3 Tips for How to “Let Go” of the Little Things

Have you ever woken up late and immediately jumped out of bed and into panic mode? You skip your full morning routine and consequently feel like crap all day. Maybe you yell at family members to “hurry it up!” or “eat faster!” which only makes you feel more angst.

An ol’ saying seems perfect for this scenario:

What you think about, you bring about.

That saying is a good reminder to be careful about what occupies your mind. You may not realize it, but your thoughts are like seeds that grow over time.

Your Day, Your Choice

Starting your day in a good frame of mind will set you up to attract more good things to your day.

You woke up late and nothing is going to change that fact. Freaking out about it does not help anything or anybody. Making a big deal and getting upset will only make your day worse.

It’s your choice whether you let the stress of one little thing set your emotional state and intention for the entire day.

  • Stuck in traffic? Yelling and fretting doesn’t help.
  • Spouse leaves their socks on the living room floor? That’s a good conversation point, but is it  worthy of bringing you to a boiling point?
  • Spill coffee on your new shirt? Dang, but nobody will die.

My point is…

Stop letting little things mess up your day, or worse, letting little things grow into an emotional state that sucks the joy out of your life.

There are enough big things in this world to stress about, such as serious illness or death of a loved one. That’s big. Heavy traffic during your commute is not a big deal, unless you choose to make it a big deal.

I’m not suggesting that negative emotions will never happen or that you should ignore them, but you don’t have to focus on them and ride them like a wave into the next day.

Ruminating about a bad experience or annoying situation for days isn’t helpful for moving you back on track to a positive mindset.

RELATED READING: Read my post about how to deal with negativity.

3 Tips for How to “Let Go of the Little Things”

Letting go of balloons

For several years, I have been working on building a positive mindset which includes letting go of the little things.

Most recently, I am a student with Rhonda Britten’s Fearless Living Life Coach Certification Program. Through my studies, I have been able to more fully ingrain the following the habits of intention and gratitude into my daily life and hope they might also help you gain more inner joy.

You can read more about these tips in Rhonda Britten’s book Fearless Living: Live Without Excuses and Love Without Regret.

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1 – Have gratitude for what you DO have.

Practicing gratitude is a great way to offset negative emotions as they come up. If you find yourself complaining, quickly replace it with a gratitude; something that you are grateful for in the situation.

So if you’re stuck in traffic and realize your thoughts are making a big mix of bad emotions, switch your thoughts to being grateful. For example, instead of ranting about the heavy traffic, remind yourself that:

  • You have a car to get you places
  • The weather is nice
  • You’re healthy enough to be going wherever it is that you’re going

Make gratitude a habit.

2 – Empower yourself by living with intention.

Expectations are when you think or plan things to go in a certain way, and then you feel disappointed when things don’t go as planned.

Expectations are focused on results that people believe “should” happen. Some examples of expectations are:

  • Expecting your spouse to do the dishes after you cooked dinner.
  • Expecting your boss to recognize the extra hours you put in at work.
  • Expecting friends to help you move.

As Rhonda Britten teaches in her book, intentions are the antidote to expectations.

Living with intention can help you stop letting little annoyances ruin your day.

Here is an snippet from the book, Fearless Living, that explains what living with intention means:

“Intention is living purposefully. On purpose, with purpose. Proactively, responsibly, and intuitively. When we intend, we erase “should” from our vocabulary. There is a commitment to the process versus the results. You become willing to practice a new way of seeing and acting in your everyday exchanges.”

Living with intention will help you:

  • Purposely focus on the process of having a good day.
  • Put the responsibility of how your day goes into YOUR hands.
  • Shift your focus to start seeing that things are happening for you, not to you.

Intentions are process driven because they help you practice  to purposely choose how you will be present in your day. You commit to the process, not the results.

Here are some examples of intentions:

  • Today I am willing to practice seeing the positive aspects of my spouse.
  • Today I am willing to practice being organized and productive at work.
  • Today I am willing to practice being patient with  my friends.

In those examples, the intention is to practice a process, not to have your heart set on a specific result contingent on someone else.

Instead of focusing on what’s going wrong, proactively decide what’s important to you and then set an intention to get there.

It’s so easy to get caught up on the things we don’t have or annoying little behaviors of those around us. By focusing on your daily intention, you take matters into your own hands and decide where to focus your precious time and energy.

3 – Put your energy where you have control.

How people treat you is their karma; how you react is yours.  ~ WAYNE DYER

I love that powerful quote by self-help guru Wayne Dyer. We can’t control others’ actions, so do you want to waste your time and energy trying?

We DO only have control over ourselves and how we act.

Your inner joy is your responsibility.  Do you ever catch yourself playing the blame game for the things that aren’t the way you want them in your life? Look within yourself to figure out why you’re anything less than who you want to be. Choices!

The Happiness Advantage by Shawn Achor is an inexpensive yet motivational book that will give you doable ways to become a happier person. Read my book review here.

Be Miserable. Or motivate yourself. Whatever has to be done, it’s always your choice. ~ WAYNE DYER

Focus on what you do have rather than what you don’t have. Reach for more than you have right now, and make choices to reach your dreams.

No matter what’s happened in the past, you have the power to change your experience from this point forward. You can’t change another person, but you can change yourself.

RELATED READING:  5 Self-Reflection Questions to Make Life Better

Are you choosing to react to others around you in a manner that helps you to create more of what you want?

What do you want to spend your energy on?

Peaceful beach

Getting upset about things that are out of your control doesn’t serve you well. It will bring you down a path that won’t feel good and it isn’t worthy of your energy.

Remember… “What you think about, you bring about.”

Use gratitudes and intentions to change your thoughts one thought at a time. Choose to spend your energy focusing on good things that are “happening for you” so you’re likely to bring more good to your life.

If you wake up late tomorrow, how are you going to react? Are you going to let it have a downward spiral  on your entire day? Are you going to set an intention to practice being gentle and forgiving with yourself?

Today, be a better version of yourself. Tomorrow, do the same thing.

Spend some time listening to your thoughts to become aware of what seeds are being planted. Make sure they’re seeds that some day you’d like to harvest. Let go of the little things so you can cultivate a mindset that will grow inner joy.

Always remember, in each moment, your state of mind is up to you. 

Lady smiling near field

16 Replies to “3 Tips for How to “Let Go” of the Little Things”

  1. I’ve been doing gratitudes for years and can vouch that they really work wonders. They have changed my filter of the world. The idea of setting an intention for the day each morning makes good sense and I’m going to give it a try. Really helpful post, thank you!

    1. Hi Julie,
      Thank you for sharing your personal experience. Yes, gratitudes are powerful! Intentions are such a good habit, have fun with them and may it be as helpful for you as it is for me.

  2. Great tips for letting go of the little things! I saw a quote the other day from Aldous Huxley about taking things “lightly, lightly” and it really made sense. There’s no reason to get bogged down in things that don’t matter–it’s just a time waster.

    1. Time waster, for sure. Letting go can help focus on the solution rather than the problem. Thanks for sharing!

  3. Wonderful advice and I find its easier to follow as I get older. I’m learning to take a deep breath when I’m ready to pounce. And as the future gets smaller and the past bigger, its easier to focus on all the small, beautiful things of life. Lovely.

  4. This post is perfect for small daily life annoyances, I used to let those things linger and ruin my day or even week depending on how long the interaction was. Thanks for the great tips!

    1. True, it’s hard to let stuff go sometimes. I think awareness is key – becoming aware of when I’m letting something little get to me will help me to remember to let it go. Thanks for stopping by!

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