Should a - Would a - Could a

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Should a - Would a - Could a

You put it off, wished you had, felt you could have done it different. There is no FUTURE because by the time you get there you are in the NOW!

Should A - Would A - Could A

There is no FUTURE because  by the time you get there you are in the NOW! Think about this...

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My Wise Grandmother

How many times have you caught yourself saying, “I wish I had....”

My wise grandmother once told me when she heard me say I wish I had....

“If you pee in one hand and wish in the other, which one fills faster?”

I should do more. I should give more. I should have a super clean home. I should be in better shape. I should always look “put together.” I should say yes when people ask me for help. I should exercise every day. I should be happy. I should know how to do that. I should keep my emotions to myself. I should be organized. I should finish everything on my to-do list. I should know what I want. I should be able to do it all..

Are you exhausted just reading this?

Living in a world of shoulds, can have a big impact on our well-being, on how we live our lives, on how we care (or don’t care) for ourselves. Over time, we start viewing these shoulds as truth, as our reality, as rules we must follow.

But when we do, what affect does this have on our current life?

Many books have been written on the subject of living in the ‘now’ but how do we get there when we are thinking of all the things we should have done yesterday, a month or year ago!

Are your shoulds stressing you out?

Keeping your life frantic?

Keeping you from practicing compassionate self-care?

You say ‘yes’ to everyone else and let their needs control your days and end up exhausted even resentful with a whole lot of chaos in your life.

Here is a beautiful message from from the late philosopher, Alan Watts.

Philosopher alan watts

When is it your time to be happy living your life?

When would NOW be a good time?

When would now be a good time

Reframe Your Thinking for a Happier Now

Recently I read the book What Went Right: Reframe Your Thinking for a Happier Now, written by Michael G. Wetter, Psy.D, and Eileen Bailey.

They share several helpful suggestions for changing should statements.

  • Keep track of your should thoughts. Any time you have a should thought, write it down. Also, write down the details of the situation. After you’ve recorded several statements, pay attention to any themes and patterns: Do you use should statements when you’re stressed out? When you’re feeling frustrated? When you’re in certain environments? When you’re feeling certain feelings?
  • Explore the belief beneath your statement. According to the authors, we typically create should statements to help us feel in control and to avoid pain or disappointment. If you’re not sure what belief underlies your statement, “try to finish the sentence with what you think will happen if you [don’t] follow your rule.” I should weigh X number of pounds. If I don’t, no one will find me attractive or lovable. I should always look put together. If I don’t, people will think I don’t care. They’ll reject me.Explore how you feel when you don’t follow the should statement. Write that down, too.
  • Explore how you feel when you don’t follow the should statement. Write that down, too.Test your statement. Look for evidence that supports and doesn’t support your statement. Think of your statement as a hypothesis, and you’re simply conducting an experiment. For instance, you might make a list of the “for” and “against” evidence. Or you might ignore your rule and see what happens. The authors share this example using the statement “I should clean my house every Saturday morning.” Your “for” evidence is: “People will think badly of me if they stop by and my house is not clean.” Your “against” evidence might be: “Missing one week of cleaning or cleaning on a different day isn’t going to make me a bad person; it just means I was busy or wasn’t up to cleaning the house on Saturday,” and “This rule makes me feel bad about myself all week if I did not clean the house on Saturday morning.”
  • Test your statement. Look for evidence that supports and doesn’t support your statement. Think of your statement as a hypothesis, and you’re simply conducting an experiment. For instance, you might make a list of the “for” and “against” evidence. Or you might ignore your rule and see what happens. Revise your should statement, and create a more balanced one. Instead of a demand, try to look at your statement as a preference. For instance, “I prefer to clean my house on Saturday mornings, but sometimes that isn’t possible.”
  • Revise your should statement, and create a more balanced one. Instead of a demand, try to look at your statement as a preference. For instance, “I prefer to clean my house on Saturday mornings, but sometimes that isn’t possible.”

If your should statements go unchecked, they can easily control your life—and not for the better.

They will easily drain any chance of feeling the happy moments of the successes we have throughout a day. Notice when you’re making these statements. Notice what beliefs underlie them. And see if you can let some flexibility in.

Thoughts are Powerful Things

Thoughts and the words we use to express those thoughts are very powerful, so TODAY be aware of the ‘should a would a could a’s’ and realize that worrying about what we didn’t do robs us of the exhilarating, joyful, happy feelings for the things we ARE doing today --- living in the NOW.

now as good a time as any

Now as good a time as any

Lee Pryke, MPsy, E.S.C.P.

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