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Tuesday, August 25, 2015


(c) 2015 Kimberly D Miller Sunset Over Coos Bay
You know the phrase, “Don't sweat the small stuff?” I have heard this phrase so many times over the years and had always thought it was a useless and meaningless phrase, until recently that is. It is like someone saying to you, “Well...don't feel that way anymore,” which is really a silly thing to say to someone without first educating them on how to go about it.

Logically most of us know that worrying is a useless habit, but a habit none the less. All habits can be broken and the bad habits can be replaced by good habits. We first have to know how to stop sweating the small stuff.

I recently read an article by Lindsay Holmes published in the Huffington Post entitled, “How to Stop Sweating the Small Stuff (For Good).” I found this article to be really informative and helpful and wanted to post it here in the hopes that it will help you to not worry:

We've probably all heard the phrase "don't make a mountain out of a molehill." The age-old idiom implores us to let go of the little things -- there are bigger things that are worth our energy. And it's the truth. Fretting over a small misstep isn't worth the effort it takes, whether it's being stuck in traffic, suffering from a bad hair day or showing up a few minutes late for dinner.
Despite knowing that we shouldn't sweat the small stuff, we can't help but do it anyway. So how do we kick the habit for good? 

Below are three things you should know about those everyday stressors and how to let them go.

Stressing over the little things can affect our lifespan.
A recent study out of Oregon State University found that older men who tend to obsess over little, everyday annoyances tend to live shorter lives than those who let things roll off their backs. "It’s not the number of hassles that does you in, it's the perception of them being a big deal that causes problems," Carolyn Aldwin, the director of the Center for Healthy Aging Research at OSU, said in the study. "Taking things in stride may protect you." Chronic stress -- in any capacity -- also has an adverse impact on our health. It can lead to high blood pressure, a weak immune system and insomnia.

Even the smallest slights alter our bodies.
When we experience stress, even if it's just a moment of exasperation, the cortisol levels in our bodies change. The hormone spike is minimal compared to monumental stressors (like final exams), but those little surges can add up over time, Nancy Nicolson, Ph.D., an associate professor of psychiatry and psychology at Maastricht University in the Netherlands, told Real Simple earlier this year. According to Nicolson, our cortisol levels may rise 10 to 15 percent when we agonize over something small.

The little things are a fact of life.
We're always going to have those days when we spill coffee, those moments we think our friends are ignoring us or the nights we misplace our keys. We're humans, and it's natural to make mistakes.
As Susan Krauss Whitbourne, Ph.D., a professor of psychology at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, explains, it's our reactions to these minor stressors that determine reality. "Little things going wrong can make you fell angry, sad, frustrated, or even guilty," she wrote in a Psychology Today blog. "Figure out which emotion you’re experiencing. It’s only when you know what your emotion is that you can set about changing that emotion."

Ready for the good news? Research suggests that we may be able to train ourselves to stop sweating the little things. Here are some ways to do it:
Make a comparison.
Sometimes all it takes is a little perspective. That misplaced necklace probably doesn't hold a candle to a big work presentation you faced in the past. Humans are remarkably resilient and in order to practice mental stamina, we have to view things objectively for what they are, Ryan Holiday, author of The Obstacle Is The Way, previously told HuffPost Healthy Living. The stress you experienced from that big event passed -- and this little hassle will, too.

Toss it out.
One effective way to get rid of that little stressor is by physically throwing it away. According to a study published in the journal Psychological Science, writing negative thoughts down on a piece of paper and then tossing them out could help clear your mind. There's nothing more cathartic than literally trashing what's stressing you out.

I also found another great source, but for quotes (I love quotes). These are from Richard Carlson's, Don't Sweat the Small Stuff and It's all Small Stuff. I love these quotes:

...when you let go of your expectations, when you accept life as it is, you're free.To hold on is to be serious and uptight. To let go is to lighten up.”

True happiness comes not when we get rid of all of our problems,but when we change our relationship to them, when we see our problems as a potential source of awakening, opportunities to practice, and to learn.”

Your heart, the compassionate part of you, knows that it’s impossible to feel better at the expense of someone else.”

We deny the parts of ourselves that we deem unacceptable rather than accepting the fact that we're all less than perfect.”

I’m merely talking about learning to be less bothered by the actions of people.”

When you take time, often to reflect on the miracle of life ... the gift of sight, of love and all the rest, it can help to remind you that many of the things that you think as "big stuff" are really just "small stuff" that you are turning into big stuff.”

If, however, you take a moment to observe how you actually feel immediately after you criticise someone, you'll notice that you will feel a little deflated and ashamed, almost like you're the one who has been attacked. The reason this is true is that when we criticize, it's a statement to the world and to ourselves, "I have a need to be critical." This isn't something we are usually proud to admit.”

Try to maintain the perspective that, in time, everything disintegrates and returns to its initial form.”

Many people live as if life were a dress rehearsal for some later date.”

I guess it´s safe to say that practice makes perfect. It makes sense, then, to be careful what you practice.”

As Mother Teresa reminds us, “We cannot do great things on this earth. We can only do small things with great love.”

Being heard and understood is “one of the greatest desires of the human heart.”

A low mood is not the time to analyze your life. To do so is emotional suicide. If you have a legitimate problem, it will still be there when your state of mind improves. The trick is to be grateful for our good moods and graceful in our low moods—not taking them too seriously. The next time you feel low, for whatever reason, remind yourself, “This too shall pass.” It will.”

There are two rules for living in harmony. #1) Don’t sweat the small stuff and #2) It’s all small.”

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