I read an article this morning on mind body green, and it really resonated with me. It was all about one word. And how that word can turn the best intentions of self love into an spiral of anxiety. Its a word I find myself using all the time. Its a word full of expectation of myself imposed on myself by the external environment.
Since so many people grew up listening to a litany of rules, when the word “should” infiltrates into your own running commentary, you will likely respond to yourself the same way you responded to your well-meaning caregivers and authority figures: with resistance (since no one want to feel controlled).
I am self imposing “rules” which i’m responding to with resistance. Studying Nutrition I am in a constant state of judging exactly what I eat: because I “should” eat healthier today, I automatically resist that. This negativity creates a cascade of effects, which end up with me feeling anxious about my lack of will power and dedication.
An example of this is ” I should go for a run because I haven’t exercised today”. This is a really common one for me. If I don’t exercise for one day, I feel guilty, worthless and unhealthy. So I force myself to go for a run, even when i’m exhausted. Even when all I feel like doing is curling up with a good book and reading. So what i’m doing is resenting myself for not running, then running, and still resenting myself for going for a forced run. That’s not loving to myself, and defiantly doesn’t do anything for the fact I was exhausted.
Actions derived from “should ‘s” aren’t loving to anyone. To heal from the addiction to should, start to notice how often the word populates your self-talk, and then notice how you feel inside when you fall prey to believing the should statement. When you hear the word should, ask, What would be most loving to myself and others right now?
Then listen closely for the answer.
So instead of doing things because I “should” this week, i’m going to try to do things that are most loving to myself and others. I’m really excited to see the results!
I would love to hear if you have the same issue? Do you self impose external judgement on yourself? How does it make you feel?