People who can don't get mad and just go with the flow, how do you do it?

Here recently it seems like everything just gets under my skin so quickly and easily. It's not that I get mad and take it out on others, it's just the fact that I'm constantly annoyed and stressed. Something as simple as the dogs tracking some mud through the house will just ruin my mood. I know some people who would just laugh it off and clean it up. Meanwhile I'll get pissed that I didn't wipe their feet and be mad the entire time I'm cleaning it up. This has nothing to do with the dogs, it just an example. Any number of seemingly insignificant things can trigger me like that. Like forgetting something at the store and having to go back. I would love to be able to go, "well that sucks" and just get over it.

electric_nan ,

Train yourself to observe yourself. With some practice, you can kind of see yourself from an outside perspective. Watching yourself have a tantrum over spilling some water, or banging your head or whatever, is pretty funny.

Bleumunkie ,

The easiest way someone explain this to me which really made it click -

Something potentially annoying or shitty happens... Think about how long it will actually matter for.

Will it matter in an hour?
Will it matter in a day?
Will it matter in a month?
What about a year?

The longer it actually matters for, the more emotional effort you can feel justified putting into it.

I guarantee that the dogs tracking muddy footprints through the house won't matter in an hour - and just answering that question for yourself usually takes all the charge out of your emotion.

If it will matter in a year such as something big like a relationship crisis that could upheave your life.... Well maybe it's actually worth getting stressed about.

The best part about this is you can actually lie to everyone else, but you cannot lie to yourself about how long it will matter for and just asking yourself the question has the effect whether or not you want to be angry and say yes it will matter.

focusforte ,

Going with the flow is such an important skill that more parents need to put more of a focus in teaching. It's all about making sure that your response is a realistic way of attaining your goal in the situation.

If I'm talking to someone else and trying to help them through a situation like they say, ask them to think for a minute if getting angry will do anything at all to help the situation they find themselves in.

"You are absolutely right to be upset about this situation, and if you need to take a minute to feel that rage, go right ahead. Once you're ready though, let's take a deep breath, remember that we can't change what's already happened and instead be strategic and intentional about what we do from here to correct for what just happened"

Being able to gain control of yourself is a skill that requires practice. Intrusive thoughts and feelings and emotions happen to everyone, the trick is just recognizing when it's happening. When you recognize that it's happening, take a deep breath and shake it off. For me that means just slowing down and being much more methodical and intentional about anything that I say or do until that fight or flight mode response disengages. Be conscious of the fact that my reflexes cannot be trusted when I am in fight or flight mode.

13esq ,

I just think about all the times that getting mad actually helped the situation in any way at all.

I mean, in some situations, getting mad is the correct response, but I find that to be extremely rare.

After getting mad, the situation is usually still just as shit but you're even more upset and you've probably upset some other people around you too.

prole , avatar

I can't tell you. I experimented with psychedelics in my 20s, and it wouldn't surprise me if that change in behavior was one take away from that time... It's easy to say life is meaningless, but to personally experience it (or at least what felt like it at the time) is a whole different thing.

After that realization, you get some perspective I guess.

amanneedsamaid , (edited )

This probably isn't a helpful response, but for me, once something is inevitable I don't see a point in getting upset, so I don't. For instance I' the dogs tracv dirt through the house, I'd definitely be a bit annoyed that I have to clean it up, but actually letting it get to me would only serve to make my night worse.

MonkderZweite ,

You should take a sabbatical or however else a time out.

Ookami38 ,

The secret isn't not getting mad. The secret is going with the flow despite being mad. If you're constantly triggered by small things (like your dog getting some mud inside) then there's proooooobably something a bit deeper that needs to be addressed. But either way, do the things, mad or not. Emotions happen, they're never "wrong" but you can also determine what to do with them, or what to do despite them.

Hestia ,

Someday they'll be dead, and I'll be passing on their grave. Then I'll be "going with the flow"

Sasuke , avatar

i need to adopt a cat-owner mentality

Barzaria ,

For me: get enough sleep and/or do exercise. Getting 9 hours is my ideal but I settle for 7 more often than I should. As for exercise: running, hitting the heavy bag, jump rope, rowing, weight lifting, swimming, walking, VR boxing (got too sweaty for it to be a long term thing), rock climbing; all these things have been good over the years or whatever you want. Cortisol builds up in your system and exercise breaks it down. You can't be stressed if you're exhausted. I think of the two as shielding and loading. Sleep increases my shielding from stressors and exercise decreases my baseline stress load. The two together are the actual answer, in my opinion.

ZeDespo ,

I'm going to be echoing a lot of these comments, but it really is a matter of perspective. In a day, a week, or a month after the anger inducing event, will you really be proud of yourself if you got angry and died on that hill? Once I realized that it really helps with a lot of other negative emotions like doubt, anxiety, and sadness.

indepndnt ,

In the movie Point Of No Return, the main character is taught by one of her trainers to say "I never did mind about the little things." To demonstrate the appropriate use of the phrase, later in the movie a guy shoots her friend then looks at her to see how she's going to react and she says it to him. Given the time and perspective thus afforded her, she later kills that guy before he kills her.

I dunno, I just think of that phrase a lot. Also I've been through a lot of big things that make practically everything seem like Little Things in comparison.

WittyProfileName2 , avatar

I close my eyes, take a deep breath, and then try to envision everything my body just did to take that breath.

The intercostal muscles expanding an' the diaphragm contracting to make a vacuum in the thoracic cavity.

The air rushing down my trachea, into my bronchus, then into the bronchioles.

The alveoli swelling individually as the air fills 'em.

My lungs filling the vacuum that the muscles created.

It's a lot of things to keep ahold of all at once, so there ain't the space in my mind to keep thinking of what annoyed me (until some daft bastard goes and does it again mind you).

oxjox , (edited ) avatar

"Don't sweat the small stuff. It's all small stuff".

It's about adjusting your perspective. Some things can be looked at as new challenges and opportunities for creativity. Some things can feel very important and weigh on you but given a day or two can be irrelevant. Other things like death, finances, or relationships are difficult to get past, but you will eventually. Taking a breath to step outside the situation or looking at it from someone else's perspective can really help.

I absolutely have these little moments every day. I get mad, say some 'what the fucks' out loud, call myself an asshole, etc, then move on seconds later. Giving your emotions a reasonable amount of time to smack you up is a good thing. Allowing them to take over isn't helping anyone.

Edit: Come to think of it, I was just around my mother for the holidays. She is agent of chaos. She has a short temper, she yells, she's erratic, she very much exerts her irrational stress upon others. Without getting into my entire childhood, I'll share that it took me many years to figure out why I was so short tempered and angry at everything. The quote I started this post with was what sparked the change for me.

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