Wednesday, May 3rd

CBT An Anxiety

While at the Positive Psychology Program website recently, I ran across a list of CBT resources and exercises. Reading down through it, I found many ideas that I’d never tried, and some I’d never heard of.

The section that caught my eye for today was titled Behavioral Experiments. Ever since I had such a vivid moment of awareness of my “Should,” I’ve been thinking about its impact on my life. Almost everything I do is pushed, at least in part, by “Should.” (I think this is why taking mini vacations is so difficult for me.) Even things I want to do get tangled up in “Should,” especially if they’re part of longer-term goals.

Intellectually I know that not everyone operates this way. “Should” is basically an expression of fear, that if I don’t do something, I’ll have failed in some way. My best friend finds this way of living simply strange. Back when I was struggling with depression, he advised me once not to do anything for a day unless I wanted to do it, and I found that idea utterly unworkable. If I didn’t have my “Should” driving me, why would I ever do anything?

And that’s what I want to test today. I’m not proposing to only do things I want to do; I’m not sure I could. But today I want to pause and notice, when I’m about to do something, to what extent I actually want to do it, and to what extent “Should” is driving me. Do I really need to rely so heavily on “Should”? Or could I dial it down a little?

Happy Wednesday!

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