7 Tiny Ways To Stop Being So Uptight (So Life Is Less Miserable)

Being uptight often makes life harder than it has to be.

Man rubbing his neck, stop being uptight Syda Productions | Canva

Hey Malcolm, buddy, "Stop taking life so seriously!"  Malcolm winced as he stared into his coffee. He knew Daphne had a point. He had to pinch himself because he’d forgotten again. He’d been taking life so seriously all week and had been walking around town like there was something firmly lodged up his backside. He’d struggled to be productive at work, and now he was falling behind. I agree with Daphne. Being uptight reduces your effectiveness. It can make life miserable.


Here are 7 ways to stop being so uptight so life is less miserable:

1. Use struggle to your advantage

Fussing and fighting aren’t the only ways to deal with life’s struggles. Option B asks: How can I use this struggle? Now you’re in creativity territory — the realm of the wise and God-like. Stop believing the hype that a little pain is all bad. 

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2. Write out all your pet peeves

Getting the concerns out of your swirling mind is cathartic. It separates you from your doubts. We get overwhelmed when we fail to see the separation between our worries and ourselves. We take things personally. The way out is to express it. Write it all down. Something will shift in you. You will begin to see and think logically again.


woman writing PeopleImages.com - Yuri A / Shutterstock

3. Find the humor

Become a world-class true detective … with you as the subject. Become great at observing when you’re taking things too seriously. Your brow is furrowed. Life is too short for this. Yes, stuff happens. Tragedies happen. But here’s the real, true deal: you are 100 times less effective when you’re gripped by too much seriousness.

We get it — life can be really bad. But if you let it influence your joy, you lose. Find the humor in things where it’s appropriate


RELATED: How To Find Laughter & Humor In Every Situation

4. Work through your shame

Many of us carry shame like an overloaded backpack on life’s long hike. It makes us uptight and weird. That thing we did in our youth still informs our current behaviors. That’s some grade-A silly. How to work through your shame? Question your beliefs and find the thing you think you believe about yourself that you deep down know isn't true. Like, ‘I’m just not a very funny person.’ Question it. Find four examples of things that disprove it. Shame will diminish when your beliefs change.

5. Exercise daily

his one seems so obvious, but it makes all the difference. When we sit all day, we can’t be surprised if we feel frustrated. This isn’t something you do once and then forget. Movement is for life. Daily exercise stills the mind and lifts the spirits. We’re the same humans essentially that roamed the Earth 150,000 years ago. They weren’t cooped up. We were born to move and walk, so get going. 

RELATED: 3 Simple Strategies For Adding Exercise To Your Daily Routine


6. Transcend personality

We’re multifaceted beings with many personalities. The only reason it might seem like you have one stubborn personality is that you’re trapped by your thoughts. You can be funny. You can be loud and crazy. You can be diligent and calm. Stop Harry Houdini-ing yourself into one personality. You’re free. T

7. Maniacally create

If you feel stuck, it’s often your inner dragon’s attempt to tell you it’s time to stir life into that soulless corpse of yours. You can do this through creative expression. The emphasis here is on movement and not holding back. When we fear mistake-making, that’s when the game’s up. You must create an environment that rewards stepping into uncertainty. Paint more. Write more. Focus on disgusting amounts of stuff. Relax. When a beefy dude at the beach says, "Just relax, man — take it easy dude," he’s talking pure sense. It’s underrated. You have the power to destress when you physically relax. Slow your breathing. Talk slower. Let go a little. Your thoughts will then follow. Now you’re thinking clearly.

RELATED: 10 Easy Ways To Completely Chill Out (When You Feel Overextended)


Alex Mathers is a writer and coach who helps you build a money-making personal brand with your knowledge and skills while staying mentally resilient.