Take The Word “Should” Out Of Your ADHD Vocabulary

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The information contained in this post is for general information purposes only. The posts on this blog represent the opinions and thoughts of those with ADHD, and are in no way, shape or form meant to be used as a way to diagnose anyone with anything. If you believe that you have ADHD we urge you to reach out to our general practitioner for an initial assessment and possibly a referral to a specialist.

How often do you tell yourself that you should be doing this, or you should be doing that? How often have those words and thoughts produced anything but negative emotion? Probably not very often.

Why Should You?

Ask yourself that simple question, Why should you? Yes, you should do your laundry; yes, you should brush your teeth; and yes, you should get your prescription refill before it’s empty; but, you don’t need to.

You don’t need to do your laundry, BUT, if you don’t then you may not have your favourite hooded sweatshirt to wear when you go hang out with your friends to watch the game.
You don’t need to brush your teeth, BUT, if you don’t then you’ll need to watch what you eat and drink. BUT, if you don’t then you’ll end up with plaque build-up and have to go to the Dentist.
You don’t need to refill your prescription before it runs out, BUT, if you don’t then you know how difficult it’s going to get that job done when you don’t have your medication in your body.

So, why should you? Because you want to. Instead of saying, “I should do my laundry”, say, “I want to do my laundry”. Doesn’t that even look better typed out. Now, say them both out loud. Have someone else say them both out loud. Doesn’t hearing and saying those two statements feel different?

But, What If I Don’t Want To?

That’s the hardest part isn’t. Sometimes, we don’t want to. But, you need to really make sure that you don’t want to because your brain is notoriously tricky. The fact of the matter is that, as an adult, we need to get things done, and so it’s far more rewarding to develop your desire of “wanting” more. Here are a few methods that I’ve used to rid my vocabulary of should and develop my desire to want.

  • Oprah Winfrey (seriously!) has a philosophy that I think that we can all appreciate. “doing the best at this moment puts you in the best place for the next moment.” Write it down somewhere and recite it daily.
  • Practice wanting more, by saying that you, “want”, more.
  • To ensure that your, “wanting”, is healthy, have someone (partner, friend, parent, ADHD coach) in your life who you trust, and who can tell you when your impulses might be sneaking up on you. (Tip: Create daily checklists of the important things that you need to do, have them checked by your trusted someone, and review them daily). Sometimes impulse wants one thing, but your body and mind might need another (sleep, food, social, etc…)

It’s spring, the birds are coming back, the sun is going to be out more, flowers are starting to sprout. What do you want to do?

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