We’re into the second month of the year. How are you doing on your New Year’s resolutions? Around this time, many of us have fallen off the resolution wagon, but this year we’re focusing on 13 healthy habits, and looking at them one at a time, so 2013 can be your healthiest year yet. To review all 13 healthy habits, click on this link. We’ve already talked about getting enough sleep, and taking the stairs. Today’s healthy habit is one many of us say we’re going to do, but never really do: Don’t sweat the small stuff.
Do you have stress? Of course you do. Don’t we all? But do you ever wonder how much of that stress could go away if you would just let go of things that don’t really matter? You might be surprised at how much that can impact your health. When a coworker criticizes your work, you may feel resentful and start holding a grudge. Every chance you get, you want to show that person that you’re more than their opinion of you. But chances are, that person never gave their comment a second thought, and in the meantime, it’s eating you alive.
Stress can lead to high blood pressure, depression, unhealthy relationships, abuse of alcohol or drugs, anxiety, and hostility. You may feel like you’re hanging by a thread, just about to snap, like the rope in the photo above. No one needs that in their life. So why invite those things in if you don’t have to?
Holding a grudge or remaining upset about that guy who cut in front of you at Lucky Perk this morning forces you to define your life by the way you’ve been treated. So one person said or did something you didn’t like. It doesn’t make you a bad person. It doesn’t make them a bad person, either. But being angry about it prevents you from enjoying life to the fullest, and it will negatively impact your health.
When you start to get upset about little things, ask yourself, “Does this really matter? Is it really worth my time and energy to get this upset?” Chances are, it doesn’t, and it’s not. Take a deep breath and try to relax. Learning to let go of things which don’t matter will increase your understanding and compassion for others. When someone snags the parking space you were waiting for at Boise Towne Square Mall, don’t yell or honk your horn. You don’t know what their situation is. Give them the benefit of the doubt, and calmly find another space. It will only take another minute or two out of your day, and is that really such a big deal? Keep your heart and mind open to others and you’ll heal your own heart and mind as well.
Some things in life can’t be changed. Cars break down and the price of gas goes up when you’re living paycheck to paycheck. Kids get sick when you have plans. You’ll never get back that minute you wasted watching Walter make out with the super model in that Super Bowl ad. But it’s not the end of the world, so don’t stress about the things you can’t change. Focus on what you can change, like committing to regular car maintenance and saving up for a rainy day, being flexible with your plans, and, well, just changing the channel or turning off the TV when that GoDaddy ad starts. It won’t change the outcome, but you’ll feel better, and your health will improve in the long run.
Talk it up:
Do you tend to sweat the small stuff?
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