Must”, “should”, “need to”, “ought to” and “have to” create stress and anxiety
Our mental self-talk contributes to our emotional state. Thoughts of “must”, “should”, “need to”, “ought to” and “have to” cause tension and stress. Often, we make self-imposed deadlines; then, we get stressed-out when we cannot live up these expectations. Or we allow other people to make unrealistic and unnecessary deadlines; or we respond to them when they try to force us to behave according to their rules. Yes, we have things that must get done in a certain time; we have things we “should” do. However, we need to learn not to blindly accept unimportant schedules or imposed value systems.
Today, let us: 1) Pause, recognize the importance and priority of each task we face and not allow the trifles to overwhelm us and 2) Be aware and careful with the stress-triggering words of “must”, “should”, “need to”, “ought to” and “have to.” We check for these words when we start to feel tense, irritable, or stressed. Are they truly appropriate in this situation? Will there be a catastrophe if we fail to meet the deadline or decide to live by our standards and values instead of someone else’s?
Prayer: My loving inner spirit, help me to pause throughout this day and establish this peaceful connection with you; help me focus my time and energy on the important things today and to forsake the unimportant. Help me resist the urge to hurry, to quietly and peacefully take one step at a time and do what is in front of me to do.
Take three relaxing breaths; ask your inner spirit to guide your meditation; reflect on the content, pausing for a few minutes in silence.
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