Both too many and too
few commitments can cause
Letting go of commitments
Overcommitment occurs when
you don't make choices among the various options competing for your attention.
The result is being less committed to everything, which is stressful and
unsatisfying. Choosing among possible commitments is difficult, but it makes
life easier, less stressful, and more meaningful.
If you knew that frequent anger might raise your risk of heart disease
significantly, would you continue to blow off steam by yelling and smashing
things during an argument or getting furious if the office email crashes during
a rushed, stressful day?
It's time for hot heads to take heed: Increasingly, the negative, irritable,
raging, and intimidating personality type worries heart researchers and doctors
alike. "You're talking about people who seem to experience high levels of anger
Letting go of a
commitment does not mean giving up. It means learning what's important to you,
recognizing that you have limits, and deciding carefully how you want to spend
your time and energy. You may have goals that are no longer as important to you
as they once were, and other goals that you neglect because you are spreading
yourself too thin.
When you want or need to let go of something,
imagine holding it in your hand. Explain to it why you are letting it go, tell
it good-bye, and blow it away. Or imagine putting it in the basket of a hot air
balloon, untying the balloon, and watching it float away.
that your life is a "work in progress." You don't have to (and probably can't)
finish every project or meet every goal in your life in the near future. If one
of your goals has a lower priority for you, accept that you can work on that
goal later in your life.
People who are under a lot of
stress are more likely to be overcommitted than undercommitted. But sometimes
stress comes from a lack of commitment. If you need more commitment in your
life, think about what is important to you. Commitments made with an awareness
of who you are and what you want can be nurturing rather than stressful-the
better you know yourself, the more rewarding the commitment.
When you are ready to commit:
Do it. Give yourself to a new commitment as fully
as you can.
Be responsible. Take your commitment seriously.
Don't back out of obligations.
Be open. Be open to new ideas and suggestions, and
be ready to learn.
Don't commit when you are not ready. You are only
adding to the issues that require your energy. When you find yourself doing
this, interrupt your thoughts and repeat to yourself a phrase that reminds you
of your plan, such as "Don't borrow trouble."
Primary Medical Reviewer
Kathleen Romito, MD - Family Medicine
Specialist Medical Reviewer
Lisa S. Weinstock, MD - Psychiatry
April 20, 2011
WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise
April 20, 2011
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor.
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