I have a list of alarm bell words and phrases, that when I catch myself say anything from this list, I pause and reflect on what I’ve just said.  Sometimes it can be appropriate and absolutely ok but more often than not, the language can be unhealthy, untrue or even damaging to my health and wellbeing.


Terms include: 

  • “I always” / “I never” / “that’s just not me”: can suggest a fixed mindset, unwillingness to change or unwillingness to believe in the concept of neuroplasticity, maybe even a lazy way out of something…
  • “I should”: can highlight expectations & it’s important to ask, who’s expectations are these?
  • “I should”: can point to perfectionism, an illusionary concept that is so damaging, I’ve listed it separately.
  • “I must”: can highlight struggling for, going beyond physical limits, striving, forcing against.
  • “I miss”: (aside from grief, obviously!) can suggest living too much in the past &/or glorifying the past.
  • “I thought”: assumption based on a past experience, a frozen-in-time opinion of someone or something that may be well out of date!
  • They say you should…”: can suggest blindly taking on the advice of “experts” or broad-stoke societal advice without consideration for one’s own unique circumstances, body & life.