Dropping the 'Shoulds'
Do you often hear yourself saying the words 'should' 'ought to' 'must' when referring to yourself or others? If so you may be living with a strong set of rules and assumptions about how you, other people and the world should behave.
The problem with this is when you fall short of a 'should' demand you may feel guilty, frustrated, anxious or even depressed. 'I should be able to lose weight' 'I must finish this essay on time'
When others fall short of your rules you end up feeling angry and resentful 'My husband should buy me flowers' 'Other people ought to be as kind as i am'
These types of demands are inflexible.
How to combat feeling these negative emotions when your rules are violated? Simply drop the rules and swap 'should', ' must' and 'ought' with ' like' 'prefer' 'wish' - more healthier ways of thinking. eg 'I'd would like to be able to lose weight', 'I'd prefer to finish this essay on time', 'I'd like my husband to buy me flowers', 'I wish other people were as kind as i am'. This type of flexible thinking allows you to relax the demands you make on yourself, others and the world