... and it's all small stuff.
Simple ways to keep the little things from taking over your life.
A great little book with tons of great advice for de-stressing your life, "Don't Sweat the Small Stuff..." was written by Richard Carlson, PH.D. Here are some excerpts:
"The greatest discovery of my generation is that a human being can alter his life by altering his attitude." - William James
When we are immobilized by little things - when we are irritated, annoyed, and easily bothered - our (over-) reactions not only make us frustrated but actually get in the way of getting what we want...Because everything seem like such a big deal, we end up spending our lives dealing with one drama after another.
We fail to recognize that the way we relate to our problems has a lot to do with how quickly and efficiently we solve them.
Happily, there is another way to relate to life - a softer, more graceful path that makes life seem easier and the people in it more compatible...replacing old habits of "reaction" with new habits of prespective.
When you "don't sweat the small stuff," your life won't be perfect, but you will learn to accept what life has to offer with far less resistance.
We often allow ourselves to...focus on little problems and concerns and blow them way out of proportion...[and] completely lose touch with the magic and beauty of life.
I've yet to meet an absolute perfectionist whose life was filled with inner peace. The need for perfection and the desire for inner tranquility conflict with each other...When we are zeroed in on what's wrong, it implies that we are dissatisfied, discontent.
This strategy has nothing to do with ceasing to do your very best but with being overly attached and focused on what's wrong with life. It's about realizing that while there's always a better way to do something, this doesn't mean that you can't enjoy and appreciate the way things already are.
Begin to discover the perfection in life itself.
When you have what you want (inner peace), you are less distracted by your wants, needs ,desires, and concerns. It's thus easier to concentrate, focus, achieve your goals, and to give back to others.
Filling your head with thoughts of how overwhelmed you are only exacerbates the problem by making you feel even more stressed than you already do.
"We cannot do great things on this earth. We can only do small things with great love." - Mother Teresa
Many of the things you think of as "big stuff" are really just "small stuff" that you are turning into big stuff.
Nothing is more important than your own sense of happiness and inner peace and that of your loved ones. If you're obsessed with getting everything done, you'll never have a sense of well-being!
The purpose of life isn't to get it all done but to enjoy each step along the way and live a life filled with love.
While acts of kindness are inherently wonderful, there is something even more magical about doing something thoughtful but mentioning it to no one, ever.
To a large degree, the measure of our peace of mind is determined by how much we are able to live in the present moment.
"Life is what's happening while we're busy making other plans." - John Lennon
"I have been through some terrible things in my life, some of which actually happened." - Mark Twain
Your job is to try to determine what the people in your life are trying to teach you. You'll find that if you do this, you'll be far less annoyed, bothered, and frustrated by the actions and imperfections of other people.
Ask yourself..."Do I want to be 'right' - or do I want to be happy?"
Being listened to and heard is one of the greatest desires of the human heart. And those who learn to listen are the most loved and respected.
The more patient you are, the more accepting you will be of what is, rather than insisting that life be exactly as you would like it to be. Without patience, life is extremely frustrating. You are easily annoyed, bothered, and irritated. Patience adds a dimension of ease and acceptance to your life. It's essential for inner peace.
If you look deeply enough, you can almost always see the innocence in other people as well as in potentially frustrating situations.
My present challenge isn't "life or death" but simply a minor obstacle that must be dealt with.
Whenever we hold on to our anger, we turn "small stuff" into really "big stuff" in our minds. We start to believe that our positions are more important than our happiness. They are not. If you want to be a more peaceful person you must understand that being right is almostnever more important than allowing yourself to be happy.
One of the nice things about surrendering to the fact that life isn't fair is that it keeps us from feeling sorry for ourselves by encouraging us to do the very best we can with what we have.
Our current level of stress will be exactly that of our tolerance to stress.
When you're feeling out of control and resentful of all that you have to do, rather than roll up your sleeves and "get to it," a better strategy is to relax, take a few deep breaths, and go for a short walk...When your mind is clear and peaceful and your stress level is reduced, you'll be more effective and you'll have more fun.
The first step in becoming a more peaceful person is to have the humility to admit that, in most cases, you're creating your own emergencies.
Gratitude and inner peace go hand in hand. The more genuinely I feel for the gift of my life, the more peaceful I feel.
If you wake up in the morning with gratitude on your mind, it's pretty difficult, in fact almost impossible, to feel anything but peace.
There is virtually always a parallel between our attitude toward strangers and our overall level of happiness.
When you see how similar we all are, you begin to see the innocence in all of us.
I can't think of a single person whom I would consider to be inwardly peaceful who doesn't carve out at least a little quiet time, virtually every day.
Become more interested in understanding others and less in having other people understand you...When you understand where people are coming from, what they are trying to say, what's important to them, and so forth, being understood flows naturally; it falls into place with virtually no effort.
Slowing down your responses and becoming a better listener aids in in becoming a more peaceful person...Not only will becoming a better listener make you a more patient person, it will also enhance the quality of your relationships. Everyone loves to talk to someone who truly listens to what they are saying.
There are always going to be people who disagree with you, people who do things differently, and things that don't work out. If you fight against this principle of life, you'll spend most of your life fighting battles.
If your primary goal isn't to have everything work out perfectly but instead to live a relatively stress-free life, you'll find that most battles pull you away from your most tranquil feelings.
For more excerpts, see:
Excerpts from "Don't Sweat the Small Stuff", Part 2
Excerpts from "Dont Sweat the Small Stuff", Part 3