A challenge you face daily is to stop allowing little things to bother you. You may have heard you should not sweat the small stuff.
Why then, is it difficult not to get affected by things that aren’t important?
Things That Can Happen If You Allow Little Things to Bother You
You may not realise how much little things can affect you, if you allow them to. These include:
- Overthinking things, which will use more mental energy.
- Feeling extra stress, which is often self-created.
- Beating yourself up for something you did or did not do.
- Not enjoying the present moment.
- Worrying about things out of your control.
When you let something small affect you, it’s a sign your expectations are not being met because you want things to be a certain way.
You can train yourself to stop allowing little things to bother you and remain in a healthy frame of mind.
I remember having a reaction to a not-so-positive review for one of my books on Amazon. My immediate reaction was feeling annoyed and as I thought more about it, I felt more and more agitated. I questioned why someone would leave such a review and wondered if the person had read the whole book.
The more I thought about it, the more I was making it to be about me. The truth was, the review was the person’s experience or perspective of my book. I didn’t have to accept or reject their review.
Once I recognised I was causing my emotions based on what I was thinking, I could let go of the thoughts that were unhealthy. I also used the review as an opportunity to improve the quality of my work.
5 Things You Can Do to Stop Allowing Little Things to Bother You
You don’t have to let things get to you. Here are five things you can do to stop allowing little things to bother you so you can give your attention and energy to what’s important.
- Sit with your uncomfortable thoughts or emotions. You may have the urge to react or get rid of what you are feeling. That will not allow you to get to the root cause of what is going on for you. If you can always getting triggered, you have to find out what is causing you to react the way you do.
- Ask yourself better questions. When you experience a problem, it means you are asking poor questions. Changing the questions you ask will change your focus. A question you can ask is, “Will what I am experiencing now matter in a month or in a year?”
- Focus on the big picture. You have too many important things happening in your life to give attention to things that don’t matter. You have to learn to put things in perspective. If something is bothering you, use it as a trigger to refocus on what you want and what you would rather experience.
- Practice forgiveness. Most times, it will be another person’s actions that will trigger something within you. As behaviours are mostly unconscious, people may not recognise what they are saying or doing is affecting others. If you can practice forgiveness, you will feel a lot better. When you forgive another person, you are doing it for yourself than for them.
- Have a grounding mantra. There was a Seinfeld episode, where whenever George’s father felt anxiety or stress, he would yell out, “Serenity now!” Having a mantra you say either to yourself or out loud, is another way to refocus on what matters most to you. One I like to use is, “Thank you for the opportunity to learn.”
If you are bothered by things frequently, it’s often a symptom of a bigger issue that you need to explore and resolve. Getting triggered once in a while is manageable and can be replaced with a more empowering habit.
If you continue to allow little things to bother you, you will take away your ability to enjoy the present moment and experience happiness.
The ability to stop allowing little things to bother you is an ongoing practice that can make a big difference to your daily experiences. Decide not to let little things affect you anymore.
Action Step: Think about the last time you were triggered by something small. Reflect on what you think caused you to experience what you did. Make a note of how you will respond differently next time you have a similar experience.
Question: What are other things you can do to stop allowing little things to bother you?