By Jennifer Garza
Do you get annoyed when you can’t find your car keys, when someone cuts you off in traffic, or you find yourself running late? Do you often find yourself sighing in frustration, snapping at people for no reason, or balling your fists in anger?
These are signs you are allowing life’s little frustrations to impact your happiness.
It’s not your situation that causes your emotions – it’s your thoughts about the situation. It’s a choice to become angry in traffic or frustrated when things don’t run smoothly. If it was the situation that caused our emotions, everyone’s reactions to life’s events would be identical. But think about people you know who handle life’s roadblocks with grace. It’s not because bad things don’t happen to them – it’s because their thoughts and belief systems are different than yours.
Stress and anger impact emotional and spiritual health as well as physical health. Although doctors don’t have proof stress by itself leads to high blood pressure, it is acknowledged that short-term stress-related spikes in your blood pressure over time may put you at risk of developing long-term high blood pressure. High blood pressure can cause heart attacks and stroke.
Rather than let the little things take over your life and health, put the following tips into place:
*Be aware of what you’re telling yourself and reroute your thought processes. Instead of thinking how inconsiderate someone was for cutting you off in traffic, remember you don’t know the circumstance. Perhaps there is an emergency at home or the driver has a blind spot and didn’t see you. Focusing on empathy and understanding for others can override feelings of anger and frustration.
*Remember some things are beyond your control, and resign yourself to going with the flow. You can prevent stressful situations by preparing as best as possible. But if your alarm doesn’t sound, which results in being late, there is nothing that can be done at that point. Accept you cannot change the situation. The best course of action is to be pro-active and figure out how to deal with the situation now.
*Think of the big picture and what you have to be thankful for in life. Are you healthy? Are you provided for? Do you have a wonderful spiritual connection with a higher power? You will inevitably face challenges in life that will weight heavy without adding little frustrations into the mix. It is easier to let go of frustration by remembering what you are grateful for and realizing they are small considering life’s big picture.
Jennifer Garza, M.S., has a master of science in counseling and psychology. She is a former therapist and has taught life enhancement classes at venues including college campuses, state conferences and prisons. She is the author of the inspiration journal “365 Days to Happiness: Use Your Strengths, Thoughts, and Dreams to Manifest a New Life.” Garza has been featured in Natural Health magazine, AOL, BusinessInsider.com, Young Entrepreneur.com, and on FTNS radio. Visit her website at www.authorjennifergarza.com or connect with her.