Not Letting the Little Things Get to Me

I’ve written on here before about my anxiety and how it affects me, how I’m trying to cope with it and more. But there’s a facet of my anxiety that I don’t think I’ve touched upon yet – the little things. I let the little things get to me way too much and it totally adds to my anxiety. My mood swings from one end of the pendulum to the other in a matter of seconds and I go into an almost incomprehensible rage or panic. An example of things that could get me going:

  • A coworker sending an annoying email/instant message.
  • Someone spelling my name wrong via email.
  • Someone not taking care of something I asked them to do.
  • A last minute change of plans.
  • Going somewhere with no plans.
  • Feeling rushed.
  • Tripping over something. (Seriously.)
  • … and the list could go on.

Don't let anxiety about the little things stop you from living | Perks of Being a JAP |

Ridiculous right? But I’ve been trying super hard to not let these things get to me as easily as they do and stop me from actually living my life. Because sometimes (often) they get in the way and I miss out on enjoying . It’s not healthy, it tires me out and I know immediately after I lash out that I’ve overreacted. So now when I feel my heart rate start to rise and the intense thoughts start to swirl my head I do the simplest things.

  • I stop and take a deep breath. (I said it was simple!)
  • I think about what it is that is bothering me and I ask myself if its really worth it?
  • I also use this wise saying a coworker passed on to me, “Ask yourself this: Is this a catastrophe or an inconvenience?” Definitely helps put things in perspective.
  • And then sometimes, and I’m mildly embarrassed to admit this because its personal, but if I start to get really wound up I imagine that my grandparents (the ones who have passed away) are putting their hands on my shoulders to calm me down. It scarily works. And I can’t believe I just admitted that on my blog. To each their own? Please don’t make fun of me.

Ideally within some time I won’t have to use these coping mechanisms anymore and I will not have the little things rile me up like they do. But its a work in progress I guess. I’d love to hear your coping mechanisms if you deal some of the same issues as me.

Some other posts about my journey with anxiety:


  1. I have this coworker named Bob who calls me Audrey instead of Aubrey about 50% of the time. I thought about calling him Rob 50% of the time, but he wouldn’t get the subtlety. So I just gave up on correcting him. I had to pick my battles, and that wasn’t worth my energy. Like you wrote, just an inconvenience.

    He and I report to the same boss, and I mentioned this to her once as we were telling funny Bob stories. And then we were all together and she pulled me aside and said, “OMG he really DOES call you Audrey a lot! Should I say something?” That made me feel better.

    Also, I’ve been on a short vacation with my hubby recently and we didn’t really have plans. It kind of started to drive me up the wall. So I made him help me pick ONE THING we were going to do each day. It felt like a win. Plus, not having all the plans meant we could take lots of naps, so it was a restful vacation,

    • Ugh I loathe when people keep messing up my name. I’ve also learned on vacations to just not have any expectations. That way I don’t get all riled up and out of sorts when there aren’t plans.

  2. Such good ideas! I have suffered from anxiety myself. I can literally deem an entire bad even if it’s only 10am. I have a thyroid imbalance which I heard can bring on anxiety. I’ve been better since being out of college though.

  3. I think the part about your grandparents is really really sweet. I sing the original “My Little Pony” theme song to myself when I start to freak out, and that’s a lot easier to make fun of. 😉

    Feisty Harriet recently posted…My First Foray Into MinimalismMy Profile

    • Ok so I’m so glad its a coping mechanism for you but I almost peed myself I was laughing so much. that’s amazing and even more reason to adore you. <3

  4. I’ve been having an increase in anxiety and seem annoyed by the smallest things. So this is helpful! I really want to get a grip on it before snap at someone!

  5. Oh yes, I have had many tantrums about tripping over things. I think it’s lots of little things and usually it’s the most silly things that tip me over the edge. I like the idea of considering whether it’s a catastrophe or an inconvenience; I’ll make sure I remember that one.

  6. Somedays the little things get to me- especially when it is a day where I didn’t get enough sleep and there are a bunch of little things that happen to me throughout the day, but I think for the most part I can brush them off. Wine helps (when I can drink). I think having a kid has made me even less worried about the little things because who has time to worry about them? 🙂

  7. I’m sorry to hear you struggle with this. For a long time I had episodes of severe anxiety (and sometimes still do) so I’m familiar with your list of coping strategies! A deep breath or three helps a lot. The biggest thing that’s cut mine down (we think?) is being on super B supplements. It doesn’t fix the world, but it makes it more manageable for me.

    Also I’m glad to see I’m not the only one who has a song (there are a few I work through! Mostly James Taylor and a few other classics) but I also do a (bad) doodle or cartoon of what the anxiety is looking like in my head. I don’t know why it helps to visualize it but it might be the act of refocusing my energy that’s helpful.

    I hope you continue to have success with your strategies and I believe our grandparents are with us anyway so I’d never make fun of that!
    Court recently posted…Good things 2016: Week #10-12My Profile

  8. I like these a lot & don’t think the one about your grandparents is weird at all! I tend to get the most stressed out when I think I’ve done something wrong that hurts someone’s feelings or upsets someone, or something like that. It’s hard because those are things that do matter – I never want to do that! – but it’s also, like, bound to happen sometimes. When it’s with someone I know, I can deal with it or correct it or hope that people know more of me than this one stupid thing I said, but I haaate when I think I’ve said something wrong to someone I don’t really know & can’t fix things with. EVEN JUST THINKING ABOUT THIS IS STRESSING ME OUT.

    But really, all this is to say: I feel you, & I’m trying to deal with mine, too, & IT IS TOUGH.
    Kate recently posted…Pay Me What You Owe Me: On Asking Bloggers to Shill for Your Brand for FreeMy Profile

    • I get stressed about the same thing!! That’s a whole different category for me… and I think goes back to a couple of situations when I was younger when I was on the outs with schoolmates. And an ex-boyfriend who was always mad at me for one thing or another… definitely keeps you on the edge.

  9. If I had a quarter for each time my name was misspelled I could work less (well, maybe not really but kind of). It’s one of my pet peeves, I feel you on this! After I first lost my mom I had a new perspective on so many things and some of it has stuck with me such as having a tolerance for slow drivers, traffic, the person at the 20 limit item checkout line that has WAY more than 20, etc. But other things I am finding myself struggling with… unresolved issues at work, the IM/email thing from co-workers, incompetence in general but I am TRYING to be better about it because most of what gets me started now won’t matter when I’m older, I know that. Acting + practicing it harder, though. Thanks for sharing + being open with us!

  10. I’ve been stressing the little things too – I think it’s PMS. But thanks for the good advice!


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