“Should” is a Cuss Word

My 2018 New Year’s Resolution was to increase Mindfulness and I’d like to address mindfulness in the words we use, especially the ones in our own heads.  This idea of self-talk is important.  The words I tell myself absolutely impact my mood, my approach to life, and my well-being.

Many of us are guilty of using the word “should” frequently in our self-talk.  It sounds like this…

  • I should be thinner/more fit/more attractive
  • I should spend more time with my kids/partner/family/friends
  • I should work harder/ get that promotion/earn more money
  • I should be more organized/keep up on housework/finish projects

Psychologist Albert Ellis coined the tongue-in-cheek term “musterbating” to describe this concept.  Musterbating is not that helpful, it doesn’t actually get the things done, and it’s a general drain of emotional energy.

Mel Robbins is a motivational speaker and talks about The Five Second Rule, which is “If you have an instinct to act on a goal, you must physically move within 5 seconds or your brain will kill it.” I love this.  Rather than sitting around making mental lists of all the things we’re not doing well – take the first one and make any one step toward that goal.  I find Mel’s words inspiring like a little motivational java hit.  Check out more at: https://melrobbins.com/blog/five-elements-5-second-rule/

Start noticing that word should in your self-talk.  Recognize when it’s not helpful to you.  Find something different to focus on.  Take a step toward the goal.  You really should.

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