Ever think, “I should really do that?” Read this.by Elise Museles
There’s an epidemic going around. A community arising – and it’s neither pretty nor healthy.
It centers on a single, simple phrase: “I should…”
I lovingly refer to this movement as the “should-ers”. They’re people who can’t help but succumb to “should” thinking, every. single. day.
“I should count the carbs on my plate and keep that number as low as possible, yet I feel depleted all day long when I cut down.”
“I should be eating chia seeds, but they make me bloated and gassy.”
“I should drink green juice for breakfast, yet I feel completely zapped of energy by 10 am and desperately want to rip into a bagel and cream cheese.”
“I should meditate on a pillow for 15 minutes, but I really enjoy clearing my mind on a run out in nature.”
Any of those sound familiar? Maybe you’ve already experienced a few “shoulds” of your own today. (If you have, don’t worry – we’ve all been there.)
While your “shoulds” are framed with good intentions, deep down they host a volcano of bubbling issues just waiting to erupt.
“Shoulds” get in the way of how you really feel. They silence your intuition and distance you from that vital communication between you and your body.
And, even worse?
Trying to stick to this self-imposed pressure creates a trifecta of negative emotions: guilt, shame, and anxiety.
As a reformed “should-er” myself, I should know! (Pun intended.)
In my marathon running days, I completely ignored what my body was feeling in favor of pushing myself to the point of exhaustion and over-exerting my muscles, which caused painful injuries.
Why? Because I thought I “should” work through that cramp, complete that regimen, or cross that finish line. After all, that’s what my training plan told me I should do. It didn’t matter how I felt. I wasn’t a quitter!
Thankfully, I learned to let go of my grip on “should”. I’m still a runner, but nowadays, I tune into how I’m feeling and respond to the discomfort or strain with compassion and understanding. If I slow down or stop, I know I’m not failing myself – I’m honoring my body.
So – how will YOU release your shoulds?
You can tackle you inner “shoulds” with one simple mindset shift: replace the word “should” with how you really, deeply want to feel.
I want to feel energized.
I want to feel light.
I want to feel vibrant.
I want to feel clear.
When you focus on this driving force behind your actions (a.k.a your desires or wants), you open up a whole new way of looking at things.
Instead of feeling guilty about not crunching on chia seeds, remember you want your belly to feel settled… and some foods, even the newest healthy “it” foods, may not work for you.
Instead of beating yourself up about how many carbs you’ve consumed, think about which foods work for YOUR unique body and give you energy throughout the day.
Instead of worrying about meditating because everyone else is raving about a personal transformation, lean into the fact you know a quick 3-mile run in the park contributes to your relaxation.
The bottom line: Tuning into how you want to feel, rather than what you “should” do, works wonders for your health & happiness. Plain & simple.
Question of the day: What are some of the “shoulds” constantly in the back (or forefront) of YOUR mind? Release them right now by posting in the comments below.