You’ve all heard the saying “Don’t sweat the small stuff.” And hopefully you’ve also heard the followup “It’s all small stuff.”
I have one word for that – TRUTH. Most of the things you’re worrying about right this minute seem huge and perhaps unsolvable right now, but you will see that they were neither. In the heat of the moment, it does seem like there is no answer to the problem and your whole world is going to come crashing down by the weight of whatever the problem is. But although it may happen, it truly rarely does.
We spend so much time and energy worrying over things that really, in the scheme of our entire lifetimes, are the “small stuff,” the meaningless things, the things that have a hand in helping us grow, but certainly don’t deserve the attention we are giving to them. I would much rather spend my time and energy on finding solutions to problems like where my group of best friends will take our 2019 vacation (because we’ve already figured it out until then), or what options I might have if I were ever to retire (which probably won’t happen – but I’m not worrying about it!), or what kind of gift to get my grandchildren when they graduate high school (because there are five of them right in a row and then a couple of stragglers).
You need to decide what deserves your attention–not your worry–and then focus it there. Quit worrying about the small stuff. It honestly doesn’t matter. Most of it won’t change your life enough one way or the other to matter. So worrying that you’re about out of laundry detergent and have 30 loads to finish in the next three days doesn’t do you any good. Focus your attention on figuring out when you can go out and get laundry soap (or order it from Amazon and have it there in 2 hours) and who can help you complete the laundry task. If no one can help, get your timer out and keep it moving. Easy peasy task done. Instead of worrying about it for three days, you have a plan of action you are working through.
Worry is a natural reaction when we start our mental list of everything going on in our world. When you start feeling that STOP and start writing things down. Get it out of your head–it is taking up valuable real estate there–and get it down on paper. Then if you need to prioritize it do that with different pen colors numbering items, different highlighter colors designating importance, or whatever way works best for you. I would suggest you NOT completely rewrite the list in order (I know you are out there thinking that!). Take a deep breath and try to organize your list another way or you’re adding another worry because you’re taking too much time on your list! It doesn’t have to be framable–it has to be functional.
So stop needless worrying. Think about the big picture. Does the thing you’re worrying about right now really, truly matter? Is it easily solved? Is it really even your worry or is it someone else’s worry that you’re getting sucked into? When you find yourself worrying about something, try to find a quiet place for a couple of minutes and have a conversation with yourself where you can determine if your energy needs to be spent worrying or if it is better spent figuring out how to solve the problem. And then go do that instead.
Trust me, life is far too short to spend so much time worrying about things that don’t matter–and most of our worries don’t. Like the song says “Don’t worry, be happy!”