is it worth ruining your whole day over this?

Today we ask that you don’t create big dramas out of little things.

People are always creating big dramas out of little things.

Your boss said something.  Your client said something.  Your spouse said something.  Your child said something.  Your parent said something.  It may have really been an innocuous thing.  But in your mind, it gets blown up into a big drama.  Suddenly, you are at war.  You seethe with resentment.

In reality, nothing really happened.  You may even have completely misunderstood whatever was said.

And yet sometimes people get so out of hand with their drama that before you know it, they’ve quit their job or lost their job or separated from their spouse or started a big family feud.  

Sometimes the drama is triggered by a traffic jam, or a car repair, or backed-up plumbing, or a bill.   Sometimes it’s because the neighbor is making noise, or the child misbehaved, or the cat threw up.  

People create huge dramas out of such little nothing things.

It’s because your emotional temperature is set so high.  People are so stressed and unhappy that even the slightest additional pressure causes them to boil over, and explode.

Stop taking it all so seriously.

It’s not easy to do this.  Many people were trained as children to take everything very seriously and blow little things out of proportion.  As children, many of you went to schools where you received grades on tests.  You were taught that receiving a bad grade on a test was a very big problem.  You may have been taught to experience a lot of shame and drama over grades.

This is a very counterproductive method of teaching.  The best learning occurs through playful exploration.  As soon as learning becomes a high stakes drama where one’s whole future hangs on the line, true learning and growth is actually strongly deterred.  It’s amazing anyone learns anything within that system.  That system also helps to build a world full of high-strung people who blow up at the drop of a hat.

Please teach yourself how to relax, and put things into proper perspective.

Engage in meditative practices that relax the anxious mind.

When you notice yourself experiencing a big drama over something, ask yourself: is this really as bad as I think it is?

Is it worth ruining my whole day over this?

Is it worth ruining someone else’s whole day over this?

Is there a less dramatic way to approach this issue?

Never react impulsively to a problem, if you can help it.

Don’t write that email or make that call when you are in a state of emotional agitation.

Step away.  Calm down.  Go for a walk.  Talk to a friend who may be calmer and have a more objective perspective than you.

Turn down your emotional temperature, before taking any action.

The drama in your head may insist that terrible things are happening and you must do something to protect yourself!  You must rectify the situation!  Right this minute!

But is that really true?  Are you sure?  Can you be certain?

Sometimes there are genuine life crises, it is true.

But a bill or a car repair or a misbehaving child or an obnoxious comment from someone at work does not constitute a life crisis.

Learn not to make big dramas out of nothing.

When the emotional fire starts, pour water on it.  Not lighter fluid, as most people do.

It is fun to watch dramas in movies.  But humans have a habit of creating big dramas in their lives.  If you enjoy those dramas, you may indulge in them (though unfortunately you will most likely inflict your drama on other people).  Probably you don’t enjoy drama in real life, however.  Probably you find real life drama stressful.

So just ask, when a drama is triggered:

Is it worth ruining my whole day over this?

Is it worth ruining someone else’s whole day over this?

Be honest.