Ways to stop stressing the small stuff and be a calmer person

-Aug 2, Hannah Hargrave, Mind -

Life is full of ups and downs but learning to focus on what matters and stop stressing about the small things will bring a lot more positivity to your life.

When life throws you a curveball it can be easy, and sometimes understandable, that you can’t stop worrying about the situation. But when an irritating little incident sends you off the deep end and into a tailspin of huffing and puffing, you have to think ‘is it really worth it?’

Chronic stress is bad for your body, increasing the risk of heart disease and seriously impacting your longevity, so learning to control your angst and take stock of the true magnitude of a problem is important.

Related: 5 quick ways to eliminate stress

Teaching yourself to shrug off those mundane moments and become more even-keeled takes mental commitment and some effort, but it will be worth it in the long run.

Here are some ways you can start to shift your thinking and stop stressing the small stuff.

Solve the situation

Just as you are about to leave the house for work, the cat vomits on your skirt or you spill coffee down your brand new shirt. Yes, it’s annoying and if you’re late then doubly so. But what good does it do to stand there scrubbing it off, flapping around and yelling at your pet or coffee cup? Absolutely none.

Instead solve the situation. It’s an easy fix to simply get changed. So when an unfortunate thing like this happens, immediately ask yourself: ‘How am I going to solve this?’ and then take action. 

Focus on the present

Let’s say you’ve just messed up a presentation at work and you’re feeling pretty upset about it. It’s likely you keep replaying the event over and over again in your head and it’s making you panic. But worrying about what your boss is going to do and if your colleagues will laugh at you is now out of your control. Focus on the present and that real moment and work on squashing that horrible feeling with deep breathing or even five-minutes of meditation

Related: How to meditate (when you’re not the kind of person)

Kill with kindness

When you’re faced with confrontation or rudeness over a minor matter it can be easy to launch into a pulse raising tirade of negativity. But at the end of the day it does nobody any good to unleash the inner devil. Try a different approach. Laugh off the situation and make a conscious effort to speak in kind, calm and pleasant tones. It may be difficult but it’s likely the person you are speaking to will reply in the same manner and even if they don’t you can be rewarded with the knowledge that you haven’t walked away from the situation worked up. 

Find the positive

Optimists are better able to bounce back from difficult situations and have been shown to be more resilient too. It’s not realistic to think you can just go from being a glass half empty to a glass half full kind of person overnight but you can learn to be more positive over time.

Related: How to think positively when life seems full of negativity

As you get to grips with the journey towards optimism practice finding the positive in every situation no matter how hard that might be.

It will shift your mindset and help you focus on something other than the annoyance in front of your very eyes.

Think of the big picture

At that moment when you think everything is going south try taking a second to think of the big picture. Is what has just happened life changing? Think of something far worse for a minute and it might help you gain a little perspective and calm down.

If you struggle with anxiety and stress you might find it helpful to read the advice Dr. Rangan Chatterjee has for reducing stress and discover the secret to instant inner calm and happiness.

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