Sometimes we need to cut ourselves some slack instead of trying to never forget anything, always be positive and smiling and never waste time chatting about trivia such as what the cat did last night. Not only can it be unachievable to always do the ‘right’ thing but from time to time there is new research which says what we thought was bad for us is sometimes good. Therefore it probably isn’t worth getting too ‘hung up’ on trying to always do the right thing.
Do you worry because you sometimes forget things? Being forgetful about important things can be a problem but some forgetting is actually good. The brain needs to forget useless and outdated information to allow it to store new information.
When you need to remember new facts your brain actually looks for outdated things to discard to make room for the new information. If you particularly want to remember information repeat it several times or write it down. Even if you don’t refer to the written information you are more likely to recall it because you concentrated on it while writing.
Negative thinking now and then can actually make you happier. This sounds odd but there is a need to deal with some negative thoughts rather than suppress them all. Some happiness experts suggest taking note of what your negative thoughts are trying to communicate to you. Working out what is really making you annoyed or sad allows you to focus on areas in your life where change is needed.
Thinking about things that could go wrong can be useful at times. It then allows you to formulate a Plan B to have up your sleeve. However, if you regularly picture things going wrong without thinking of a solution resulting in a high level of stress this is not helpful.
Allowing yourself to feel grumpy sometimes can also work for you. A study in New South Wales showed participants in a bad mood actually remembered information better than those in a happy mood. They also paid more attention to detail. Don’t feel you have to ‘snap out of it’ every time you feel a bit grumpy. It could be a good time to tackle a task that needs your full attention. Completing that task is likely to get you back into a happier frame of mind anyway.
Frequently chatting when there are high priority tasks to complete can waste time. However, spending time chatting now and then about less serious topics helps bonding. During a light hearted catch up, more progesterone is released and this reduces stress and anxiety. It also tends to lead to a better night’s sleep.
Studies have shown women who spend some time sharing a few personal details about their life as opposed to talking about the news, work or serious topics bond more closely. You don’t have to go into detail that makes you uncomfortable. Chatting about topics such as your pets and the funny thing you saw on your way to work helps build closer relationships. Don’t feel guilty about a little time spent chatting in the work environment, just avoid overdoing it.
Perhaps the important thing is to relax your expectations of yourself a little. It could be an idea to drop the words ‘always’ and 'never' from your vocabulary in this context.