Do you know when you make a big deal out of a small thing? It's often referred to as making a mountain out of a molehill, or a minor into a major, and in cognitive behavioural therapy, often referred to as catastrophising. Most of us do it. Some of us know we do it and are mindful. Some of us aren't aware but suffer the tension.
Becoming aware that you are doing this can be a life changer. Remember that life can be hard enough, so we can feel better without imagining the worse or blowing things up out of proportion.
One of the most common ones is about the weather, not all rain is bad, is it?
An example of making a minor thing into a major deal could be getting upset or stressed out about a small mistake at work, such as sending an email with a typo or forgetting to attach a document. While these mistakes may be frustrating or embarrassing, they are ultimately minor in the grand scheme of things and are unlikely to have significant consequences.
Another example could be getting upset over a minor disagreement with a friend or family member, such as a difference in opinion. While it's natural to feel annoyed or frustrated, getting overly upset or angry can make the situation feel like a major problem when it really isn't.
These are just a couple of examples, but the point is that making a minor thing into a major deal often involves blowing something out of proportion or getting overly emotional about an unimportant situation.
It's important to identify the underlying reasons why we might be making minor things feel like major problems so that we can address them effectively. Then, we can learn to manage our thoughts and emotions and respond more effectively to minor issues with practice and effort.
Look at some of the reasons why we may make a big deal out of the small stuff.
I notice myself overreacting when I'm tired, or a series of events have upset me, and I haven't dealt with them. And if I have little time to myself or to take care of my needs. Or if I give time to a situation, I know isn't serving me well. Oh, and if I have been focused on helping others over my own needs. And actually, if I am anxious because of all the above.
Stress and anxiety: When we are stressed or anxious, our perception of minor problems can be amplified. Our brains may perceive small issues as threats, leading us to react with a fight-or-flight response.
Past experiences: Our past experiences can influence our perception of current situations. If we have experienced significant problems, we may be more likely to perceive minor problems as major issues.
Perfectionism: If we have high standards for ourselves and others, we may be more likely to view even minor issues as major problems. Attention-seeking: Sometimes, we exaggerate minor problems to gain attention or sympathy from others.
Emotional state: Our emotional state can also impact how we perceive
minor things. If we are already feeling stressed or anxious, minor things can feel like major problems, and we may be more likely to blow them out of proportion.
Lack of perspective: Sometimes, we may lack perspective on a situation. If we only focus on one aspect of the situation, we may overlook the bigger picture and make minor things feel like major problems.
Personal values: Our personal values and beliefs can also impact how we perceive minor things. If we place a high value on certain things, like punctuality or organization, we may view minor infractions as major problems.
The first step to understanding how you may be creating stress and overreaction is to become aware of your reactions mentally, physically, and emotionally.
Identify what is truly important and focus on those things.
Ask yourself if the issue you worry about will matter a week, a month, or a year from now.
If not, try to let it go.
Take a step back: When you notice that you're starting to feel overwhelmed or stressed about a minor thing, take a step back and try to gain some perspective. Ask yourself if this situation is really as serious as it feels right now.
Mindfulness techniques: Mindfulness can help you to become more aware of your thoughts and emotions and to recognize when you are sweating the small stuff.
Practice self-care: Take care of yourself physically and mentally. Exercise, eat well, get enough sleep, and engage in activities that bring you joy and relaxation.
Change your mindset: Instead of seeing the small stuff as problems, try to see them as opportunities to learn and grow. This can help to shift your perspective and reduce your tendency to worry about minor issues.
Remember, changing thought patterns takes time and practice. So be patient with yourself and celebrate your progress along the way.
Seek support: Talk to a trusted friend, family member, or of course me!
For me, I know when I overreact, I feel anxious, tight, and unhappy, so it's worthwhile doing the work to feel calm, happy, and enjoy my life.
"Worrying how things go wrong doesn't help things go right." — Karen Salmansohn
Please email me for a free 30 min coaching call. firstname.lastname@example.org
It's time to feel happy in your own skin.
Love Love Caron xox