Why You Need To Stop Saying The Word 'Should'

Take a piece of paper, a pen and make a count of every time you hear yourself say the word ‘should’ in a day.  Do it, I dare you.

Why you should stop using the word 'should'

“I should have gone to yoga today.” “I should have had a healthy breakfast.”

Whenever we use the word ‘should’ our brain automatically fills in the negative blanks.

“I should have gone to yoga today, but I didn’t and now I feel guilty about it”. “I should have eaten a healthy breakfast but I went for coco pops instead and now I’m probably going to get diabetes”. 

All of these sentences create negative thoughts and associations in our brain.  Ever heard of the Law of Attraction?, Google it, it will change your life. As the great Buddha himself said, “What you think, you become. What you feel, you attract. What you imagine, you create.” – thanks Buddha, you’re a babe.  So if ‘should’ is high in your vocab, chances are you’re on a path to becoming a negative Naomi who lives in regret and suffers epic FOMO (more on that later).

The dictionary definition of ‘should’ is: “used to indicate obligation, duty, or correctness, typically when criticising someone's actions.” Nothing about this word sounds positive to me.

Sure you can say, “he should have been careful when he jumped off that rock” because he probably should have! But why is this word making it’s way into our daily vocabulary? Especially into our internal self-dialogue which ultimately shapes who we are.

Yes you ‘shouldn’t of eaten those coco pops’ but what’s the of point living in the ‘should’ it’s only going to make yourself feel bad and you’ll go further down the rabbit hole. Instead, try positively re-framing your words, “Tomorrow I won’t eat coco pops for breakfast, I’m starting my day with a healthy green smoothie.” And be done with it.

Create some consciousness around the word ‘should’, don’t let it hold you back or act as an excuse for what you really WANT or NEED to do.

Stop thinking about what you should do and just do! Stop thinking about what you should be and just be! Life’s so short for shoulda woulda coulda.

Here’s 3 tips you ‘should’ implement in order to stop living in the ‘should’:

#1 Turn it into a positive.

Instead of telling yourself ‘I should meditate today’. Try making the sentence positive,  ‘I feel great when I meditate every day.’ Remind yourself why you like to do the thing you feel you ‘should’ be doing and focus on those positive associations. You’ll create a positive connection in your brain so that you will want to do it, and WILL follow through with the action

#2 Be realistic.

It’s easy to tell yourself ‘ I shouldn’t be angry or upset at this situation’ but the reality is, you are. Embrace it. Explore your emotions, sit with them and let them be. Don’t try to change how you are feeling because you feel you ‘should’ simply ask yourself ‘why’ you are feeling this way. Once you get to the root of the problem, it’s easier to shift your perspective or find a solution that will make you feel good.

#3 Become hyper sensitive to the word.

Start by taking note of every time you hear yourself using it. And every time you hear someone else around you use it. By creating consciousness around the word, you’ll become aware of just how often it pops up in your thoughts and speech. Awareness is the first step to being able to change a habit. Become aware, sit with it and reflect on how it makes you feel to use this word. Then ask yourself why you are using it  and begin to re-frame the sentence.

Don’t hold back from being fabulous! You ‘shouldn’t’ be anything other than the best version of who you are.

Have you started cutting this world from your vocab? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

About Em

Em is a yoga teacher, writer and health nerd. She is currently traveling around Europe learning about different foods, lifestyles and organic farming. She loves...

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