One of life’s scariest truths is that there are many more aspects of life that you have no control over than areas where you do. Once you accept that you can’t stop bad things 100% of the time, there’s a great feeling of freedom to be found in it.
If you’re the type who lets bad events (big or small) bother you and ruin your day, we’re happy to present you with the following seven tips to help you “let it go.”
Here are 7 ways to stop letting bad things bother you:
1. “Do I have control over this?”
The famous Serenity Prayer asks for the “wisdom to know the difference” between what you can and cannot change.
This is easier said than done. It requires near-constant assessment of the events in your life. While you can’t control what someone says to you, you can control what you say to them. You cannot change the weather patterns in your region, but you can definitely buy a high-quality umbrella and a rain jacket.
You really only control your own behavior and reactions. If you allow events bother you too much, give thought to which aspects of the situation you can control, and what you can change.
2. Pinpoint Your Fears.
You understandably have fears about negative things happening in your life – particularly if you have children and other close family members. The fears hardly end there, though.
It’s important to think about your fears and think about what your strategy will be in the “worst case scenario.” This will give you a feeling of power that you can remain in control, and not suffer from the “whims of fate.”
3. Develop a Stress-Management Plan.
Bad things are going to happen. When they do, it’s important to continue taking care of yourself and your health – both physical and mental.
Effective stress-management programs need to be tailor-made. Some people read books, meditate, or exercise to relieve stress. Maybe some of these strategies will work for you, but they likely won’t all provide the same stress-relieving effects.
A stress-management plan should steer you away from unhealthy coping strategies like drinking, smoking, or other unhealthy “self-medication.”
4. Change How You Talk to Yourself.
Trying to cope with bad things is stressful; it’s even more stressful if you’re beating yourself up about things, or endlessly ruminating over events that have already taken place.
There’s a world of difference between developing a plan to solve the bad things in your life and merely over-thinking a problem. The primary differences are:
- Thinking in concrete, actionable terms Vs. stressing out and repeating things over and over in your head.
- Taking an active, positive role Vs. worrying about what will “happen to you.”
Long story short: you need to talk to yourself in a positive way. This might mean developing a mantra when bad things happen – maybe something along the lines of “What parts of this can I change?” or something even simpler like, “Let it go.” Even a line like, “I can handle this,” can help you get over the bad things and stop letting them bother you.
5. Keep Your Complaints at Bay.
It’s hard not to complain when bad things happen, but your complaints don’t stop those bad things. As a matter of fact, they make sure that these problems keep playing over and over again in your mind.
You relive the feelings of a bad event when you describe it to someone, and this is especially true if you complain a lot. Resist the temptation! Simple gratitude practice is helpful for individuals who have trouble letting go of their “complaining nature.”
6. Try to Be More Compassionate.
It’s easy to get annoyed trying to cope with bad things. While it’s more difficult to express compassion and love, it’s well-worth the effort.
When something bad happens to you as the result of someone else’s mistake, try forgiving them right away. No complaints, no anger, just compassion: give them the benefit of the doubt. It’s surprisingly powerful!
7. Change Expectations.
Many people have high expectations of life. It’s good to be optimistic, but over-optimistic people often feel let-down and put-out when things go wrong. Developing realistic expectations of yourself and others is one of the healthiest habits you can develop in your life. Think about your expectations every day, and consider how they might be unrealistic – then adjust them as you see fit.
These strategies are a good start for anyone who wants to start letting things go. It’s an uphill battle, but consider these tips your “walking sticks.”
Let us know if you have any questions, or if you find success from these methods – we love to hear from our readers.