So much of life is full of “shoulds”; you should take this job, you should wear this, you should focus on this, you should eat this.
Our values are fundamental to human nature but they get confused with this veil of “should”.
“Should” implies one must adhere to a set of values laid out by history, culture, society or family. It implies a right way and a wrong way. So we feel mentally cornered, worried about “getting it wrong”. Then, inevitably, guilt comes slowly growling towards us!
What if every time we felt a “should” coming on, we replaced it with a sense of ease?
You are released from the anxiety hooks snagging you back into the “should” corner. You are centered, moving freely without obstruction. You can focus on the task at hand and make sound decisions.
A sense of ease does not have to mean taking the easiest path, laziness, doing the bare minimum, procrastination or selfishness.
Instead, at ease, you experience life more fully. You can enjoy yourself and fulfill your potential.
So how might ease by found?
We could straight out reject the pressure we feel we should satiate; sit in the discomfort, let the tears well up in your eyes, hug someone or a pet.
Or less dramatic; mentally lean a little to one side, breathe out and recognize the pressure before us and ask ourselves:
-Is it necessary to do this thing?
-Could I find another way to accomplish what I need to with a sense of ease?
Is it a matter of angling our mind’s just a few degrees in another direction?
For example, traditions and customs are typically “should” activities but change your perspective and you see they provide us with structure, boundaries, support, comfort and security. And one has a sense of purpose in upholding traditions. Ease can be found at the heart of them.
Here’s some other suggestions:
At the office/home:
-Write a list, prioritize tasks and gain some insight into what really needs to be tackled first.
-Go for a walk
-Call a friend
-Talk to your partner
BUILD SUPPORT STRUCTURES:
As a freelancer:
-Work on your processes so when you hit a day when pressure and malaise join forces, you have a ready-made structure at hand to fall back on.
-Use your smartphone calendar to schedule work, creative, social blocks.
Running a household:
-Make dinners ahead and freeze
-Diarize alone- time each day to re-group
- Research potential holiday ideas
CONNECT TO REALITY:
-Set a daily time limit on social media.
-Sit down at a table to eat and drink (instead of standing or commuting).
-Have a cup of tea in a ceramic teacup not a take- away cup.
-Get an alarm clock and leave all devices in the kitchen over night.
GET IN TOUCH WITH YOUR PHYSICAL SELF:
-Do a couple of stretches and moves
-In the bathroom, wash your hands feeling the cool water.
-Breathe in and out, as deeply as you can, 3 times.
-Go for a walk
-Give yourself, your pet or a family member a cuddle (or all three!)
Ease is a privilege and of the privileged. If one is on the bread line, in survival mode or in a conflict zone, ease is not present. So, if ease is the stuff of privilidge and you’re looking for it, perhaps acknowledging all that you have and gaining some perspective, might lead you to realizing there isn’t a need for being so tightly bound, so anxious and finding ease.