Small stresses lessen ability to focus on the meaningful stressors. They operate just below the radar of consciousness because often we deal with them by suppressing them so we can focus on important things. The problem is: a myriad of these gnats are as large a drain on us as a 'real problem' would be. The very fact a small thing annoys us compounds the tension as we feel we shouldn't be annoyed: a double whammy.

Here is a process you can use to take the lid off:

Spend a week or two sitting on your own shoulder focusing on what tenses you up – whether the reaction 'makes sense' or not. Pay attention to your belly, to your muscles, to your tone of voice.

Make a list of these things. This is about small aggravations. You don't have to justify being irritated, either: Things don't have to make sense.

Now study the list. Think of practical ways to circumvent those aggravations. Let's say there are a lot of traffic lights on your very short trip to work in your standard-shift car. Look for a way that may be longer but has fewer lights. Maybe it will be more scenic, even. Let's say your long skirts sweep the knicknacks off the glass topped cocktail table. Move the knicknacks or the table. Let's say you have an energy-vampire friend, relative or neighbor who whines to you about her situation. There is no law that says you have to communicate with this person, no matter who she is. So don't – or develop a sense of humor about her, as if she were in a situation comedy . . . which she is. Dumb stuff like those three examples does add up. You will see.

Continue this process of discovering tension and relieving the causes of it that are minor. You will find you have more energy, more of your mind on tap, and more strength to deal with the big things that 'have a right' to upset you, when the small steam-builders are taken care of.

You may even find, once you have taken care of the small things, that the next layer of tension-producers can be dealt with in the same simple way: that they aren't so big after all. And on up the line until the biggies aren't so big either. Who knows?

You have nothing to lose.

Author's Bio: 

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