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.
2 Tips for How to “Let Go of the Little Things”
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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 two habits 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.
Download my free Daily Positivity Journal below so you can record three gratitudes each day before you go to sleep. Over time, this will help eliminate some negative thoughts before they even get started.
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.
What do you want to spend your energy on?
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.