Accepting the Small Stuff

Four Scents Team

Are the little things taking over?

It’s surprising how the little things in life can affect us in bigger ways than we’d like to admit! Little annoyances, disappointments, bad news accumulate and before we know it, we find ourselves overreacting or getting immobilised. When everything seems such a big deal, we find ourselves lurching from one drama to the next. What would it look like to respond to life with more ease? A few strategies to start us off in a more graceful, accepting direction:
Man with outstretched arms in rain to represent accepting life being unfair     

Life Isn't Fair

This might have been pointed out to us as children, but it’s still every bit as true! Recognising this can be liberating. What this does is help us to feel less sorry for ourselves, and encourage us to do the best with what’s in front of us. Pity is self-defeating, but acceptance helps us to feel compassion for ourselves and others. Conversely, it can spur us on to do what we can to work towards making our sphere of influence (and indeed beyond) a fairer place.
      Yearly planner and pen to represent looking at stressors one year on

Will This Matter One Year On?

It could be an argument with a friend, someone who cuts you up in traffic or a broken mug. When find ourselves spending energy and time feeling overwhelmed and angry in response, a good check-in question is “will this matter in a year’s time?” Once in a while, it may well do, but most of the time, it won’t. This question puts the brakes on a negative thought spiral, and gives us the opportunity to reflect on the importance of the event. This simple exercise can help to accept the situation for what it is - perhaps even give the ability to laugh at things you’ve taken too seriously!
      Close up image of lit siren to represent the concept of an emergency  

Is is an Emergency?

We’re all guilty of this one and it takes humility to admit it! It’s easy to impose self-created deadlines, and be unable to relax or enjoy life unless these “musts” are ticked off the list. And we will always have a to-do list! The problem is, we can turn simple preferences (such as a tidy home) into conditions for our own happiness. When you find yourself getting into a tailspin over an issue, be aware of this and ask yourself “is this an emergency?” Life will usually go on if things don’t go according to plan.
      Silhouette of contemplative woman looking at sunset to represent accepting the unknown

Being Comfortable with Not Knowing

As much as we’d like to know how things turn out, the truth is, we don’t. It can be a default reaction to revert to worst-case scenario, but how often does this happen? Take a moment to slow down and stay open to all possibilities. It could be a blessing in disguise, but it may not be. We have the ability to hold that tension and relax into it. Accepting that we don’t know it all, and likely all will be well eventually, gives us the chance to keep our cool in the heat of the moment.

Reference: Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff by Richard Carlson


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