STRESSPersonalHow not to Sweat the Small Stuff

How not to Sweat the Small Stuff

Life’s little annoyances happen all the time. Have you noticed how you feel when they happen to you?

Most of us have had a bad encounter with something or someone trivial at some point in our lives. Maybe we knocked over our drink a moment after pouring it, couldn’t find our keys when we were running late for work, or maybe our spouse snored a bit too loudly last night. 

Some people are able to shrug off small things easily. Others are not so fortunate. If you are part of the latter, it would be wise to begin thinking about your reaction when you run into one of these irritating problems. Try to be present in the moment, think through the emotions, and ask yourself, “Why do these small things irritate me in the first place?” 

It’s important to get a handle on the feelings because small annoyances can lead to big problems if they are not kept in check. For example, you’ll probably find it is easy to get irritated with the person closest to you—whether or not they had anything to do with the problem. Nobody wants to get so frustrated that they lash out at an innocent person they care for, such as their child or spouse.

Once you confirm you are letting your everyday frustrations boil over, it’s time to ask yourself some questions:

  • Do you tend to have less patience at the same time every day?
  • Are you hungry, tired, or lacking something essential?
  • Are you procrastinating on doing something? Want to do something but feel like you don’t have the time?
  • What’s not right in your world? Is that why you are allowing yourself to get irritated with those around you?

The critical point you need to understand is that you have the ability to solve the problem if you act. Doing nothing is not an option. Take a closer look at what’s going on in your world and take responsibility for what’s making you unhappy or irritated. 

When we learn to take more responsibility for our actions (and our reactions), we learn how to communicate to get our needs met. Gradually, we will begin to not notice the things that make us irritated with our partners or will be able to find a constructive way to resolve the issue.

Still find yourself fuming when you accidentally spill a few drops of gas on your new shoes while hanging up the pump? Remember that it takes time to adapt your thoughts, so give yourself some space and grace to adjust. 

Photo by Andrew Neel

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