Tuesday, August 27, 2013

10 Situations That Shouldn't Cause Stress

Unfortunately, stress is a common entity in households all around the world; it seems that almost everyone is stressed out these days.  Uncontrollable situations that cause money problems, health issues, accidents, demanding work schedules, etc., all contribute to our tension.  What we forget to realize is that some uncontrollable situations really aren't that bad; these situations do not warrant  freaking out, yelling, swearing, or crying.  What marks these types of unwanted situations from ones that truly justify some sort of reaction is that they are not going to create much of an impact on our lives.  While we should refrain from stressing out for mental and physical health reasons, we are human, so we most likely will become aggravated, discouraged, and upset at some point.  Lower your stress levels, or at least do not raise it, by making a big deal of the following situations:

1)  Sitting in traffic, especially when you aren't late for anything Swearing at the car in front of you will not make it move...they can't even hear you.  Turn on some music and relax.  No radio?  Sing.  It'll make the time go by a little faster and will be a tad bit more enjoyable than bruising your hands while banging the steering wheel; I promise.  The same applies to slow grocery store lines.

2)  Going to the salon for a trim and coming out with bangs not much longer than your hairline No person enjoys a bad haircut.  It is rather frustrating trying to find ways to cover it up or fix it; I can completely sympathize.  Invest in a hair clip, headband, or ponytail until it grows back.  It will grow back.  In the meantime, don't stress about whether or not people will find you attractive - if they only like you for your hair, run. Now. 

3)  Scratching your car bumper, wall, nail polish, or whatever else can be scratched Unless it is a CD where a scratch will affect its performance (do people still use them?), don't panic.  Be grateful you can still use it; many people do not even have the opportunity to own whatever it is you scratched.  

4)  Deflated birthday cakes and new roast beef flooring When you spend your time cooking up a masterpiece only to have it flop or to actually flop it all over your floor, you might feel like shedding a tear or two or seven.  No matter the situation - fancy date-night dinner, holiday family party, or regular morning breakfast - one ruined meal won't starve you.  Don't have time to create something else?  Buy something cheap or make a simple bowl of cereal.  Make light of the situation - it's the only thing you can do.  If you were supposed to bring a snack to a potluck, take a picture of the food with you.  Share some laughs; explain what happened.  Is the food still edible?  Serve it anyways; use your creativity and arrange it nicely or add it to something else.  (I tried making a blueberry lemon cake for my mom's birthday this year...needless to say, the entire cake crumbled into a complete mess when I took it out of the oven.  I dug out a massive glass bowl from our basement, ran to the store and bought instant pudding and graham crackers, then layered the heck out of the cake crumbs, graham crackers, pudding, and blueberries from my fridge to create a trifle...heck it tasted awesome, we chuckled at the picture of the cake mess, and I enjoyed seeing everyone's expression when I carried out this massive, filled bowl with candles on top.  It all made the birthday even more memorable!)

5)  Where the heck is the salt? Not that stressing out in these situations will help you find them, there are certain things that can cause more problems when they are misplaced (i.e. missing car keys).  However, many people tend to panic and get angry when they can't find trivial objects, like table salt for one's mashed potatoes.  If right at that instant you write with your favorite sparkly blue pen, can't watch that new comedy you just bought, or can't eat your taters with some salt, you can figure out something else to do or use.  Eventually you will find whatever it is that you were looking for.  Meanwhile, use your imagination!

6)  Dang it, I bought the wrong shampoo! Doing something incorrectly is frustrating.  Yes, coming home from the store with the wrong product or typing the wrong report at work essentially wasted your time, as you most likely will have to return to the store or rewrite the report, but that's all that was wasted - time.  These wrongdoings can be fixed, and rather easily at that.  Now, if your mishap occurred while you were performing surgery, yah, I'd say that is a pretty big screw up.  Otherwise, doing things wrong the first time does not require you to become highly emotional; don't waste any more time complaining, and just fix it!  You might even learn something new in the process or find a new product that you enjoy even better than the one you liked before!

7)  Ugh, the toilets not flushing, my sinks broken, what else can break *CRASH* When one thing breaks down, doesn't it seem like every single little (or usually big) thing you own breaks down, too?  Nothing ever just spaces itself out nicely.  Well guess what - that's life; that's what comes with owning houses, cars, washrooms, appliances, lawn mowers, you name it!  Nothing has a shelf-life of forever, especially with the way things are made now.  When you purchase an object, you are basically agreeing to it breaking down in a couple yours as you sign that check or swipe that card.  It can break at any moment, and eventually, it will break, so the only thing you can really do is prepare yourself from the beginning.  Always have money saved up and think deeply about whether or not you can afford not only the object, itself, when you purchase it, but if you can afford maintenance and repair costs as well.  Next time it happens, just remember that you agreed to it in the first place!

8)  Well EXCUSE me! Do people not look where they are going?  If you have ever been to the store, you know that they obviously don't.  As a society, we need to slow down a little, be conscientious of others, and be aware of our surroundings, but we only have control over ourselves.  When someone bumps into you or you bump into someone else, the courteous response is an apology.  Not everyone apologizes, and others might even blame you for bumping into them, but snickering and complaining to the person behind you, in front of you, on the phone with you, and checking you out at the register will never give you the apology you seek.  Instead, it will just spread around negativity!  You be the bigger person and apologize when you do it; don't stress over others' lack of response to their actions.  

9)  Riinnnngggg, riiiingggggg, rinnnnnnggggg...or are you more of a bzzzzzz *shake* bzzzzzzz *shake* bzzzzzzzz *shake* kind of person?  At some point, we all have that person in our lives that just will not stop pestering us, either through phone calls, text messages, e-mails, or even in person.  There are two ways to handle the situation - you can confront the person with either the truth or even a little white lie to get them to stop constantly tormenting you, or you can simply ignore them and let them continue on their quest to get your attention.  You can't get all flustered when they blow up your inbox if you choose the latter approach, since you didn't do much to stop them.  As stated above, you can't control a person.  Be appreciative of the fact that you have someone in your life who values you - loneliness is never fun.  Next time you are being pestered, simply turn your phone on silent or make up an excuse to walk away...potty break!...no sense getting aggravated from a little attention!

10)  Out of stock Remember, material objects never bring us true happiness.  Whenever you trudge all the way to the store just to see that the item you wanted is not in stock, there is no use complaining at one of the poor store workers.  They cannot go in the back and craft a Sony TV with a hammer and a piece of plastic, and they probably aren't the ones even responsible for stocking the store.  Even if they are responsible for stocking the store, the world isn't revolving just around you.  Just as in your life, there are uncontrollable events that affect store stock.  The delivery truck could have broken down, the items are on back order from the factory, the worker actually responsible for the stocking had a human moment and didn't place the order in on time...for most items, waiting a day, two, or even a week won't make our lives any harder - we've already lived without it! 

All of these situations aren't worth stressing out over because they are just tiny, annoying inconveniences, not life-threatening tragedies, challenges, or even major life obstacles.  Next time you want to scream and complain about a scratch on the wall or a clogged bathtub, remember that stressing out will not reverse time or fix the situation.  Take a breath and move forward - if these little obstacles didn't happen, we wouldn't be living!  Worse things could happen, so accept it and continue onward, my matey!

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