How often have you found yourself getting agitated over things that turn absolutely insignificant a couple of hours later? Well, it happens with me for sure. Though at a significantly lower frequency now.
Let’s say you are having a tough day at work because a colleague said something mean, Someone at the grocery store was mean to you or an argument with your Uber/Rickshaw driver. What happens at this time? You experience rage, upset, hurt, worthlessness & more.
Sometimes, these thoughts are hard to let go. We think about them for hours. We project these negative thoughts on to others around us, lose appetite, and ruin our sleep. But, a few hours or days later, we realize that it really wasn’t worth all the heartburn.
What should we do from spending so much energies on things that don’t actually matter? What do we do to invest that energy on things that actually matter?
While a million books have been written on the subject, I wanted to share my way of dealing with such situations. Here they are:
#1: Will this matter a few years from now?
It’s important therefore to firstly know what really matters to you. Make a list of things that you would like to have lets say, 10/20 years from now. It could be health, family, career, money etc. Now, match it to the event and ask if it will have any consequence on these long term aspirations.
In most scenarios ,the answer will be no. Forget a few years, it may not even matter the next day.
Let go. If it doesn’t matter, it shouldn’t stay.
Its impossible to not experience human emotions of anger/hurt (unless you have attained advanced levels of zen, in which case this blog is irrelevant :p). What is important is not to hold on to the emotion for too long. Instead, divert your mind towards your long term focus.
Each time something transient distracts you; reward yourself by adding a step towards life goals. Try it.
The Big Picture- View from the top
I wanted to share this picture with you. It’s taken from top of the Empire State building in New York. Looking down from a point like this, one suddenly realises how big & beautiful this world is. We know so little, confined in our own beliefs. Once in a while, step back to look at the big picture.
(Have a similar picture & story? Please do share)
#2: Everything changes. What can I change right now?
The best and worst of times change. Emotions change, people change, world changes.
No matter how negative the situation might look, you know that its going to change. Friends that mattered in school may or may not be around right now. Your first love that felt like your soul mate might look like a terrible choice in retrospect. You might have gathered strength from losing a dear one. An illness may have given you more courage.
If everything changes then it’s just a matter of time. You will not be in an unhappy job forever. Learn new skills, meet new people, and find new opportunities. Life is infinitely bigger than your job. If your partner makes you unhappy, ask yourself about reasons to stay or go. If someone on social media made you angry…errr..well, this one is so insignificant that it should be used only for amusement purposes 😀
Remembering that things will change & asking what you can do to make that change, will positively impact every situation.
#3: What really upset you? Identify the trigger.
Believe it or not, often something like hunger can make people angry. It’s a fact. May be an earlier event of the day made you upset with your children. It wasn’t about them being noisy at all. Are you running late for a meeting & that’s making you angry at the driver? Unable to find another job so the current one feels unbearable?
I am not saying that its always an indirect projection. But, once in a while it might be. Ofcourse, if a boss is mean for no fault of yours, partner is unstable & abusive or you felt unappreciated then go back to #1 or #2
However, if its misplaced anger, figure out the root cause. Will save you from all the negative feelings.
I know that all of these sound too simple but they might be a good starting point. Let me know what you think.
Hey, so why don’t you share some topics you would like to read on my blog? I will try my best to include them.
Please mention them in comments to this blog. Not on email. It will be great if you respond in comments for everything. You can request anonymity and I will make sure I don’t publish your name, if you like.
For any specific story that you would like to share, you can always email me, happy to read.
Pretty Parul: Happy, Shiny people.
In response to my last request, Parul sent me this beautiful picture.
Did you read her story about the picture?
Its right HERE.
Sending you love, happiness & good vibes! ❤️❤️❤️