We know that worrying about the little things or things we canít actually control is not very helpful and can stop us from being positive. Despite this, we might find that it can be harder than we expect to stop worrying about these things, to stop sweating the small stuff. Itís often the little things that we get caught up in. They are often the things that take up our energy and time. It could also be that sometimes the little things might mean something more than we initially recognize.
So just how do we stop sweating the small stuff then? One good way can be to use the catastrophe scale. This scale helps us to decide how catastrophic the situation is. At one end of the scale, 10 could be disastrous Ė in this case the situation will be life changing in a negative way and will affect many aspects of our lives. At the other extreme, 1 could be minimal effect or effects that will only last a few minutes. This type of scale can really help us to gain perspective, to put things in order of priority and to get a sense of how much energy really should be exerted on the situation.
Another way of gaining perspective on a situation can be to ask the question: ďWill I still be worrying about this in 1 year, 5 years, 10 years?Ē If the situation is something that will be resolved within the day or week with no longer term effects, itís probably not worth spending a lot of time and energy on. If it is likely to have a longer term effect we might want to spend more time on it or get some help to resolve the situation earlier if we can.
Sometimes something might be bugging us despite the catastrophe scale showing us it is a situation that is not really of concern. In these cases, we might want to spend some time thinking about this some more or talking with someone about it. It could be that there is an underlying fear or it is tapping into something that has happened before that we are worried will be repeated. Exploring this can help us to respect our judgment and inner consciousness and giving voice to it can help us to feel more empowered to manage the situation.
It can also help us to distract ourselves for short periods of time when we find ourselves sweating the small stuff. Giving ourselves permission to take ourselves away from the worry for a while or do something fun or nurturing means that we can come back to the situation later with a fresh outlook and renewed energy.
Writing or journaling can also be a way to put the worry somewhere. There can be a positive response that comes from writing a worry down. The worry can lose some of its power when we bring it into the day light and place it somewhere. Once itís written down we might be able to leave it for a while and come back to it later. Having time away from it can help us gain some perspective. Even if we are still concerned the time away can give our brains and bodies a bit of a recharge.
If we find that there are many things that are stressing us and all of our strategies are not helping, it could be time for a check up. If we have some underlying physical or mental health concerns that we don't know about it can be difficult for strategies to work and we risk feeling worse as we try things that don't seem to help us.
So there are many different strategies we can use to stop sweating the small stuff that will help us to be more positive in our thinking and way of living. We can recognize that we will always have worries or things that bother us but we can place them in context so that they donít interfere with our overall positivity. That will free us up to deal with the worries we really need to deal with but also to live our lives more fully.