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Easing the Journey Through Shadow & Light

  • Dawn

Change One Word

The entire post is the anti-anxiety tool for this week. And this is a new tool so there isn't a link to a previous toolkit. But here 's the Index of all toolkits. And The Mini-Toolkit: For Those with Little or No Time.

I came across an interesting little article the other day that claimed you could make a big difference in your life by changing one word in a sentence that most of us say pretty often.

I'm usually skeptical of articles or books that claim one thing/word/food can cure everything or totally change your life, but I read on anyway. I was curious.

The sentence in question is “I have to…[fill in the blank]”. The author's suggests that we could change the word "have" to "get"?

So, instead of saying, "I HAVE to do the dishes," I could say, "I GET to do the dishes."

And wow, for me anyway, shifting that one word can change a lot.

Here's what I tend to say...think...feel when I am in a "HAVE to do the dishes" mode:

  • What a drudge.

  • What a waste of time.

  • This is so boring.

  • I just did dishes--I'm sick of this!

  • I'd rather be reading/writing/walking.

  • Why don't I have money to hire a maid?

  • Why wasn't I born into a rich family?

  • Dishes are stupid!

It makes me feel heavy and resentful just reading that list.

"I GET to do dishes" means doing dishes is a privilege. Changing that one little word offers a gateway into gratitude, challenging me to look for things I can appreciate. Like:

  • I have dishes to wash--and nice dishes at that.

  • I have hot running water.

  • I have plenty of food to put on my dishes.

  • I just enjoyed a nice--and delicious--meal with my husband.

  • I have hands to hold the dishes.

  • I have electricity.

  • I get to play in the water and make bubbles.

  • I know I've accomplished something by the obvious transformation from dirty dishes to clean—a small success.

  • While I do this simple task I have a little time to think, or listen to music, or sing, or pray, or just plain be.

I could probably create at least a short list that would exemplify the same sense of gratitude for any task I HAVE to do--if I shift that one word. It could also be a challenge, and an opportunity, for the bigger issues I have in my life.

I'm sharing this as a new anti-anxiety tool because I find that gratitude and looking for the good help counteract my natural human tendency to focus on the negative, helping me feel more centered and relaxed, and therefore less anxious.

Like meditation, or yoga, this simple tool can become a regular way to help me feel a little better--a practice. And like yoga or meditation, it may be simple but it's not very easy. These practices can take lots of practice!

But it's a good tool. It helps me see things from a different perspective.

Here's a link to the original article.

Until next time,


Photo credits:

Glum person & dishes, Bravo TV

Dishes and window, Sixteenn Miles Out, unSplash

Girl with eggs, Hannah Tasker, unSplash


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