My take on this is that one should be sufficiently self-aware to recognize what causes stress, and to try to structure your life to reduce that. If you can't stand dishes piled in the sink, build the habit of putting them in the dishwasher. Or, if you can't stand washing dishes and would rather deal with them later, do that. The stress comes from feeling like you have to do things that are contrary to what you're inclined to prefer. Sure, there are plenty of times when you can't control those sorts of things, but when you can control what you can control - do.
I suppose everyone bring their own perspective to this article judging by dome of the comments !! All I know from personal experience is that my Dad was a very stubborn and at times negative man and I am sure it contributed (or at the very least exacerbated) to his Alzheimer's .
This is a fabulous post! Thanks for sharing your ideas. You may also want to add this info from a new study was posted in the Mayo Clinic Journal last month which found that moderate exercise combined with, of all things - computer use - reduced the risk for memory impairment in those over 70. Since so many of us use a computer these days and we don't always think it's a good thing, it's nice to know that we are stimulating our brain cells - as long as we do some Yoga, brisk walking or another form of moderate exercise along with our Facebook, twitter and other computer uses!
Learning to let go and let other people do things their way sometimes is a very important life skill to develop. Often the inflexible person does not realize how much they alienate others, including family members, by making them feel incompetent and worthless. For example, when a wife redoes the dishes her husband just washed, because she notices tiny soap bubbles on them as they were drying. Can you imagine how small the husband feels when that happens? You can't treat people like children all the time and expect there to be no consequences.
I know someone who has unfortunately made it to his 60s without realizing the impact his perfectionism has on others. His need to have everything done his way, which he believes is the only right way, makes it difficult to be around him sometimes. In my opinion, this is a sign of a sort of immaturity as a person. It's a mark of maturity and growth to let go and realize the world keeps spinning regardless of your actions.
8/29/2012 11:13:57 AM
I know I have to have the dishwasher loaded a certain way or it drives me crazy and I have to say something when somebody doesn't do it "right". So I can practice flexibility by realizing they will get clean anyway and it really itsn't that important. So I need to let it go. I think the thing with leaving dishes in the sink drives us crazy too and of course it just takes a minute to put them away so why leave them? We have to learn to be flexible on these little things to be flexible on the bigger things. We have to learn not to let it stress us to leave the dishes.
I function best with a routine. This is especially true during periods of stress. I like the idea of turning it around. Observing the times when being rigid gets in the way of truly living. is eye-opening. This has given me much to consider, and work on.
8/29/2012 7:48:05 AM
I had hoped to get some good ideas from this article and the author made some valid points BUT I don't get the connection with leaving a messy bathroom or dirty dishes in the sink with developing mental flexibility. Sounds like an excuse to be lazy and sloppy. Some of us have developed habits like making the bed before we get dressed, loading the dishwasher after a meal, etc to keep things neat & tidy in a quick & easy manner rather than letting messes build up. In my mind coming home from work to a house left messy on purpose is not going to help me with anything.
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