How to not let things bother you

July 28, 2016

Calm & Serene Me
The other day, a friend told me that I seem calm and unaffected by things.

I was not getting worked up about the pokemon craze, all the violence in the world, or even the political circus. He was impressed.

This was high praise, because there was a time when that’s all I did. Getting worked up over things I cannot control.

As we were talking, I wondered.
Had I become an amazingly serene yogi all of a sudden? Did my inner practice over the years pay off? Maybe I’m awesome now and I hadn’t noticed, my ego thought.

Then the real secret of my success dawned on me. And my ego got a bit deflated.

Before I get to that, I’ll tell you two stories.

Sarah Silverman
I once heard Sarah tell this story.

Paraphrased:
She was lamenting to her therapist. Every time she looks at the mirror, she notices the weight she needs to lose, or another imperfection. And that gets her more depressed. What can I do doc to be less depressed?

Her therapist, silent for a moment, replied:
“Well then Sarah, stop looking at mirrors!”

The solution took Sarah by surprise. Then she realized the beauty in it. And has gotten better at not looking at mirrors.

The Old Joke
This is like the old joke variation of a patient going to the doctor and complaining that every time he does something, he gets sick.

Let’s say every time he eats taco bell, he gets diarrhea.
What should I do, doc?

Stop eating taco bell!

My (not so) Secret:
I’m sure you know the punchline.
I stopped ingesting things that make me sick.

Blocked addictive news sites through my router.
So I can no longer access yahoo homepage, huffpost, tmz, and others through my laptop or phone.

Stopped watching television.
This means no commercials, tempting me to buy or try things I don’t need. No local or 24hr cable news. And it prevents me from channel surfing, accidentally ingesting something I don’t need.

I no longer visit the main youtube page, full of highly tempting popular videos, but rather have a bookmark that leads me straight to my subscription page.

Turn off the volume on my laptop & do something else when a youtube, hulu, or other site plays ads before a video loads. Use adblock to not see ads anywhere.

Wearing headphones in the house when others are watching news in the main room.

Even still, a lot of news leaks to me via family, friends, or things I subscribe to. But hearing it second hand is much easier to handle than watching highly charged graphics & video.

To cut bad habits, I have a few tools.
I’ll write a blog post about it, convincing you not to do that. And somehow I become convinced as well. This is the best method. It’s the learn, do, teach model.

For example, if I want to stop surfing addictive news sites, I’ll read all about how news negatively affects us. How it plays on our fear and hijacks the amygdala. Blah blah blah. I’ll find successful people who also don’t watch tv or the news. This gives me rolemodels to emulate.

Then I’ll write notes to myself recapping the reasons to why watching the news negatively impacts my mood. How being in a positive mood is vital for my success. I’ll also make it harder for me to access the offending sites by blocking them. Once I get a handle on that, I’ll write a blog post convincing you of the same. By this time, that habit likely will have withered away.

If the habit is particularly hard to kill, like a stubborn weed, I’ll use other tools.

Like EFT. Or write to myself in a journal. I’ll ask my inner self, higher self, subconscious self, ego self, and all the other selves to work together. Sometimes I’ll turn to hypnosis or affirmations. Write reminders to myself on my calendar or phone where I’ll see it every day. If things are worse than I can handle, I’ll ask for divine assistance. Whatever it takes.

My main task is to be the best version of me I can be.
Only work on things I can control and ignore the rest.