I admit that I have those days when I let plenty of the little things bother me to the point whereby I become less effective in my work, and far less of the kind of person that I wish to be each day. So I sought out how to stop letting the little things bother me so much and thought I’d share here.
Let’s face it: We’re all humans and are prone to a range of emotions. Each hour of every day can feel a bit like a roller coaster sometimes. These emotions may vary from happiness to sadness, from enjoyment to anxiety, and even at times that slight feeling of annoyance. This annoyance can be projected to anyone or anything and can be aimed at an object or a situation, big ones and small ones. Did that friend of yours pass by without returning your smile? Did that teacher have a slight hint of anger in her voice when she talked to you? Or is someone not giving you enough time? Did someone’s actions annoy you, or did they post a meme on social media that got you upset for some reason? These are just examples of the seemingly small things in life, which may seem trivial when written down here, but in reality, they can really bother someone, especially when they accumulate throughout a day.
And you are not alone to experience this: this happens to most of us (all of us really)! We know that we should try to engage ourselves in other things to keep our minds off of such trivial matters. But we all know that the goal of letting something go and trying not to feel bad or bothered about something can be more difficult to achieve in reality.
How Do I Stop Letting Things Bother Me?
According to AHA Journals, constant stress and annoyance over small things can be linked to a range of heart or coronary diseases. Thus it can be argued that learning to let go of small things can really save your energy and time as well as prevent you from harming your mental and physical health.
Anger and frustration are normal emotions, but it is important that you realise that certain things are just not worth getting stressed or bothered over. This does not mean that you stop worrying about everything. Sometimes it is, in fact, better to hold back the negative feelings, get rid of the upsetting thoughts and maintain a happy day.
So how exactly are you supposed to do that? I have summarised some easy tactics for you which can really help you get rid of that stressful and annoying feeling and be less bothered by the little things each day.
- See Things in a Wider Context
Every time you experience a small situation that is likely to aggravate your anger or likely to bother you, try taking a step back and try putting the unfolded events into context. Think to yourself: Does this really matter? Is it worth ruining my mental peace and stability? For example, if your internet is not working properly and is taking more than usual time to upload things. It is pretty normal for someone, in fact, everyone, to be annoyed if the internet fails to work. But try thinking to yourself: Will it stay this way forever? Is it really something very big? And is the failure to download something really bringing your life to a halt? No, it is not! In fact, the internet may begin working a couple of minutes or hours later.
You can also handle the situation by thinking of the problem’s relevance in the future. For example, things like “Will it even matter one month from now?” or even “One year from now.” If not, why bother wasting your energy or time on something so trivial. Put things into some perspective.
- Accept That You Can’t Control Everything
There is no purpose in staying angry or annoyed about things or situations you cannot control or change. Let’s take the earlier example of your internet being slow and disruptive in context here. Now you have two options here: One, you sulk about it and stay annoyed or angry the whole time it doesn’t work or two, you just accept that there is nothing much you can do about the situation except simply wait.
I’d say that the wise decision here is to go with the second option. Can you control the internet? Can you make it go any faster? No, you cannot. You can report it accordingly. Stop trying to control the uncontrollable is the key message here. It’ll drive you mad. Instead of being annoyed about it or feeling overly irritated, simply accept that and consider doing something else until things return.
- Learn to Forgive Yourself
We all can be a little hard on ourselves about the little mistakes we make in our daily routine. For example, if you are answering your teacher at the wrong time, accidentally spilling something on the carpet or dropping something on the floor, or failing in a task for whatever reason. And when we talk about these mistakes, please know that everyone goes through the same feelings on making such small mistakes. And realise that they can really take a toll on you if you constantly keep thinking about them. It will frustrate you, irritate you, and even make you feel bad about yourself.
But remember that you are human and that you can make mistakes. You are not the only one to do so, and that it is perfectly normal. You do not have to be so hard on yourself, and instead, just accept it as normal and do the right thing: Love yourself and forgive yourself because that is what is really important! Besides, people do not even remember all your mistakes anyway, and it is always better to reflect on your mistakes to avoid any future ones, rather than keep pulling yourself through the same negative emotions time and again. Express some self-compassion. Here is a great article to help with that: Develop Self-Compassion.
