Sweating the small stuff happens to the best of us. I’m guilty of this on occasion. This morning for instance. Fresh out the shower, I was happy as can be until I noticed that the bathroom window was open. It wasn’t open by much, but enough to give the neighbors behind us a show! I was immediately irritated that the window was open. Even though I don’t think anyone really saw me, I felt like I was being violated. Then I thought to myself, why am I so upset at this? Who cares? In a year from now will this matter? In a day? In a few hours? No it won’t. I caught myself, and you can stop sweating the small stuff in an instant as well with these three quick questions.
1.) Will this matter in a year?
I immediately stopped being irritated and upset as soon as I asked myself this question. I won’t even remember this incident in a year and if I do, I’ll probably laugh about it. I’m already laughing about it. When something irritating or frustrating occurs, ask this question right away. If it won’t matter, why bother stressing about it?
2.) How much does this affect me?
Right now I want you to create a scale in your mind from 1 to 10. 1 is NOT IMPORTANT, and 10 is VERY IMPORTANT/LIFE CHANGING. Rate every situation on this scale. Decide right now, that if something is below a 5, you will just let it go. So if your husband leaves dishes in the sink, is it really over a 5? If your son forgot to take out the trash, is it a 5? If your co-worker makes a snide remark, is it really over a 5? How much do these situations really affect you? We have so many things going on in life and we shouldn’t waste time and energy on anything below a 5.
3.) Which bucket will I fill?
Imagine you have 2 buckets. One is a happiness bucket, and the other is an unhappy bucket. Our happiness is directly related to our happy moments vs our unhappy moments. Every time you dwell on something or have a negative emotional response, one drop of unhappiness goes into your unhappy bucket. Every time something great happens to you, or you feel inspired, one drop of happiness will go into your happy bucket. Go ahead and add a drop of happiness to your happiness bucket just for reading this article. At the end of the day, which bucket do you want to be the most full? Do you really want to fill your unhappy bucket for something so minor?
Sweating the small stuff happens to all of us. Being able to catch it, and let it go is the key. When something starts bubbling up for you, quickly ask yourself these three questions.