Wednesday, 8 January 2014

Must vs Could

Are you one of those people who keeps lists of things you need to keep track of? Or one of those people who appears to not be happy unless you have something to worry about?

I am one of those people and during the last six months I have been VERY VERY aware that being like this isn't healthy. I always felt that having a list was a good way of keeping on top of things. Whenever I had a day off I would tackle my list or try to complete my errands. But quite often at the end of the day my list was either longer or barely touched.

I felt like a failure.

I never looked forward to having free time because it meant doing things I didn't really want to do and I just felt exhausted. In my therapy classes we tackled this issue and I wanted to share with you, you type A list keepers, how to make yourselves feel better. Simply because it has worked wonders for me!!!

In the beginning I thought it was the keeping of lists or repeating what I had to do in my head that was the unhealthy part. I would keep myself up at night relaying in my head my errands and quite often had to make a note of it somewhere so I could fall asleep ha! It sounds silly but I soon realised it was my approach to it that was wrong!

I would quite often say 'I need to go to the gym' or 'I must post this off or I'll forget' and the most common one 'If I don't do this no-one else will.'

Because telling ourselves that we MUST HAVE, SHOULD HAVE, DEFINITELY HAVE TO do things isn't healthy. As it takes just the one time we don't do something to feel miserable and focus on the one thing we didn't do compared to the million other things you did do that day! It is demotivating and makes us feel pretty sucky.



So in my therapy classes they taught us to stop ourselves from thinking like that and to get others around us to say something when they caught us out. I came away feeling really empowered and told my family/friends that if they caught me saying what I MUST and NEED to do, to stop me and question how much of priority it was. Did I HAVE to do it? or COULD I do it?

Now I say things like 'I COULD go to the gym...' or 'I might go out tonight…' and 'if I don't have time to do it then it isn't the end of the world.' Since not being so forceful on myself I find I exercise more and am far less harder on myself in general.

So next time when you're feeling guilty for not doing something, look at how you could change your approach to it. You'll never be wonder woman so quit trying to be.

2 comments:

Mary said...

Sounds like good advice! I catch myself thinking "I have to do ____" when I really don't have to.

Hey Monkey Butt said...

Yes, I COULD do a lot of things, but I'm not going to. I'm going to enjoy this time of sitting on the couch and those stupid dishes WILL wait until tomorrow! :) How are you my friend?

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