I-don’t-wanna-itis: Responding to Laziness with Mindfulness

It’s really easier to just rest.

I have to admit, I don’t really want to write this.  It would be far easier to just lie on my couch until my next client shows up, over an hour from now.

While sometimes difficult to tell apart from depression and/or anxiety, ordinary laziness amounts to the tendency all organisms have to conserve energy.  Simple as that: it’s easier to do nothing.

There’s no biological reason to do anything right now for me — and for most of us.  We already HAVE everything we need, biologically speaking: food, water, shelter, physical safety.  “So why would we waste precious calories by doing extra activites?” says the voice of Evolution, speaking loudly through our genes to our neurotransmitters.  Have a rest.  It’s easier.

We tend to respond to laziness with “Shoulds.”  Albert Ellis was perhaps the most eloquent commentator of the past century on the word “Should.”  He used to have his patients make the commitment “not to should on myself today!”

“Should” really means “If I do it, it’s because otherwise something bad will happen.”  I’ll feel bad.  Or someone will be disappointed.  Or I’ll lose money.  Or someone will yell at me.  And so forth.

Living life by “Shoulds” is living the life of a hunted animal.  It’s just plain no fun.

Far more satisfying is a life motivated by “I believe in.”  I believe in writing blog posts.  I believe in speaking out in advocacy of mindfulness.  I believe in the power of mindfulness to change a person, to change society, to change history, to change the world.  I believe in creative self-expression.  So, I am writing.

When I’m done, the couch will be waiting for me.  And there’s still a half-hour to rest until my client gets here.



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