Sunday, 26 April 2020

Dealing with unhealthy thoughts - unrealistic beliefs

How can I be more relaxed and enjoy life better in spite of tough ...


This is a time when we need to stay positive and destress. And this can come from our own demands on ourselves, and what we expect from others.

Having inflexible demands usually makes the form of words such as "must" and "mustn't", or "should" and "shouldn't".  Think of it as a little unbreakable law you have in your head. Using these words can add pressure and cause problems.

For example - you might believe "everybody must respect me."  "Everyone must like my cooking."  "You should like this film because I do."

In reality, not everyone is going to respect you, or enjoy your food. If yo have this belief, you are probably going to kick off rach and ever time you feel disrespected.  We can apply this to everything. Behind our outbursts, anxieties and depressions, there is always a demand for something.

So what is the answer?
Instead, you can state what you would like to happen, while also accepting that it does not have to happen.  So instead of saying that everyone should enjoy your cooking, you say "I would prefer it if everyone enjoyed my cooking, but it does not have to be the case." This allows for reality as not everyone has the same tastes. If you do this, you are more likely to communicate frustrations effectively - or simply let it go, as it is not that big a deal.

Why do we feel the need for everything to be the way we want it to be?  It is good to want the best for ourselves, but we need to appreciate the needs of others too. Ask yourself why you feel something is so important that you want everyone else to want it the same way you do?  If this lockdown has taught us anything, it is that life is precious, that every day is an opportunity to broaden our knowledge, and that friendships are crucial for our social life.  We need to start relaxing, listening, and communicating better.  Life is too short for unrealistic beliefs.

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