Monday, August 20, 2007

Can You Release Your "Shoulds?"

Happy Monday! I must admit that I'm cheating a bit by writing this post today -- it's the first day of my vacation. I should be relaxing. Or maybe not -- maybe my action fits well with the theme of this post: releasing your "shoulds." What am I talking about?

All the times you say to yourself: "I should have done ..." or "I shouldn't have done ..." Often, these self-talk statements lead to feelings of guilt and anxiety about a situation. And, by saying them, you can't change the situation (because we can't change the past -- try as hard as we might!). So, you've made yourself feel upset and stressed out.

What if, instead, you gave yourself permission to re-examine the situation and think of how you might do things differently in the future?

Last week, I had a conversation about this with Rebecca White, host of Heal Yourself Talk Radio. We talked about how “releasing the shoulds” can help you reduce guilt and manage your emotional responses to stress. We also discussed being more aware of your behavior patterns and recognizing their impact on your responses to stress. Our conversation is available for download from my Gcast podcast site and also accessible on Rebecca's website.

So, if I apply my approach to today -- I'm going to release my shoulds ("I should have worked longer last Friday and written this post then.") and accept that I'm blogging today. I will not feel guilty about sharing my experience with my blog community. I'd already made a mental note that I would wrap up a few loose biz ends today before embarking on my break. It's OK and I'm OK! :)

1 comment:

Dawn said...

Life is absolutely full of shoulds. Either we should be doing something productive or we should be relaxing. I definitely suffer from the efficiency-maximizing, high-stress way of managing my time and approaching the day to day. If everything we do is because we should do it, where is our choice in anything? Life should (eep!) be all about what we can do, what we choose to do. Adopting that perspective makes us appreciate those choices that we make - and maybe even make better choices along the way!