I read something recently that got me thinking. It was a comment about how you take on the responsibility for things that aren’t yours to begin with. I know that I’m guilty of this at least some of the time. How about you? I think as a mom, it’s pretty common for you to do this. It often starts with the little things in your life & then over time it builds to the bigger things. It doesn’t have to be that way though. How to not let little things bother you is an important skill to have in your life. Today, I’ll explore learning to let go of the little things so that you can focus on the bigger picture of your life.
First, ask yourself is it mine or someone else’s issue.
Like so many other moms, I’ve wanted health & happiness for my kids. This meant that I was invested in their lives. (I’ll admit too much at times.) Because of this investment, I was interested in the big & the small parts of their lives.
When your kids are small, this is a good thing. After all, if you weren’t a big part of their lives, they wouldn’t survive. As your kids grow older though, it’s time to step back & allow your kids to have their own issues.
I know it’s hard.
I know that you want to solve all of their problems, but that is the key. These problems are theirs & not yours.
The sooner that you can accept that the better. Let other people deal with their own issues & all of a sudden you have fewer small things to worry about.
So, focus on only the issues that actually belong to you. How life changing is that?
Next step back from the issue & look at the big picture.
How to not let little things bother you is a process. You’ll need to look at the bigger picture in life. Does this small issue really matter? Does it change the big picture?
You often get so caught up in the small things that the bigger picture isn’t in focus anymore.
For example, does it really matter what route you take to the grocery as long as you get there and buy your groceries?
We can get so caught up in the small things in life that you make yourself a bit crazy trying to make them all perfect.
Perfection is not only overrated but it’s not really possible. Stop trying to be perfect. Accept life as it is. Make choices based on your present reality & let those small things go. Then, check in with the big picture.
It’s not just with your kids
If you’re determined to agonize over the small stuff with your kids, then you’re doing it in other areas of your life as well. Stop trying to control everything & you’ll find that the small things just don’t matter so much anymore.
How to not let little things bother you doesn’t come naturally for many of us. I’m a recovering control freak myself. Yes, with my kids but also with many aspects of my life.
It’s a painful way to live. When I revert to this way of life, I’m constantly frustrated. Things happen that are outside of my control. I then get irritated because the little things don’t happen as planned and I’ve forgotten the big goal. Again!
Being in control is something that I’ve struggled with off and on for a very long time. On the one hand, I have this need to be in charge and make sure everything turns out the way that I think it should. I want to be in control of all the outcomes. I’m focusing on the little things instead of the big picture.
On the other hand, I really enjoy going with the flow, doing my best and letting the results of my actions just come. When this is happening, then I’m letting go of the small things in life. Such a big shift for me!
The funny thing to me is that whether I’m pretending that I am able to dictate outcomes or whether I am just going with the flow, I really have no control over the outcomes in my life. So, what makes me think that I do? Why do I feel like I can make everything turn out the way that I want?
Control is illusory.
We can put our best efforts forward and influence an outcome, but we can’t ever guarantee that outcome. So, am I ever really in control?
I’ve noticed that when I’m holding on tight to an outcome or trying to be in control, I am more on edge. I’m more stressed and tired. When I’m going more with the flow, I am more relaxed and living the life that I was meant to live. The relaxed version of me feels so much better. I actually get more done and I’m happier while I do it. Since I actually like the more relaxed me, what draws me back to that illusory idea of control? Why would I put myself in a position to be more on edge? Usually it’s that focus on the small things instead of the big picture.
Learning how to not let little things bother you isn’t always easy!
Letting go of trying to control an outcome can be so freeing. When you do, then those small things no longer bother you.
The thing is thought that old habits are hard to break. If you’ve been used to paying attention to all of the small stuff in your life, then this is going to be a hard habit to break. It will come back into your life over & over.
For me, nowadays this often shows up in my own yoga practice.
Those days when I’m tired and in need of a little rest will happen whether I like it or not. When they do, I need more of a slower yoga practice. I have the choice to honor my body & give it the slower practice or ignore it & practice yoga more actively. Here the small stuff is how I practice yoga. The big picture is that I am practicing yoga. In the grand scheme of things, the fact that I practice yoga is way more important than what version I practice each day.
Pausing to recognize this means that I can step back from that controlling space where I agonize over all of the little things in my life & instead find ease in the big picture.
Try & try again
I’m positive that in the future I’ll still find times when I feel the need to be in control of everything. The real challenge for me is to be aware of what I’m doing. That awareness will then lead me to a choice.
Do I want to stay with the current path or make a change in my actions? Do I want to focus on trying to achieve a sense of control over my life or do I want to focus on just being the best me that I can be? Am I going to worry over every small thing in my life or just the bigger picture? Can I let other people handle their own situations while I handle my own?
In my saner moments I’ll choose to focus on the bigger picture & let go of trying to control all of the small stuff in my life. However, when life gets hectic , I’ll slip back into the old pattern of trying to control things (yes even those things that aren’t mine to begin with).
What’s different now is my awareness of what I’m doing. If you need help with your own awareness of the present moment, check out this video. Pause & take a quick break. You might find you’re focusing on the wrong things right now.
So, how about you? Are you ready to let go of some of the little things in life? I know you can. I’m cheering you on!
Live happier & healthier!
Becky is a Yoga Therapist & has been teaching yoga since 2006. She loves to match people with a yoga practice that helps them to feel better every day & believes that there is a yoga practice for everyone. Click here to sign up for her mailing list & get all of the important news & tips first!