Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff

I have a problem. I have a tendency to worry about things. Sometimes it is big things, and sometimes it’s not. However, either way, I know it can get me in trouble. This is a lesson that I always constantly have to remind myself of.

Recently, this lesson manifested itself to me in a big way. It’s not my story to tell, and if you want to know, feel free to contact me directly. But something happened this last week that really just hit me in the face with it.

I need to tell you something before I continue, so you don’t think I’m a hypocrite or anything. I’m emotional. When I experience too much at once, I break down and cry. Sometimes it’s the straw that breaks the camel’s back. It could be the smallest thing that sets me over the edge. However, with me, it’s hardly ever just one thing that upsets me.

I’ve gotten better at letting things slide off my back as I’ve gotten older and matured. However, things still get to me. I can’t pretend they don’t. So in all reality, this is a reminder to myself more than intended for an audience.

I know I need to let more things go. I get annoyed somewhat easily, and I’m usually set on edge. I have a few ways to let things out of my system (including crying as mentioned earlier) but sometimes it’s not the best way for me to do that. I’m finding other, more productive, ways for me to let out the stress that gets to me. For me, I’ve found that physical activity (exercise, cleaning, etc.) helps some too.

It’s not easy for me (and I’m sure there are a number of people who agree with me as well). But I’m still learning and still working. There is always something that I need to improve. Honestly, this is one of them. Again, I have gotten better at it. Things do still affect me and I don’t always handle it the best. I am so far from perfect.

I do have a tendency to sweat the small stuff. I don’t mean to, but I do. I let too much get to me, and it stresses me out. I know I need to work on it, and I’m trying. I still get overwhelmed, but it usually isn’t as bad as it used to be.

I know I’m not alone in saying that I struggle with things like this. Learning to let things roll off your back and understanding what’s worth affecting you is simply a part of life. It’s a learning process. I can’t pretend to have all the answers because guess what? I don’t even come close. Nevertheless, I’m learning and working on it, especially with letting things get to me.

The thing is, bottling stuff up, even small stuff, isn’t always the healthiest option. On the other hand, getting angry over the smallest thing isn’t the healthiest either. I’ve seen it both ways. And I’m not just talking mental health. Stress affects the body as well. One of my favorite lines from one of my favorite movies (Anastasia) says, “Stress. It’s a killer.” And it really is. Stress affects your physical health as much, if not more than your mental health.

You (and me) have to learn what is worth your attention and what is not. No one can control everything in life. Things aren’t gonna go as planned. I know that firsthand. Honestly, Ball State was not my first college choice, but I visited there and loved it and now I go there (it’s pretty great). So it wasn’t my first choice, but it turned out better than I had hoped. Such is life. We can’t control everything that happens, but we can control how we react to these situations. It’s up to you to decide what is worth your time and reaction. If it’s not worth it, then don’t concern yourself with it.

I know I have a super busy week this week before I head back up to campus, and honestly, it’s stressing me out a little bit. However, I have a list and a pretty specific agenda, and I’m working on getting everything done that I need to. In this case, stress is acceptable. It motivates me to get stuff done and not be lazy. I do my best to deal with it and only let it affect me positively. But I know it’s a precarious situation. If I let it control me too much, I will be too overwhelmed to get anything done. But if I ignore it, I won’t get anything done until the last minute, and that’s no better. That would stress me out more. So I work hard to do what I need, but I also make sure I relax enough to not be overwhelmed.

Life is a balance. You need to let yourself be motivated to strive for greatness, but you also need to take time for yourself. Your mental health is equally as important as your physical health. Learn to let things go, and accept what you can’t change. Some things are too small or too big to worry about. Find your balance. It’s different for everyone. Do what you can, and don’t sweat the small stuff.

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