13 Steps to Not Let Things Bother You So Much

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Maybe you’re hanging onto sarcastic, demeaning comments from a family gathering… and it is eating you alive inside. You just can’t seem to let go of the worry stemming from it and would love to be able to learn how to not let things bother you so much!

It is possible. Trust me.

This article will explain why guilt, self-flagellation and worry happen. We will also talk about why it must stop, how to handle legitimate concerns, steps to stop worrying and offer support resources. You have the power. You’ve got this!

The age-old question is, “Why do we let things bother us so much?” The simplest answer is that we care. We care what others think about us, and we care how we feel about ourselves. We care what others think because it affects how we perceive ourselves. We care because we are compassionate creatures who value others’ feelings. While caring is one of the most extraordinary things about being human, we can overdo it.

Why We Let Things Bother Us, Why We Should Stop and the Big Stuff

As human beings, we have a unique tendency to hang onto attachments and let things bother us more than or longer than they should. The reasons may range from how we’ve developed, how we’ve been raised, our personality types, our choices… or those pesky inherent emotional and spiritual traits. If we can discover more about ourselves, we can learn how to control the depth to which things bother us.

When that part is under control, we have to understand how worry affects us, why we shouldn’t do it, and how to handle the more serious things when they appear. It takes a little work, but we can conquer worry.

How We’re Shaped Relates to How We Let Things Bother Us

Every person has a unique genetic makeup, background, family history and set of skills. These varying factors determine how we are shaped into who we are and how we respond to stimuli. Some indicators are personality types, upbringing or taught responses, guilt, shame or emotional or spiritual traits.

Personality Types

Everyone is born with a distinct personality type or blend of types. It is what makes each of us and our stories unique and exciting. It also determines how we let things get to us and take hold of our energy.

Here are the four basic personality types:

  • Type A – The Director
    This personality type is goal-oriented, risk-taking, and functions well under stress with a no-nonsense, bottom-line strategy. This personality is passionate, dominant, demanding, insensitive, and often ill-tempered.
  • Type B – The Socializer
    This personality type is relationship-oriented, outgoing, and enthusiastic, with high energy and a need for attention. This personality is fun-loving, persuasive, charismatic, acceptance-seeking, and lighthearted.
  • Type C – The Thinker
    This personality type is detail-oriented, logical, and prepared with a desire for control and stability. This personality tends to view emotions as obstacles that deter progress or productivity, and they dislike anything non-factual.
  • Type D – The Supporter
    This personality type is task-oriented, stabilizing, and cautious with a relaxed approach to life and work. This personality is content with doing repetitive tasks and discontent with change. They are compassionate, caring, trusting, and reliable souls who get their feelings hurt easily.

Upbringing or Taught Responses

Upbringing, cultural traditions, social expectations or taught responses influence how we allow things to bother us deep inside. Most of us are taught from a young age to stay quiet, follow the rules and never talk about family issues outside of the family. Whether we recognize it or not, it shapes how we let things bother us into adulthood.

While cultural traditions are vital to preserving values, history, art, literature, language, and other invaluable assets… there may also be an expectation to burden oneself with negative energies or behaviors that may be detrimental to their physical or mental wellbeing. This is not to say that all cultural traditions preserve negative expectations.

For example, if the cultural tradition requires the secrecy of abuse, criminal activity, or other harmful acts… people probably need to remove themselves from the circle and cycle. These situations often happen in religious sects, hate-group circles, or even regional belief systems.

Pertaining to regional belief systems, there could be a cultural and social expectation that you put up with toxic relatives in your life, even if it diminishes your mental health. In these cases, you might hear statements like, “Oh, for goodness sake, Uncle Joe didn’t mean it to come across that way. You just keep your mouth shut, okay. Respect your elders.” You get the idea.

Guilt or Shame

A tendency to feel guilt or shame may be built-in to a personality type or be a taught emotional response. Many believe that guilt and shame are the same, but this is not true. Though both are powerful emotions with perverse effects, they are entirely separate and distinct.

  • Guilt is a heavy ball and chain of intense emotions that we’ve done something wrong, hurt someone, or caused undue stress on someone else. Guilt is an awareness and recognition that we have done wrong. It may be internalized, but rarely to the extent that we anchor it to a profoundly faulty existence.
  • Shame is an internal energy vampire that makes us feel that we are a complete failure for making a mistake, causing harm, or even causing someone else to cause us damage. With shame, we believe without a doubt that we are the ones inherently at fault for the pain because we are deeply flawed. Even if the person at fault inflicts deliberate harm, we believe the cause is our defective existence.

Emotional or Spiritual Traits

Emotional or spiritual traits may contribute to how you form attachments to things, people, comments, or behaviors and allow them to bother you more than necessary. Any of the following traits may affect how you respond to things that bother you and how deeply they tap out your energy.