- Keep a Journal for Yourself
Before moving ahead, we would like to quote Anne Frank here, who herself is very well-known for her diaries and journal entries. She says in her diary that, “I can shake off everything as I write; my sorrows disappear, my courage is reborn.”
Just as she found courage and solace in writing, so can you. The moment you feel bothered about something, take out your journal and note it down. And do not hesitate! Your journal is your friend, only yours. You can write about anything at all without the fear of being judged. After you are done writing about what bothered you, you can close the book and with it close the irritating memory as well. It is time to move on!
- Breathe In
This may sound cliché, but trust us when we say that this is perhaps one of the most workable solutions when it comes to dealing with stressful and annoying situations. And this is no different. Breathing in and out can really help relieve you of your stress. There are several breathing exercises you can use to relieve yourself of your stress and annoyance. According to the University of Michigan Health, breathing exercises can really help you manage your stress. Here is an excellent article with a range of breathing exercises to help: Breathing Exercises to Enhance Well-Being.
- Distract Yourself by Thinking About Other Things
Let’s face it: There are certain things that you cannot get rid of immediately. In this situation, please sit back and, as said earlier, think of the situation that is worth stressing and getting upset over. In most cases, it most probably is not. But trying to not feeling upset cannot be very easy, especially when you do not have anything else to do. In that case, the easiest thing is to distract yourself and this time, do it simply by thinking about positive things.
While this definitely does not change your situation, it does very much change your perspective on the situation and your outlook. Think about the times you had fun with your friends, shared that joke with your siblings, laughed continuously on something embarrassing, anything that made you smile and kept your mind off of the little thing that could really irritate or annoy you. It could really keep your mind off of it.
- Fix-It If You Can
In some cases, you may be faced with a situation that you can fix immediately and thereby successfully prevent it from bothering or upsetting you, instead of simply sitting there and sulking or losing your head over. A problem or situation that seems to really bother you, we simply go and attempt to solve the issue at hand. This way, you will rid yourself of the very situation or problem from the root cause of it, and in future may not have to face such a circumstance or simply you’ll learn how to deal with it. Aside from that, it really helps save your energy and time as well.
- Laughter Is the Best Medicine!
I learnt this when ready for a short narrative, and I must admit, this tactic actually really helps. This is particularly helpful if you are constantly bothered by people making fun of you or poking you constantly over something embarrassing that you did. So, the tip here is actually pretty simple. Learn not to feel bad or bothered about it. The only way to fix this is to be one of them. Laugh at the joke too. They probably enjoy pestering you because you are bothered by it. Pretend not to be so bothered and laugh at the joke every time they try to pester you and see the difference! Read this article about The Science of Laughter.
- Patience is The Key
Whenever you find yourself in an aggravating or annoying situation that you are sure is going to get on your nerves, the best tip from our end is that you really need to be patient in some situations. The chance is that the situation you are going to be annoyed over or bothered about will not even last that long. In that case, you would definitely not want to say something or do something that you might regret later. Try not to let a small thing that will not even last that long completely ruin your entire day. Try not to ruin your day and mental peace over something so trivial. Just simply wait and let the situation pass.
- Think From the Other Person’s Perspective
Sometimes it is better to not only always thinking about yourself. Maybe you could handle the potentially aggravating situation by putting yourself in the other person’s shoes and try viewing the situation from their perspective. Sometimes the other person is just a little too overloaded with work that they unintentionally get your work done wrong.
People do not always intend to upset or irritate you intentionally. In some cases, you might not even realise this, but the other person you are dealing with can be going through very serious problems or private issues of their own, that you might not be aware of, but which might be causing their strange behaviour. In this case, it is important to realise that it is not necessarily their fault, and your uncalculated response or behaviour can damage the situation more than intended. Sometimes the wiser path is to simply forgive someone if something they did was not that big a deal or was not intentional.
Remember that not being bothered about something does not mean that you never have to be angry or express your irritation. These are basic human emotions. The main key to preventing yourself from being bothered about a small or big situation is to calculate the situation at hand, the people’s intention, and then weigh your response to the problem or the situation in view. I hope applying some of these things helps you stop letting the little things bother you.
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