The phrase Get More Done on a blackboard with a clockSometimes I realize that I’ve slipped into that old thinking again…feeling like I have to do-do-do all the time.

 

Today I decided to put my plight into the appropriate Google language and see if I could find some inspiration.

 

I came upon a nicely written, thoughtful blog by Margarita Tartakovsky, MS that included 12 Ideas for Overcoming the Pressure to be Super Productive.

 

They’re all good ideas. Healthy Dimensions participants will recognize several of the concepts. It’s an inspirational read and it helped me feel better.

 

What blew me away was a quote from Lucy Jo Palladina, Ph.D. , a clinical psychologist who wrote Find your Focus Zone: An Effective New Plan to Defeat Distraction and Overload.

 

She talks about “counter thoughts” as a weapon against the pressure to feel super-productive.

 

What she labels “counter thoughts” are simply words decide to say to yourself when your (naturally overcautious) primal brain tells you that you HAVE to be productive 100% of your waking life.

 

Healthy Dimensions Participants learn all about using this process to change unhelpful programs running in the brain. I think the words she suggests to change the “gotta be super-productive” program are both beautiful and true.

 

“I am a human being, not a human doing.

The yin and yang of life is being and doing.

I am a miracle of nature, exactly the way I am.

I am worthy.

When I sleep, sit still, or daydream, I’m still a precious and complex mystery of life.”

 

Wouldn’t it be great to feel OK about being unproductive?

Remember, the brain’s prefrontal cortex (PFC) is the “director” of that pestering negative primal brain… and the PFC tells it what’s OK and what to avoid.

 

The PFC pays attention to words like “Relaxing is good, I deserve it.”

Simple words change the program, and you can change your mind.

 

Perhaps when we decide to take some time and just relax, we can turn off the guilt by mentally repeating these words, or some like them.

 

Pick whatever words you choose and repeat them as a prayer, or a mantra… or tell the dog, or shout it out!

 

You’ll be instructing your thinking brain that it certainly is good and wonderful that you should rest and do nothing for anyone but yourself.

 

Words matter.

 

What would you include in your “it’s OK for me to relax” mantra?