Life has a way of driving us all crazy. We juggle multiple priorities and find ourselves stressed when little things don’t go our way. Have you ever had something minute happen? Not getting the grade you wanted on a test or being late are some examples. Then became disproportionately upset or unhappy because of it. Ease your mind.
If you have, you’re not alone. Most people, especially in the West struggle with this. Richard Carlson calls it sweating the small stuff. What he means is we fail to put small things into perspective. We complain about traffic we don’t appreciate that we’re well fed, healthy, safe and capable of being happy. These may not always be true, but you can agree that they usually are.
These are my favourite tips from the book. If you can find a copy there are loads more tips inside. I highly recommend it.
Ask yourself “Will this matter a year from now?”
I’ve found 99% of the things I’m stressed about seem silly when looked at from this perspective. Because things rarely end up mattering. And it brings a ton of ease to my mind acknowledging that and moving on.
Allow yourself to be bored
This is a huge one. I’m constantly pushing myself to be productive. I start to get stressed when I stop “accomplishing” things. We open ourselves up when we let ourselves become bored. Open to spontaneity, to novel thoughts that bubble up from our subconscious and to the people around us.
Imaging yourself at your funeral
This isn’t as morbid as it seems. He’s not saying picture the flowers on your coffin. His question is if you were to die today would you be satisfied with your current actions. If not find ease of mind by transitioning to a new life path. Find a new current to sail and escape whatever you find yourself dreading. Or thinking “I wouldn’t be happy about this if I were to die today.” This tip is also helpful for ethical questions.
Imagine the people around you as infants or 100 years old
This is really helpful when its the people around you that are giving you stress. By imaging them in situations like this, we tend to feel compassion and understanding towards them. Try it. I promise you you’ll find some ease of mind from it.
If you found this article useful, share it with your circle and comment some ways these tips helped you, or how you applied them to your life.