Do you find yourself freaking out over the smallest things? Does your anxious mind often let you get triggered by everything which then spirals in to a crappy day? Anxiety has a way of making you believe that every little bad thing that happens is the worst thing that can happen to you like: spilt coffee, running late, mouth noises from your significant other as he eats (LOL I cannot stand mouth noises, anyone else or am I just crazy?), staining your clothes on the way to work, someone showing up late, a rude McDonalds server, a rude driver, attitude being thrown at you by your kids or husband/wife, I mean the list can go on and on. The biggest thing you need to know to help cool yourself down is that it is inevitable. Everyday it can happen that you are minding your business and the rudest driver will cut you off and cuss you out on the highway, or you spill a drink on yourself as you are getting ready for work which leads into a domino effect of you now showing up late for work. SHIT HAPPENS.
So how do you stop sweating the small stuff to live a less stressed life?
It is a choice. Every. Single. Day. To move past the stupid crap that happens to you. You can sweat the small stuff but I have learned that it only causes me to be highly stressed the rest of the day and at that point you start to feed your anxiety. The moment we feed our anxiety our mind becomes a dark hole because we speak negatively to ourselves, we are a nasty person to everyone including our loved ones, and we are so anxious that we worry and ponder how we could have reacted better or how we could have avoided the dumb thing that triggered us originally.
Here are a few tips + tricks to remember the next time you are triggered by something small.
1. Start your day with gratitude + being mindful
- Write down or say out loud 3 things you are grateful for and try doing a 10-20 minute yoga session. Lately Rob and I have been incorporating yoga into our week and it has truly helped me focus my mind on positivity and how strong my body is. Being mindful is as simple as being AWARE of your state of mind and emotions.
2. Be aware of what triggers you
- Understand what triggers you and share that with your loved ones so they also know what is setting you off. Communication is key in every relationship including the one with yourself.
3. Focus on the good parts of your day
- When you take a moment to focus on all the good things that have happened in your day, it takes your mind off the ONE SMALL THING that is triggering your anger, frustration, and anxiety. Do not let the small stuff ruin a whole day because that is time you will never get back.
4. PAuse. analyze. react or don’t react
- Stop in your tracks before you react based of your emotions, take a moment to look at the thing that is upsetting you (it is probably is not worth your attention), react or do not react. Try to react positively and underreact.
5. Alternate-nostril breathing
- This is my favorite breathing technique. Go to a quite place or a place you can have a moment to yourself. Here is how you do the alternate-nostril breathing technique.
- Lift your right hand up toward your nose.
- Exhale completely and then use your right thumb to close your right nostril.
- Inhale through your left nostril and then close the left nostril with your fingers.
- Open the right nostril and exhale through this side.
- Inhale through the right nostril and then close this nostril.
- Open the left nostril and exhale through the left side.
- This is one cycle.
- Continue for as long as you may need to reduce your stress and anxiety.
- This technique has helped me reduce my stress, anxiety, and showed me how to be present in the moment. There is more information here.
6. here are a few extra tips + Tricks
- Be optimistic, try to problem solve every issue that may arise from the thing that triggers you, do not bottle in your emotions, try to understand that not everything that happens to you is personal (like the rude barista at a coffee shop), do not judge yourself for feeling the way you feel – be kind to your mind, and do not focus or harbor on the thing that triggered you.