Should Never Helped Anyone

There are a few things I have picked up over the years that can do wonders for a negative mindset. As a therapist who uses a lot of cognitive behavioral techniques I am always on the look out for how to change our negative thoughts. Our feelings and subsequent behaviors can all be traced back to a thought…which is why our thoughts need careful attention. Here are a few things you can do now to work on your mindset:


Ask yourself if this is truly a catastrophe. Chances are whatever stressful situation you find yourself in right now is not a catasrophe. For example, getting the wrong coffee at Starbucks may be irritating but it is not a crisis. You have been through crisis. Know the difference.

Say “Wish” instead of “Should”

DBT therapists use a saying I love and employ often: “Don’t should on yourself.” This little gem may not seem like much but it reminds us that replacing the word should with wish is a quick way to cut through shame and take ourselves less seriously. We may not be perfect but that is okay. Learn, let go, and move on.

Remember the Bigger Picture

A young client years ago reminded me how easy it is to shrink our problems by remembering how expansive the universe truly is when we are feeling overwhelmed. Look up at the stars at night and remember that we are all a small blip in the continuum…and of course if you are struggling with something right now remember that in a hundred years whose gonna care? The stars will continue to shine on long after we are gone as they have shined on long before we arrived on this planet.

Speak Your Mind


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