Over the years I have caused myself an incredible amount of unnecessary stress and worry. I would let all kinds of little things bother me and ruin my day. If I was facing an obstacle that stressed me out or I thought was over my head, I would bury my head in the sand. I tried to avoid thinking about my problems, or I would worry about all the worst possible outcomes.
There were times I would harbor resentment and anger at people in my life who I felt weren’t acting the way they should. I was constantly irritated at other drivers on the road when I was driving. I often felt guilty about things that I had done, or not done enough of. It was exhausting.
Then one day I just threw all of that nonsense out the window.
I had drank an entire bottle of wine the night before in an attempt to avoid thinking about my problems. I ate pizza at midnight, stayed up too late, and then slept in too long. I was having the all too familiar “cringe-over” the next morning and feeling even worse about myself and situation. But then I thought, why am I beating myself up about it?
Instead of feeling bad or guilty about my actions, I just accepted it. It had already happened and was in the past. The act of accepting it made me feel relieved, and instantly alleviated the tension in my shoulders.
That day was a major turning point for me.
I started to apply the concept of acceptance to the rest of my life, and the results were astonishing. I refused to let little things get to me. There was no regret or remorse anymore. Stress and anxiety ceased to exist. I wore the pride of my newfound acceptance like a crown.
And you know what? Life was still life, and things weren’t always puppies and rainbows. But they also didn’t seem so irritating or detrimental once I accepted them for what they were.
Rather than being furious at the driver who cut me off, I accepted the fact that it happened. That person could be on their way to their sick child, or maybe they were just a terrible driver. I didn’t care. I vowed to accept the things that happened and not let them bother me.
It has made me a much happier, healthier person.
Whatever I am facing, I accept the fact that it is there. By acknowledging and accepting it, it immediately removes a significant amount of suffering, resistance, and struggle from my life. This simple concept altered my entire world.
When it comes to the larger challenges in life that I find stressful, I accept them in the same way as the small things. Instead of avoiding them or thinking of all the worst possible outcomes, I focus on the obstacle and consciously acknowledge it. Since I have to deal with it at some point, I might as well accept it. This is very powerful for me, and gives me a sense of pride that I am at least taking a step in the right direction.
An old friend told me once: “Never run from your problems, because wherever you go, there they are.”
Accepting my current reality gives me a refreshing sense of tranquility. Recognizing that things are sometimes out of my control allows me to be at peace with what is. Because no matter how good or bad things are, they will change.
Stress and worry are detrimental to our health and well being, to say the least. Feelings of disappointment, shame or guilt towards ourselves have been scientifically proven to cause disease and early death. Harboring resentment or animosity towards the people in our lives is a surefire way to make ourselves sick, and damage our personal relationships along the way.
It’s never worth it, so just let it be
Do you let small issues get under your skin and bother you? Are the obstacles in life causing you to feel overwhelmed? The challenges we face in life will always be there, but there is a simple solution to start feeling happier and healthier immediately. That first step is acceptance.
Whatever you are being faced with in life, more than likely someone has been through it before and survived. So take a deep breath and accept it. Maybe even have a bottle of wine and a pizza- and yes, midnight is an acceptable time to do it.