Nudging Yourself, Not Forcing Yourself

6 Aug 2021

It’s Sunday, and I am sitting on the sofa and just enjoying my free day. If left to my own devices, that usually means doing almost nothing – I love to stay on the sofa, read interesting and silly stuff from the internet, occasionally getting up to get something to eat.

Sometimes that’s exactly what I need. My over-used brain can relax, I don’t have to spend any energy – neither mental nor emotional nor physical.

But sometimes, it’s actually not that great for me. My body complains about my negligence, I can’t sleep well, and sometimes I climb so far into my own head that it’s difficult to come out and talk to anyone. Also, I might miss doing activities that I actually enjoy, like painting or baking.

But how to decide when to accept that I need to do nothing, and when should I push myself in to doing an activity? That’s the big question. One way to determine a good course of action (at least for me) is this question: in order to do a certain activity, do I have to force myself or only nudge myself?

I’ll give you an example: I am thinking of going cycling later. It would be good for my health, body, etc. At the same time, I’m not enthusiastic about the prospect. How strong is that lack of enthusiasm? If I’m just feeling a bit ‘meh’ about the idea, then a little nudge from myself will be enough to get me going. But if I feel like I really don’t feel like going, and I would have to be very strict to myself in order to get going – then it’s not a good thing. I would not enjoy the activity and it would, in the end, not be good for me. In that case, I don’t second-guess myself and don’t guilt-trip myself into doing the activity. Instead, I want to respect my mind’s and body’s need for some true quiet time and just enjoy doing nothing.


A Moodscope member.

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