Emotional Traits

  • Feelings of compassion and empathy
  • Deep-seated intuition
  • Higher creativity
  • Often feeling misunderstood
  • Sensitive to criticism
  • Susceptible to anxiety or depression

Spiritual Traits

  • Empath abilities
  • Sensitive abilities
  • Intuitive abilities

Why You Should Stop Sweating the Small Stuff

The truth is that, as human beings, we can worry about everything on the planet, including its inhabitants, occurrences, and on and on. Our worrying doesn’t change one thing for the better. It doesn’t improve anything.

Worrying only deteriorates our physical and mental health. It strips us of our incredible power and decapitates our abilities to rise up and be of assistance to others. Now, there are moments in our lives when we should be concerned, and we’ll get to that soon enough.

Meanwhile, here are a few reasons we shouldn’t let worry overtake us:

  • Most of the things we worry about never happen.
  • It wastes energy that could be put to more positive use.
  • It causes anxiety and stress in our minds and bodies, releasing dangerous cortisol levels into our systems that cause illness and disease.
  • It removes our focus away from the beautiful positive things in our lives.
  • It removes our focus from our true purpose and the bigger picture.
  • Worrying destroys self-confidence and positivity.

When Big Stuff Comes Up

Big stuff will come up in our life that demands our attention and concern. We are living beings. It is guaranteed that life will bring good, bad, and devastating things.

However, if we are armed with the knowledge and exercised mental muscles to deal with the big stuff appropriately, worry doesn’t have to control our emotions or lives. We are potently energetic and intelligent beings who can control our emotions and surroundings, no matter how tough things may become.

These are some ideas on how to handle “big stuff” moments that warrant your concern and attention:

  • Take a deep breath, focus, meditate, and calmly respond.
  • Find positive, non-judgmental support.
  • A serious moment may require a temporary redirection of your energy, but don’t stay there for long.
  • Avoid reacting, especially a knee-jerk reaction; instead, apply a carefully thought-out response.
  • Acknowledge that life is ever-changing.
  • Consume healthy food and stay hydrated.
  • Keep your regular schedule, if possible.
  • Exercise to work off stress and negative emotions.
  • Find positive aspects of the situation.
  • Be proactive.
  • Avoid social media, especially posting from unstable emotions or seeking advice.
  • Give yourself plenty of self-care.

It is challenging to learn how to not let things bother you so much, but it becomes easier once you’ve practiced for some time. It develops into a lifestyle if you practice enough. Even then, situations arise that require brushing up on techniques. This list of 13 steps on how to not let things bother you so much will show how to do it.

13 Steps on How to Not Let Things Bother You So Much

1. Recognize the Situation and Your Feelings About It

When a situation arises that causes you to worry, it is best not to bury it and hope it goes away. The best thing to do is to acknowledge that there is a situation, break it down, and evaluate your feelings about it. Don’t negate your feelings but try to address why you have an attachment to the situation and the origin of your feelings.

Whether you experience hurt, defensiveness, annoyance, or betrayal, your emotions and feelings are valid no matter what they may be. However, the situation may not be deserving of the energy you’re giving to it. Recognizing it for what it truly is and examining your feelings is an excellent start to learning how to control its effect on you.

2. Apply Physical and Mental Calming Techniques

Energy work provides the best techniques for calming your emotions and nerves in tense or upsetting situations. Many methods may work for you.

Consider the following:

  • Breathwork
  • Yoga
  • Mediation
  • Massage
  • Exercise
  • Nature walks

3. Keep Everything in Perspective

As a highly emotional or sensitive person, things often seem more significant or more serious than they really are. Situations affect someone with these traits more deeply than people who don’t have them.

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As a highly emotional or sensitive person, things often seem more significant or more serious than they really are.

The best way to step back and evaluate the reality of what is happening is to note the facts. Don’t insert subjective emotions. Just note the plain facts. Then, take another look at the situation. This way, you can keep everything in perspective, as it should be. Facts matter.

4. Master Your Thoughts

You can manage your thoughts and feelings. Writing down or making lists of how you feel is a great start. Then, making a list of how the other side might feel is also helpful to examine if your own feelings are in-check or out-of-bounds. Also, consider if you might have any fault in the situation. Lastly, consider the energy that dominates your thoughts.

These are the four perception formers to watch out for in your mind:

  • The inner critic batters you with other people’s words or thoughts, often comparing you to others and holding your past mistakes against you.
  • The worrier forces you to live in a world of “what-ifs” that will never be.
  • The troublemaker fires off anger and frustration from soft reopened wounds of the past.
  • The sleep depriver works its evil reaction strategy when you’re at your most vulnerable and trying to sleep.

Two simple methods will make you the master of your thoughts.

  1. Interrupt these trouble-seekers with a loud, “No! Stop it!” Then, replace them with a positive reinforcing energy healer.
  2. Refuse to tolerate their presence and eliminate them forever. Then, use energy healing methods to fill the void so they cannot return.

