Both too many and too few commitments can cause stress.
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.
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.
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:
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|
|Last Revised||April 20, 2011|