"Probably life itself is already striving for freedom."
Michael Depner, MD, a specialist in psychiatry and psychotherapy in Wuppertal, Germany, said in our interview. In the past two years, we have all experienced what it means to restrict one's freedom in order to fight the pandemic. But not only such restrictions influence our freedom, instinctive and subconscious factors also control our sense of freedom. Dealing with one's freedom or working on it strengthens one's own consciousness.

 

The colorful palette of freedom
The question of freedom is an essential one. However, it is difficult to define the term 'freedom' because the concept is complex and multifaceted. Basically, freedom (Latin libertas) is understood as the option to choose and decide between different possibilities without pressure.

Depner distinguishes in his book "Soul and Health" between inner and outer freedom. The external freedom is socially and politically based. To be free externally means to be allowed to do what one oneself thinks is right, i.e. not to be externally determined by other decision-making authorities. For it is often u ere circumstances that limit our freedom. Not least the restrictions imposed by the Corona pandemic. In a survey on the perception of freedom at Neu-Ulm University, more than half of the respondents said that the restrictions had an impact on their sense of freedom. But Covid is only a tiny part of multiple factors that threaten external freedom, Depner says. Many of the respondents said they felt restricted by their job, family or societal expectations.

"Until I realize how much I am my own prison, I have no idea how to get out of it."

— Michael Depner

Courage for freedom
Let us imagine that we are completely free on the outside. We have no financial, political, social restrictions and obligations. Most of us would hardly drop everything and pursue our great passion, for example a trip around the world. Psychologist Michael Depner also confirms that freedom is a beautiful ideal for many people, but when in doubt, they would choose security. Thus, a conflict can arise between the two values of freedom and security. The pursuit of security can restrict our freedom.

 

 

With these 5 tips, you'll feel freer:

1. Forgive yourself

We should free ourselves from feelings of guilt, because they paralyze and burden us. As a result, we cannot make decisions freely.

2. Nimm Hilfe an

In everyday life, we can quickly feel overwhelmed. Ask for support and accept it. A good tip to escape concentrated stressful situations and feel lighter and freer.

3. Meditate

Even short meditations can have a positive effect on our inner balance.
We can recommend the meditation app 7Mind, with which you can find more relaxation and mindfulness in your life step by step. The app is free for students, and some health insurance companies also reimburse the costs.

4. Think positive

Often we focus only on the negative things. We should focus more often on the positive points and appreciate more the situations in which we feel free.

5. Set goals

By setting realistic goals every day and checking them off as we reach them, we experience more satisfaction and feel more liberated.

Freedom is perceived and lived out very individually. Therefore, it is all the more important to question one's own freedom and, if necessary, to work on it.

"The decisive step to freedom is cognition."

— Michael Depner

Authors: Clara Botzenhardt, Pia Miller