Simple (but effective) ways to focus on the good.
But the absolute worst thing you can ever say to someone who is bothered or offended by something is, "But it's no big deal!"
Saying that dismisses their feelings.
And, whether you agree with it or not, you should NEVER (repeat — never!) tell someone that what they feel is wrong!
Because we all fall victim to worrying about the little things, sometimes.
Part of being truly happy is being able to stop worrying about things that don't have a big impact in our lives.
To not "sweat the small stuff", as the saying goes.
The question is how?
How do you become the person who doesn't let the little things get you down?
This is exactly what the Senior VP of YourTango Experts, Melanie Gorman, asked a group of Experts.
The responses from some big-name Experts — Chris Shea, Sharon Davis, Nancy Dreyfus and Stan Tatkin — offer practical suggestions on how you can finally achieve happiness, and let go of the unimportant things in life.
Turns out, it takes practice.
Here are two things you can try, when you get bogged down by the little things:
1. Stop focusing on what is bothering you.
If someone recovering from addiction calls their sponsor when they have a craving, their sponsor will likely change topics and ask something like "did you catch the game last night?" and then proceed to talk about said game.
The same is true here — find something else to distract yourself with.
Watch an episode of a tv show that you like or color out your stress in an adult coloring book (yes, it really does help!).
Music can be an especially big helper!
2. Break the cycle.
You need to interrupt the obsessive cycle.
There is a part of a brain that loops, and if that loop gets stuck on that little thing you're worried about, you'll ruminate on it until you are able to interrupt it.
So try this:
Sit with your partner and focus on their eyes. Yes, literally stare into their eyes.
By doing so, you help to turn off the looping part of your break and, if you do it long enough (about 10-15 minutes), you can actually break the loop!
The most important thing to remember is to never hurt someone's feelings by minimizing what feels BIG to them.
It may seem ridiculous to you but to them, it's very real!
Sure, you can try to put things into perspective for them, but be sure to honor how they feel.
Feeling invalidated will only force the other person to raise their defenses and will lead to fighting.
And when you're the one sweating the small stuff, try to step out your worry cycle and move on to something else.
Eventually, yes, you will have to go back to figure out what was really bothering you and address it — but it'll be easier to do that with a calm and cool head.
Just remember to take a deep breath, and don't let anything stop you on your quest for happiness.