Thursday, July 03, 2014

Mountains out of Mole Hills

I hope you are enjoying the long days of Summer.  I love seeing the sunset at 9:00 at night and it feeling like room temperature in the evenings.  Anyway, I felt compelled to write something that might help someone in some way.  I hope you enjoy.

"Don't sweat the little stuff." What great advice.  How do you know if it's little stuff?  First, ask yourself, "Will this be important tomorrow?"  If not, then it's probably one of countless fleeting moments in a day that does not need your stress to fix (as if stress ever fixed anything).

Getting fixated on the little stuff is very habit forming, and possibly life shortening if the negativity becomes prevalent throughout each day.  We can't really help it, though.  Our past conditioning leads us to act in certain ways that feel familiar, even when they are destructive.  Many people, who have been exposed to frustration since they were young, are subconsciously looking for the least little thing to make a big deal out of because that's what they know.

One way out of making mountains out of mole hills is to pause before reacting.  All it takes is a few seconds, which may be difficult to do at first, but that brief pause may let in just a tad bit of clarity.  If the pause is long enough to look at the situation at face value, then that's all the better.  When there's room for a question in that pause, try a few different ones to see what suits you.  It may be highly situational, but here are a few that might help.

Will this matter later? Does this even matter now?  Is it that important to get upset over?  Will reacting this way make any difference?  Does this situation even need a response?  Would it hurt to remain silent?  What if I just let it go?  What if this situation is actually for the best?  Am I over reacting? Is anyone really being hurt by this?  Am I making things worse by reacting this way?

Don't forget the old saying, "There's no sense in crying over spilled milk."  Being upset about something that's already happened can't change a thing.  But if you can pause before a reaction, you might be able to change everything.  Even if you have already reacted out of habit, you can go back to these questions after the fact to see if your reaction was disproportionate to the event.  Hindsight is 20/20 and you can learn a lot from your mis-takes that will affect how you deal with similar situations in the future.

This only works if you are open to change and willing to entertain the idea that you may be making a big deal out of nothing from time to time.  It may take a close friend or loved one to tell you that, and it may not be well received.  But if you're feeling stressed out a lot, let me be the one to tell you that you are taking things too seriously.  Don't be so hard on yourself/others.  We're all doing the best we can, and that's not going to change regardless of what you do about it.

Take it easier :)


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