroline Bedall Thomas of John Hopkins University Medical School goes onto say, the frequency of passive suicide remains unknown. Is definitely a factor in recovering from any life threatening illness.
Examples of Passive Suicide
MINE: “Dragging my feet”. Not getting my program out there. Fear of rejection. Holding back from passionate and rewarding work.
What’s stops me? FEAR based emotions! That little voice inside my head! Outdated beliefs about success and lifestyle. Success may change my life. I actually love the life I have.
Other common examples of passive Suicide life?
A: Want to lose weight? Diet and exercise is key. We fail to eat well balanced meals. Fail to exercise.
B: Fight with our partner? It causes our relationship to struggle. We know its emotional baggage. It may be painful to look into our past. Learn how to remove these triggers. Correct them forever. Result, a better relationship. A happier life. Yet we do nothing.
C: We hear the alarm. Wake tired. Didn’t sleep well. Stress at work. Take 5 minutes to meditate. It absolutely helps. We don’t.
D: Have a stiff body. Stretching helps. Refuse to do.
E: Struggling? We need help. Delay making an appointment.
Why does our brain think these simple life examples a form of passive suicide?
Thoughts are processed. What does an act of passiveness tell our brain? How would our brain categorize that? Indecision? Possibly fear of trying. Fear of the unknown. Result? Stress hormones flood our bodies. Inhibit our immune function. Feelings of confusion. Loss of control. Doubt our capabilities. Self- esteem and self-worth suffer. And we lower our immune response.
Ignoring the “hard choice” requires our brain not only adjusts the chemicals and hormone mix. Which adjusts our behavior. Actions follow. We do nothing. It’s not healthy.
Does “passiveness” sound good for health?
Here’s a loaded question. Forget passive suicide.
If you had only one day to live. What would you do? Nothing? Would you chose to feel the sun on your face? Open a window. Listen to the soft sweet sound of a birds’ song. Step outside. Feel the cool gentle breeze move through your hair. Go to the beach? Hug a friend. Tell the ones you love, that you love them. What would you do? Do nothing… ? I hope not…
I’ll tell you my own story of only having “one day to live”.
I was 27. My life forever changed. Flying high, a passenger in a amphibious ultra-light plane.
A beautiful sunny day looking at patchwork landscapes. Feeling the wind on my face. It was wonderful.
The pilot pointed to the winding river below. Deciding to swoop down. The plane tilt sharply. My back press into the seat with the extra speed. The engine rev behind me. Diving towards the river. The plane continued to speed up. Speed meant quickly skipping across the surface and back up into the sky.
Something went terribly wrong. The landing gear was down. The plane struck the water hard. Catching the landing gear. Immediately flipped from tail to head. Breathing in, my mouth filled with acidic tasting water. I chose to swallow the water, keeping my oxygen inside.
Careering upside down a fast flowing river. Water black, murky. Blind. Confused. Debris hit my head. More tumbled around my body. Cold water rushed by. Hair dragged through mouth and eyes. I tried to get free. Failed. Securely locked into my 3 point harness, meant to save my life.
Knowledge? I had been a life guard. A strong swimmer. Could hold my breath? yes! For how long? 45 seconds? 60 seconds? 2 minutes? Probably not. How long?
I could remember back. Challenging myself to swim a 50 foot pool underwater.. Recall the feeling of energy leaving my body. That feeling I knew. How long?
This was different. Not a pool. I couldn’t breach the surface. Better figure it out fast. How to save my life. The answer evaded me.
My attention now drawn inward. My life began to flash in front of my eyes. Was I dying?
Passively, I watched the thousands of images. My life in great detail. The images slowed.
Police officers walked up my parents sidewalk. Their heavy boots climbing the big red brick stairs. Knocking on the front door. The door opened. My Mother. First looking confused. The realization, horror in her eyes. Her heart breaking scream shattered my passive state.
Her body crumpled to the floor. Back to reality.
How many seconds? I did not know. Time stopped. Time is relevant to the observer. What did it mean?
Fully awake again. I must do something! I am NOT GOING TO DIE! Not today. Not like this.
That single thought changed my life. My brain “rewound”. Backwards flashing images. A memory. The exact information I needed.
It was a movie. Watched long ago. I didn’t remember the name…. (go figure) The scene, clearly remembered. A commander teaching young pilots how to escape a plane. One that had crashed, overturned in water.
The short story? I followed the script. Saved my life. I escaped the plane. I survived.
The moral of the story. Don’t be passive.
The instant I gave my brain a job. Incredible, powerful things happened. I needed a solution. Needed it fast. My brain did exactly what was needed. I made a choice. My brain went to work.
If you consider, being upside down in a water-filled plane. It may have seemed hopeless. I could have thought, I am “stuck”. I “can’t” get out! (ever felt that way)
A passive choice would have been suicide.
Initiating change can be challenging. Engaging ourselves in any decision, set us up for greater success. The simple act of engaging can hold magnificent power.
It’s true in my work.
I never want to have a client that isn’t actively involved. It sets us both up to fail. With devastating consequences.
A person that isn’t actively pursuing the best positive outcome, often self-sabotages.
Do you know someone who walked away? Know someone who was offered their dream job? The job they fought for.
Passive and self-sabotage.
In Mind Medicine and Miracles, Dr. Siegal studies the 20%. He calls them exceptional patients.
Why? Only 20% of us engage in the process of healing. Actively pursuing the outcome. Make the necessary changes. The hard choices. Do whatever it takes. They are the survivors. Passive suicide is not an option.
Changes may challenge us. Challenge creates “resilience”. Our brain to finds strategies. Creative ways to ensure our success. Challenge results in healthy neuro-chemicals flooding our bloodstream. Increases our Fighter T cells. Our bodies FIGHT!
By making a decision. We take action, body mind and soul.
Life is all about change. Yet humans resist change.The old primitive Reptilian brain. Tells us there might be a wholly Mammoth outside. Keeps us fearful of change. Keeps us sticking with the norm. What we already know and understand. We feel “safe” by not changing. Yet it becomes our demise.
How can we stop contributing to passive suicide?
By understanding how out thoughts engage our brain subconsciously.
We must be willing to do the work. Contribute to our own wellness. In every possible way.
How can we help ourselves?
- Learn from the 20% exceptional patient.
- Become an active participant. Your best advocate.
- Seek support. Be the change.
- What would you learn from this experience.
- Question attitudes and perception.
- Find the stress triggers. Stress is the big daddy of illness. How we relate to stress and the fear around situations in life can allow us to make the hard choices for positive change.
- What is the tough decisions; “Am I sending and “passive suicide” message to my brain.
Contact me: firstname.lastname@example.org
Stay well out there xox
I’m here to help. I’m Adele Anderson from Fulfill Your Destiny?
“Before I let someone else decide something major in my life,
I will ask; Am I sending my brain the wrong message?