5. Avoid Complaining or Emotional Outbursts

Complaining and emotional outbursts are negative energy, pure and simple. There is nothing positive or productive that will ever come from them. When you feel the urge to do either of these things, stop yourself and think about the type of energy you might be projecting.

Remember, the energy you put out is the energy you will get back, always. Do you really want to receive that negative energy back? Don’t fall into temptation. There are better methods listed in this article to help you cope with your feelings and process them in a positive way.

6. Remove Yourself from a Toxic Situation Immediately

Sometimes, you know things are bothering you too much, but the reality is that there is a toxic reason why it is happening. You’re consumed with worry, and the other person exacerbates the situation. If you’re in a toxic situation, get help as soon as possible.

Here are a few things to remember when removing yourself from a toxic situation:

  • Stop expecting the person to change or that you can change them.
  • Establish and maintain solid boundaries.
  • Don’t allow them to pull you into chaos.
  • Stay focused on facts and solutions.
  • Own your part in the relationship.
  • Recognize when projection and gaslighting are present.
  • Expect resistance.
  • Don’t argue, and don’t fight.
  • Surround yourself with a positive support network.

7. Give Others the Benefit of Doubt Without Allowing Abuse

There will be times in life when we come across people who are suffering and lashing out from their pain. Empaths and sensitives often pick up on the pain quickly, ignoring the outbursts or trying to help in some way. As compassionate people, giving them the benefit of the doubt should be the first thing we do.

Others may not pick up on the energy of suffering, but it is never too hard to think about things they may be going through that we cannot know. Without tolerating abuse, always consider these thoughts.

8. Do Not Regress into the Past

When a challenging situation tweaks your emotions, and you’re tempted to let it attach to you and bother you, remember to experience your feelings, and then cut them loose. Do not dwell on those feelings.

Process them, and process them out. Whatever you do, do not regress into the past. It won’t be helpful or healing. Move on.

9. Keep an Attitude of Gratitude and Productivity

When you focus on an attitude of gratitude and productivity, you don’t have time to give to negative thoughts or worry. Something miraculous happens when you direct your thoughts toward thankfulness for what you already have in this world. It ushers tremendous happiness into your life.

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When you focus on an attitude of gratitude and productivity, you don’t have time to give to negative thoughts or worry.

Then, when you focus on staying productive, your mind cannot wander into dark corners or dwell on things to bother you. It has a definitively positive impact on your life.

Here are some ideas to stay grateful and productive:

  • Fall into an atmosphere of gratitude first thing every morning.
  • Journal your blessings.
  • Meditate.
  • Make a list of positive, productive things to do.
  • Make a list of things to help others.

10. Avoid Negative People and Situations

It cannot be overstated how important it is to avoid negative people and situations, especially if you are an empath, a sensitive, or an intuitive who absorbs energy like a sponge. The toxicity of these dark energies is like poison. There is no other way to put it so clearly.

11. Learn from Others’ Experiences and Advice

Learning from others and heeding their wisdom and advice can save you a lot of work and suffering. It is much easier than learning how to not let things bother you by trial and error. This is where your support network will provide priceless insight. However, you may come across others in life who can also contribute to your knowledge base. Stay open-minded, listen actively, and take notes.

12. Practice Self-Compassion and Self-Care

Be kind to yourself. Practice self-compassion and self-care often. After acknowledging your feelings and emotions, validating them, and letting them go, the most crucial thing is administering self-love. This goes a long way to helping you overcome the effects of letting things bother you so much.

13. Stay in Contact with Your Positive Non-Judgmental Support Network

One of the reasons you have a support network is to encourage you when things are bothering you too much. If not then, when? It’s okay to ask for help from a trusted group of like-minded thinkers. They’ll have priceless advice to help you on your journey. You’ll find that many of them have trodden the path you’re on long before you arrived.

Resources for Empaths, Sensitives, Intuitives, and Others

The effort involved in working through the steps to learning how to not allow worry to disrupt your happiness is worth every bit of energy you put into it. It helps you keep your sanity, joy, and stability while saving money by preventing adverse effects on your physical and mental health. There is no price you can put on those items. Worry is simply not worth its weight on your shoulders.

Final Thoughts on How to Not Let Things Bother You

When you learn how to not let things bother you so much, you discover that moments of small stuff negativity cannot overshadow the beauty and wonder of living a life fulfilled. Life is short and precious; you can’t afford to waste one moment on negative thinking. You are a beautiful being! Your life is amazing!

Visit Develop Good Habits for more great information. Check out The 90-Day Gratitude Journal to help you on your journey.

Rain Story is an author and screenwriter. She is an alumna of the University of Arkansas at Little Rock, the University of New Mexico, and the University of Kentucky. She earned two B.A.s and four years of graduate studies in literature, languages, and creative writing before personal tragedies pulled her away from her graduate work. She is also a Donaghey Scholar and fellow of the William G. Cooper, Jr. Honors Program in English.

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