Don't Sweat The Small Stuff

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Don't Sweat The Small Stuff
Richard Carlson
Star Star Star Star Star
5 out of 5
Short Summary:
A sensational self-help book with almost a Buddhist, zen-like compilation of best thinking tips and mind strategies for taking control of thoughts that can take over your life. It has been a personal favorite since high school years. A must-read for anyone who wants to gain inner peace and learn how to flow with the world and let go of problems.
Terry's Notes:

Detachment is not caring less but caring more for your own serenity.


Techniques for worries, anxieties, angry thoughts and rumination

1) Nip it in the bud. Don't let thoughts snowball and gain momentum

2) Bad feelings and thoughts are like a warning system that tells you to slow down

3) Don't fight thoughts. Don't resist. Let it be.

4) Do service for others

5) Appreciate every day

6) Great successful people have their own ups and downs. They just know how not to take those ups and downs so seriously

7) Just be aware of your thoughts. "Oh, there they go again"

8) Be loving toward yourself. "Oh, that's okay. I will do better next time! I love myself"

9) Love others



When you are feeling upset

When your red flag of obsession/frustration goes up, follow these steps


2)   Ask yourself “Will this matter 1 year from now?”

3)   Ask yourself “Will this matter at my deathbed?”

4)   Count to 10 with deep breaths in and out

5)   Say this out loud “This too shall pass. Stay cool and everything will turn out like they are supposed to”

6)   Go for an awareness walk. Or exercise, run

7)   Do push-ups or sit-ups aggressively to use that negative energy

8)   Look at funny videos/Think funny thoughts and make yourself laugh.

9)   Write down your emotions like you are looking at another person

10)Sleep on it. Make decisions at least 24 hours later.


“If you stay cool, everything will work themselves out”




Grateful when you are feeling good

Graceful when you are feeling bad

The next time you are feeling bad, rather than fight it, try to relax. See if instead of panicking, you can be graceful and calm. Know that if you don’t fight your negative feelings, if you are graceful, they will pass away just as surely as the sun sets in the evening.


Empty your mind and go with the flow”


Being upset is okay

“Cut yourself some slack”

Accept that there’s nothing called the “perfect inner peace” Something will always bother you and bring you negative feelings but that’s okay! When you have learned the art of letting go, you will say to yourself “oh well I messed up again. I will handle it differently next time” EVERYTIME! Learn from the past; don't beat yourself up about it. It's gone; it's never coming back. Instead learn from it for next time. Then allow yourself to be happy.


Other important lessons for the mind

Think of what you have instead of what you want


Daily Discipline

1)     Meditate everyday for at least 5 minutes

Just let the thoughts come and drift away without interest. Welcome all that happens. Simply, let it come, and let it go. Don’t get in the way. The silence of meditation offers you peace of mind. Silence allows the truth to manifest itself. Experience the power of silence. Silence does not judge. All-absorbing silence frees us from expectations.

Let Go. Cease expectations.  Try to think of your mind as empty space which is truly quiet. Your thoughts are quiet and serene, with little or no conscious awareness. Stray thoughts like shooting stars may drift through this space. Of course, if left alone they leave as easy as they came. As you drift up toward alertness, you are conscious of your surroundings, yet you still feel quiet and relaxed. Imagine relaxing on the beach in the warmth of the setting sunset.

It is silence which can help put an end to our addictions and self-delusions. Silence opens our door for forgiveness.

2)   Wake up 30 minutes before you are supposed to do something to allow yourself peace time and selfish indulgence of quiet

3)   Use your written journal for making small reminders, appreciations, compliments, encouragements, thoughts, ideas and others … save it for before you go to sleep



Chapter 8: Other important things to do/not to do for peace


1)   Busier you are with activities, less time you have to pay attention to self-defeating thoughts and negativities. If you want to be lazy and sit still, make sure to EMPTY your mind instead of wandering off to negative thoughts. The best thing is to FIND ACTIVITIES THAT MAKE YOU HAPPY and keep doing them.


Exercise We know we should exercise for our physical health. It turns out exercise can be a powerful influence on our mental outlook and emotions as well. Exercise regulates stress hormones, such as cortisol, which moderates and dissipates negative emotions such as anxiety and anger. Exercise also boosts “feel good” chemicals like endorphins.

Some research has found that exercise can lower the risk of depression and help alleviate symptoms of depression and anxiety disorders. So exercise reduces negative emotions and increases positive emotions; sounds like a recipe for happiness.

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