Women at Work: Don’t let the little things get you down

January 21, 2019

Picture this: On Monday morning (or any morning for that matter), your alarm sounds, you leap right out of bed not bothering to hit snooze multiple times, enjoy your shower, eat a great breakfast, pack your lunch, jump in your car and head to work, all the while smiling. Your day is smooth sailing and your mood is untouchable.

Then, all of a sudden, something small and of no consequence happens that just bothers the crap out of you. Screech go the brakes to your wonderful day, and you are not sure why.

Every now and then, we let little things bother us. Why is that? What sets us off? Is it an empty coffee pot that no one bothered to rebrew? Is it a meeting that starts 15 minutes late? Is it an annoying email from a co-worker asking where to find a ream of paper? Or did you get a little behind in your schedule while waiting for your bagel or coffee to be made?

Even though you might be a pretty optimistic person, sometimes we let the little things bug us when they really shouldn’t. Learning to let go of little, bothersome issues may take practice, but it is practice worth doing.

Taken from the Simply + Fiercely blog, here are Four Ways to Stop Letting the Little Things Bother You:

1 Resist the Urge to Complain

Does getting things “off your chest” really help? The more you talk and complain about something small, the more attention gets drawn to it, therefore turning a molehill into a mountain. This is a tough habit to break. Sitting around and complaining over and over is a mindless habit. If you find yourself complaining, silently call yourself out and stop. Simply stop.

2 Look at the Little Picture

Are you reading too much into a small thing? Are you run down? Tired? Maybe even hungry? If you aren’t feeling 100 percent, it is easy to misinterpret the intent behind other people’s comments or actions, even if minute. You cannot control how other people behave or what happens to you, but you can control how you react. As my grandma used to say, “Life ain’t always fair,” so yes, sometimes we need to deal with what we feel is unfair or bothersome. When you feel yourself getting upset, pause for a moment and reframe yourself.

3 Choose Compassion and Focus on Humanity

If you find yourself getting upset with someone, anyone from a loved one to a co-worker you barely know, use compassion to fight off your feelings of annoyance. Remember, they are human, too. It is easy to get annoyed, but it is not a good feeling inside. You may, or may not, have a good reason to be upset with someone, but practice letting go and humanizing the person who has upset you.

4 Let Go of Expectations

In the beginning of this column, I describe a seemingly perfect start to a perfect day. You have imagined how your day will play out in all its glory, and it all sounds wonderful, and then boom – something small makes it all come crumbling down. Do not write the rest of your day off as a “bad day” just because you had high hopes. Often your expectations cloud the reality of the situation.

Shifting your mindset and practicing how to let go of the little things will show you how productive and enjoyable your days can truly be. Remember, practice makes perfect.

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