Think about the following incidents: Someone cuts you off at an intersection; The shower water is too cold; Someone took the last piece of chicken; Your co-worker is tapping their feet; Your boyfriend left the seat up.
These are very minor and simple things. But for some people, these minor things can be huge annoyances. If you feel that you are affected by simple things too much, then I am here to help you.
Being affected by the simple things in life can be very frustrating. It means you probably live in a near-constant state of irritation or annoyance. It is hard to get things done like that.
Fortunately, there are ways to fix this and stop getting affected by simple things so much. Here are a few techniques I have found that help me avoid getting affected by the simple things
Don’t Take Things Personally
Whenever a simple incident happens, don’t assume it was personal. Nobody is out to get you. They are just looking out for themselves or doing their own thing.
The fact it was annoying to you is completely accidental. Don’t blame them for this and assume that they would apologize to you if they could.
Maybe the driver who cut you off is in a hurry to get to the hospital. Maybe your co-worker is extremely tense and nervous. They might not even realize they are tapping their feet unconsciously.
As soon as you realize that it is not personal, you won’t feel as annoyed. Sometimes, we are affected by simple things because we feel it is targeting us specifically, even if that isn’t the case.
Get a New Perspective
I used to get annoyed a lot at simple things. Eventually, I decided to consider things from other perspectives.
It may start off as a random question to yourself, “Exactly why did I get affected by simple things?”. After a while, I realized that most of the time I was actually angry and frustrated about something else, but ended up taking it out on the simpler things instead.
For example, you are triggered because your boyfriend left the toilet seat up. This could imply a few things. Maybe the real reason you are angry is that you feel that he isn’t considerate enough. Or maybe it is because he does not pay attention to what you tell him.
Once you take things into perspective, you will be able to understand the root cause of the event. By putting things in perspective, you can stop getting affected by simple things and focus on the cause instead.
Take a Deep Breath and Let it Go
No, not the song. We’re merely talking about the simple idea of letting go. There’s no point in being too fixated on anything negative. The more time you spend thinking about it, the more it will affect you.
Simply accept that the incident has occurred, take a deep breath and move on. Don’t dwell on things that have passed already and focus on upcoming matters instead.
Remember, we control our minds; not the other way around!
It is not the easiest thing to do, but it will help you to not get affected by simple things more than anything else.
Know Your Triggers and Avoid Them
There is a saying: “Prevention is the best cure.” Accordingly, we should remove or avoid the source of the problem as quickly as possible.
Different people are triggered or affected by different things. If you can find out exactly which things trigger you, you can try to avoid them instead.
For instance, you might be strongly affected by how other people drive. If that is the case, then a good idea would be to avoid the busy roads with lots of other cars. Stick to smaller roads where there are fewer people and less chances of getting triggered.
Keep a Journal
When I first realized I was getting irrationally affected by simple things, I decided to write it all down in a journal. What the incident was, why I was feeling so irritated about it, etc.
Writing down my thoughts helped me explore my feelings better. I was able to figure things out in perspective. I could also vent my frustration at the same time. Plus, having a journal of such incidents made me realize how I could avoid the triggers and avoid taking them personally.
There are lots of benefits to keeping a journal. I highly recommend doing so.
Accept That You Can’t Control Everything
The final step for not getting affected by simple things is acceptance. You have to accept that sometimes, things will occur outside your control. There is no reason why you should get affected by it.
People are not robots. Each person has their own personality. Even if you do not like how a person acts or behaves, just remember that you can’t control them.
That brings us to the last point.
Be Compassionate and Forgiving
I have always found that it is better to forgive and forget, than remember and retaliate. If you don’t take it personally and think about the situation from another perspective, you will realize that there are maybe more causes behind your reaction. You will also learn if they are doing it intentionally or by accident.
If it is by accident, then it is not their fault at all. Nobody has any control over what kind of accident occurs. But you do have control over how you choose to respond to it.
Empathizing and forgiving it is an amazing way to take back some control over the event. You can get closure if you forgive.
It is natural to be affected by simple things. Irritation, annoyance and frustration are something we have to live with every day. But that does not mean getting worked up every time your co-worker forgets to greet you!
There are many things you can do to reduce how much these simple things affect you. Starting from understanding their side to avoiding triggers and investigating the root of the problem, will help you heal and shrug it off.
If you follow these steps, you will find that you are a more relaxed and easy-going person overall. You will have more control over your emotions, and more importantly, you won’t have to worry about flying off the handle at random!