Picture the following unpleasant scenario: You wake up worse for wear after not getting enough sleep. Your coffee creamer has passed its expiration date. There’s no food in the house so you can make breakfast because you forgot to buy groceries yesterday. When you’re ready to leave, it takes forever to find your keys, ensuring that you’ll be late for work again. When you finally get into your car to drive to work, the darn thing won’t start!
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Sound familiar? We’ve all had mornings that perhaps aren’t quite as disastrous, but close. These kinds of situations come up often enough, and they have the potential to ruin a day or, worse yet, an entire week.
But, if you think about it, that’s ridiculous, despite your flat tire or busted TV, because life goes on. You’re still healthy, you still have a job and you’re still married to a wonderful person who loves you. The only way you can possibly deal with these troublesome situations, is to accept them; accept that they are part of life and move on.
It sounds simple, and it is. Yet we ourselves complicate this process of acceptance by dwelling on the problems that they bring with them. Rather than saying, “I can handle this, no big deal,” we behave as if the world ended when the coffeemaker broke.
This is in part because when we are stressed to begin with, we have a tendency to focus on bad occurrences in our lives, as well as the tendency to paint the bleakest possible scenario in our minds. To break this reflex, it’s best to commit to a regular schedule of daily meditation. This will clear the mind and make it calmer, making it possible in turn to remain dispassionate when things around us go haywire.
So make some time every day to sit quietly and breathe in and out. Make sure you’re comfortable, as you may be here a while, and ensure that you will not be disturbed. Count your breaths. Count slowly to four as you inhale, hold your breath and then count slowly to four as you exhale. Before you know it, you’ll grow more relaxed. Once you’ve achieved this state, look at the things that happened that stressed you out and ruined your day.
Be as dispassionate as you can and consider how you were able to deal with the consequences the actual incident had. More often than not, you’ll realize it was a blip on your radar, a mishap that barely registers on the whole trajectory of your life. At the time, it may have been a big deal, but the second you take some distance, you’ll realize that you were upset over nothing.
This dispassion is something that can be learned and within a few days of starting, you’ll notice it in your daily life. You’ll be able to let slide things that happen that used to ruin your day and now merely annoy you briefly.
By learning to accept that bad things sometimes happen, but that these everyday annoyances are no more than just that, you can improve the overall quality of your life. By letting these occurrences get to you, you are allowing them to dictate the pace of your life, making them, and not you, the driver of the train. By accepting, you are retaking control of your life and all the benefits that follow that decision.
You’ll find yourself able to sleep better and you’ll be able to react quicker and more decisively when things don’t go your way. So apply this advice and go live the life you deserve!