Knowing how to let go of the small things is difficult. But to lead a happier life, we must learn to let go of minor nuisances, whether it’s a last-minute change in schedule, a missed appointment, a conflict with a loved one, or broken plans. Acknowledging anger, frustration and sadness caused by minor everyday disappointments and stressors is necessary for letting go.
Harboring negative feelings for too long can wreak havoc on relationships and can contribute to myriad disorders, including anxiety, mood disorders, obsessive-compulsive disorder and substance abuse. It can also cause an increased risk in cardiac disease, high-blood pressure and some cancers.
To let go of the small stuff, understanding and accepting what we can and can’t change in our daily lives is crucial.
5 tips to letting go of life’s daily disappointments:
- Acknowledge your feelings. No matter how minor the disappointment or stressor, it’s important to acknowledge your feelings. Call a friend or relative to let off stream and reduce the intensity of anger, frustration and sadness.
- Put the disappointment into perspective. Ask yourself, “What would I say to a friend facing this problem? Would the event seem minor or moderate?” You can then understand whether or not your emotional reaction is necessary.
- Be patient with yourself. Acknowledging our feelings can be emotionally draining. Developing self-compassion takes time, but it’s necessary to lead a happier and healthier life.
- Find ways to quickly reduce stress and anxiety. Find a stress reducing method that works for you. Mindfulness meditation, yoga and deep breathing have all been shown to be effective.
- Talk to a professional. Getting easily angered and harboring resentments makes life harder. It’s usually a sign that a deeper issue needs to be addressed. Exploring underlying issues and learning how to talk about feelings helps make letting go possible.