We all have big stressors in our lives that are hard to avoid and can increase our cortisol levels by 100%. While small everyday stresses may not raise our stress hormones up to the levels of major stressful events, their constant occurrence in our lives can wreak havoc on both our physical and emotional well being. You can find more about how stress impacts your health here.
What type of person are you? Are you someone who can laugh off small inconveniences like misplaced keys or being stuck in traffic, or are you someone who gets stressed out and lets these things ruin your day? If you are in the first group you may not need to read any further, but if you are in the second group there are ways to change the way you react.
1) Recognize that small annoyances are a normal part of life. They happen to all of us. Know that the amount of effort you put into worrying over these small annoyances really isn't worth it.
2) Find a new perspective. Most small annoyances are just that. They are not life altering and if you think about them in comparison to events that are life altering, you will see that they aren't worth the amount of worry you are giving them.
3) Change how you look at the event. For example, if someone cuts you off in traffic instead of feeling angry and yelling at them rethink why they may have done it. Maybe they had an emergency they were trying to get to. Smile and be happy they didn't cause you to get into an accident. At the end of the day it probably doesn't matter that you were one car behind.
4) Stop and breathe. When we get worried and anxious we tend to take very shallow breaths. Stop and breathe deeply. Slowing down your breathing can be used along with meditation to calm and relax you.
5) Problem solve in advance and after the fact. I had a real problem with misplacing my keys. Very common for many of us. So I have now made it a habit to always put my keys in one place. It has really saved me from a lot of the stress I felt every time I couldn't find them, and on the rare occasion that I forget to put them there, I have a backup set that I always keep in a drawer. A little problem solving can go a long way in keeping that stress level down. Leave on time for appointments, smile when someone frowns at you, etc......
Changing how we react to the small stuff can help to give us all a happier and healthier life. Do you have a way to avoid stress in everyday situations? I would love for you to share your solutions with us.