Book review: Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff—And It’s All Small Stuff by Richard Carlson

Simple Ways to Keep the Little Things from Taking Over your Life

This book is similar to the last book on Zen philosophy that I reviewed which was The Art of Simple Living. It consists of 100 suggestions to simplify your life and starts by noting things about our volatile world such as entertainment is more attractive than education, personal gain rates higher than personal growth, and being selfless is less attractive than taking selfies. We’re in an age where we are immobilized by little things that get in the way of what we want. So, when it seems to many of us that society has lost its way, this book is here to bring you back to your simplified higher self and core values of kindness.

Some of the 100 points touched on in this brief, honest, pure and simple little self-help book are:

  • Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff—instead of focusing on little problems and concerns and blow them out of proportion, focus on the magic and beauty of life.
  • Make Peace with Imperfection—in the absence of judgment and seeking perfection, you’ll then discover the perfection in life itself.
  • Beware of the Snowball Effect of Your Thinking—notice how negative and insecure thinking spirals out of control and becomes a thought tornado.
  • Develop Your Compassion—nothing helps us build our perspective more than empathy of what others experience. It develops our sense of gratitude for the miracle of life.
  • Learn to Live in the Present Moment—don’t allow past problems and future concerns to make us anxious or depressed. Now is the only time we have and the only time that we have any control over.
  • Ask Yourself the Question, “Will This Matter a Year from Now?”—play time warp and ask if this “will be one more irrelevant detail in your life?” Don’t allow a mental fork in the road let you get uptight about mini crisis in life.
  • Practice Humility—humility and inner peace go hand-in-hand. The less compelled you are to prove yourself to others, the more peace inside yourself.
  • Practice Being in the Eye of the Storm—stay in the specific spot of the center of life’s metaphorical tornadoes or hurricanes that is calm and isolated from the frenzy of stressed or dramatized activity. Be serene in the midst of chaos.
  • Live This Day as if it Were Your Last. It Might Be—Spend time doing things that you can’t bear to let go unfinished should this moment be your last.

The greatest discovery of my generation is that a human being can alter his life by altering his attitude.

William James

This book definitely does give the reader the tools to choose not to sweat the small stuff and to live the big stuff with greater happiness, peace, and big joy. To read this wonderful book, get it here.

Until my next post, why not check out my YA novels about mental illness, memoir writing, or even my Native American mystery series on Amazon, or follow me on TwitterInstagramFacebookGoodreadsLinkedInBookbub , BookSprout, or AllAuthor.

Book review for From Stress to Stillness: Tools for Inner Peace by Gina Lake

This self-help book starts out with how stress affects the body via the stress channel and goes into how to and not create stress which was very interesting. “Stress results from the negative stories (negative thoughts in our body that cause tension and a sense of contraction) that our egoic mind tell us about ourselves, life, others, the past, the present, or the future.” We think we need such thoughts when they interfere with handling life and making it less enjoyable. So how do we let go of mental baggage? Awareness and turning down the volume on the egoic mind’s radio station of relentless mind messages. Or at least change it to the stillness channel which expand us rather than contracts us. The more we tune into stillness the easier it becomes and the less compelling the egoic chatter is.

The different types of stressful thoughts are explained nicely: “I” thoughts, stories, judgments, “shoulds”, self-criticism, self-doubt, fears, worries, ideas of perfection, and thoughts about the past. That section is followed nicely by their antidotes, or ways to drop the mental baggage like accepting people for the way they are and not imposing our desires and expectations on them. Or when it’s not reminiscing it’s reliving and drudging up sour circumstances. Our memories don’t even accurately reflect what happened in the past.

Noticing, accepting, investigating, reframing, and letting go of stressful thoughts and feelings is the way to heal the scab of unresolved memories or negative thoughts. And reframing is a way to let go of ideas of perfection. The author describes in detail how to do this next. Being present, being in the body and senses, being willing to not know, being grateful, accepting life, breathing practices, meditation, and bridges to presence are ways to switch the egoic mind’s radio channel to stillness. This book is filled with dialogue to change from negative to positive as well as instruction on how to meditate.

Changing our lifestyle by making time for stillness, slowing down, realizing less is more, reassessing our relationship to the media, and making time for our heart’s desires was an interesting chapter. I particularly enjoyed the thought about reassessing our relationship to the media and instead slowing down and making time for what will really calm us, which is things like gratitude, compassion, meditation, and breathing practices.

Keys to changing our lifestyle:

  • Make peace and less stress a priority
  • Meditate daily
  • Do things more slowly and with more presence
  • Minimize multitasking
  • Unplug and walk in nature, listen to music, cook, play, or garden
  • Remove ourselves from negative situations and people
  • Eliminate soul-stripping or unnecessary activities
  • Be selective about television and the media
  • Consume fewer material goods

So realize the ego is often referred to by the term “false self” for a reason because it’s phony or false. Choose to eliminate that stress channel and tune into stillness by being present in the moment by letting go of that stressful thought the moment we recognize it. Stop. Take a deep breath. Switch the channel. Whatever our attention is focused on gains power. This book also notes Bruce H. Lipton, Ph.D., author of The Biology of Belief which is a good choice to read. Keep in mind to slow down, be present, and follow our joy. Get the entire book here.

Until my next post, why not check out my YA novels about mental illness, memoir writing, or even my Native American mystery series on Amazon, or follow me on TwitterInstagramFacebookGoodreadsLinkedInBookbub , BookSprout, or AllAuthor.

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