How to Not Let Things Bother You

When you’re stuck in 5:00 pm traffic after a rough day at work, have you wondered how to not let things bother you? How can you roll with the punches and come back stronger than ever?

This is how to not let things bother you:

  • Avoid dwelling on the negative to the point of forgetting the positive
  • Think about the big picture
  • Remember that you have a purpose in life
  • Forgive yourself and others
  • Adapt to change
  • Regulate your reactions

Basically, you’ll find, with conscious practice, that you’ll be able to apply these skills in all scenarios at home and at work to be able to avoid letting things get to you so readily.

How to not let things bother you at home

Your home is a refuge and safe spot for you, your family, and all else who enter it.

So, what do you do when the serenity is compromised by a broken water heater, a child who decides to flush a toy down the toilet? Just to see what happens of course. And your spouse forgets to stop at the store for that pack of chicken that you were going to cook for dinner?

First off, focus on controlling your response to the circumstances, step back for a moment, and breathe deeply. The best approach is to assess any catastrophic situation as opposed to simply reacting. Also, give yourself full permission to ask for help.

For instance, instead of your spouse making the market run, you can seize the opportunity to get away from the calamity and regroup. Or you can handle the toilet situation while your spouse calls the plumber. The point is to slow down, ask for help, and look at options for solutions.

When you recognize that are many ways to deal with this situation, you’ll find it easier to stay calm, and even find the humor in the situation. The severity of the crisis tends to diminish as you gain control of how to not let things bother you.

How to not let things bother you when work gets stressful

In the workplace, you can place things in perspective by looking at the big picture in a similar manner as you would at home.

For example, you’re collaborating with the team at work on an important project, and there’s always the one or two members who don’t quite perform up to snuff.

Rather than dwell on the question of “Why do I always have to do all the work,” you can focus on the goal and purpose of the job at hand.

 Furthermore, you can only control your own choices and not those of your colleagues. Plus, in the end, someone (usually your supervisor) will notice when other team members aren’t pulling their own weight

So, you’ll be better off letting it go for the time being and simply focusing on your talents and abilities that render you capable of excelling in your career.

Focusing on the copious blessings and not the small stuff

When redirecting your attention to the positive aspects of your life, you can look at different people and situations through the lens of gratitude.

Take that annoying habit that your spouse or significant other has. Maybe this person throws socks on the floor instead of the hamper. Perhaps he or she leaves the cap off the toothpaste.

Whatever the case may be, you can dwell on the habit to the point where you’ve convinced yourself that your significant other has little consideration for your feelings and that’s why you’re always the one to pick up the dirty laundry.

Or you’re just fed up with wasted toothpaste. (Long story, but it’s been known to happen.)

For one thing, you can lovingly ask your partner to please change those habits. This is where the statements that start with “I feel … when you…” might be useful because you wouldn’t want to come off as confrontational.

Also, you can simply ignore the habits.

When you look at your relationships, you can focus on the wonderful and beautiful qualities that draw you to that person’s company.

Furthermore, you’ll find more joy when you pay attention to the positive qualities and the “little” things that this person does for you and what you contribute to the relationship.

In turn, this perspective spills over into other areas of your life—from that dreaded task that you always seem to get stuck with to the previously mentioned rush hour traffic after work.

You’ll find that being grateful for the job that supports you and your family and the drive that allows for some car karaoke changes your attitude on life’s little annoyances.

Tips to repel rumination

Rumination probably reflects the extreme version of minor irritation with a person or incident. At this point, you’ve been stewing over the problem most of the day. You’ve developed a headache or even gut issues over…whatever it was that bugged you to begin with.

This situation can be avoided quite easily, believe it or not. After all, you need to stay in the Reflection Zone where you process your feelings freely and not crawl into the Ruin of Rumination.

If you’ve ever wondered how to not let things bother you to the point of rumination, take a look at the following hints:

  • Set an alarm that will tell you when to quit complaining about the issue
  • Journal about some possible solutions to switch your brain from the mindset of “worst day ever” to “fix-it” mode
  • Forgive whoever angered you because you don’t know what exactly was occurring in their world when the incident happened
  • Set some boundaries to protect yourself in the future

By consistently following these tips, you’ll find yourself better able to productively create solutions to problems, increase your resilience and coping strategies, and maintain healthy relationships by keeping a positive outlook.

Is It Really Worth It?

Choosing your battles wisely is probably the best form of self-care you can do. Most of the time, life’s occasional glitches pose no major barriers to meeting your goals or maintaining your relationships.

So, determining if something is worth engaging in conflict is an important skill to develop.

That’s not to say that you should never speak up about wrongdoing. You’re just being more selective about which issues need addressing immediately and which can be let go.

Take Some Personal Inventory

As you try to figure out how to not let things bother you, keeping mental notes or even an actual journal can come in handy.

This record of events and your reactions to them can be valuable in pinpointing any recurring cycles that need to be quashed or most importantly help you to identify any issues that need to be addressed by a professional.

We all need to recognize that various stimuli challenge our ability to stay optimistic, but what if the issue is not “all in our heads” or the result of a random trigger?

Consider the following questions:

  • Are you still in good physical health?
  • Are you getting adequate sleep every night?
  • Could you be experiencing burn-out?
  • Has something upsetting or traumatic happened recently?
  • How sustained is your energy level throughout the day?
  • Has your appetite changed dramatically?

Taking a periodic inventory of your overall wellbeing helps you to take notice of odd changes in both mind and body since the two work in close synchronization.

This is also an important reminder that it’s ok to not be “ok,” and possibly you might need some help from your family doctor or a mental health practitioner.

Some of your emotional and physical signs could point to a hormone imbalance, a need to alter your diet or exercise routine, or some other condition.

Thus, paying close attention to your mind and body is quite important for maintaining an upbeat mood and good health.

Key Take-aways

It’s important to remember that you should blow off steam while avoiding rumination. However, when you dwell too long on something that has clearly irked you, letting go of it becomes more difficult.

Instead, acknowledge your feelings without passing self-judgement. In fact, you can affirm that you will rise above whatever just happened.

Also, keep in mind that you can always journal about it later, but as the day wears on, don’t be surprised if the incident or the person’s words really don’t’ matter in the grand scheme of things.

Just like you need to maintain a calm demeanor at home and at work, you can still reflect your best version of yourself in all other relationships and situations.  And the best way to do that is to do is consistent meditation.

There are many ways this positive attitude can be attained:

  • Keep communication open and compassionate
  • Count to ten (or even 20); it really works
  • Catch yourself before giving into negativity
  • Maintain an attitude of gratitude

Before you know it, you will have learned how to not let things bother you.

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