Many people think that they wouldn’t get shit done if it weren’t for the pressure they put on themselves.
I thought that too, but I’m realizing that, for me, it’s the exact opposite.
The more pressure I put on myself, the more stuck I feel, the more paralyzed in indecision I become, the harder everything seems.
Pressure can make a seemingly healthy habit become something that your brain actually interprets as a danger.
“I need to meditate for 20 minutes every day!”
“I need to find a better job right now!”
“I have to resolve these issues. I can’t live with them any longer!”
“I have to lose 10 pounds!”
While these might seem like productive goals, each of them has an intense backdrop of fear and pressure. When we put this kind of pressure on ourselves, our brains are actually hearing “Do this, or else…” These seemingly normal things become dangers. “Healthy habits” become laden with fear.
Pressure was actually a beneficial thing, evolutionarily speaking. Putting pressure on ourselves, once upon a time, allowed humans to stay alive, seek shelter, outsmart predators, avoid threats, determine new ways of living.
But, this system is outdated. Our brains think we’re in a life or death situation when we’re really not.
The key here is the tone behind the words. There is a huge difference between ordering yourself to meditate every day like a drill sergeant, and choosing to meditate with a sense of empowerment and joy because you care about your well-being.
I’ve gathered a number of healthy habits, helpful techniques, and holistic methods of self-care over the past several years, but they don’t do me any good if they are all tainted with fear and pressure.
It’s time for me to coax myself back into a system of allowing and natural flow. To go with the stream, instead of against it. To go around the mountain, instead of fighting my way up it.
For me, this might look like journaling because I care about myself and want to express something, rather than using it as a desperate means to hurry up and heal. Calmly looking for a new job and waiting for the right opportunity to come along, rather than frantically searching job postings in a rushed frenzy because “I need one right now!” Blogging because I feel like it and have something I want to say, rather than being hard on myself if I don’t post something every week.
Allowing healing to happen, rather than forcing it.
I realized that the constant pressure I’ve been putting on myself to do more, be better, heal faster has been preventing me from feeling my emotions, experiencing the natural flow of joy and love, and finding the peace in body and mind that I’ve been seeking.
It’s time to find the easy way of doing things. To take the pressure off. Stop trying. Slow down. Breathe. Take some time for myself. Just let go.
Battle back from adversity by not battling at all.