You have heard the saying, “There is no use crying over spilled milk.” When it comes to stress and anxiety, many times we are our own worst enemy. We grip on to events that we really need to let go of. We have locked ourselves into a prison of hurt and yet we also hold the key. Furthermore, stress has been shown to be incredibly bad for not only your emotional and psychological health, but also your physical health.

Here are 20 frustrations in life to let go of:

1. When you knew you were right.

Things were going to turn out just as you had predicted, but nobody listened. All that damage could have been spared and avoided had they only listened. It is a double hurt because you do not feel respected, and now you do not respect them. Try to remind yourself that everyone makes mistakes.

2. Your ‘ugly’ body part.

Nobody is perfect. The fact that supermodels still see flaws in themselves just confirms that if you look hard enough, you will inevitably find something you are not happy about. Embrace your flaws—they are what makes you unique.

3. The joke that went too far.

And you were the butt of it. There is a fine line between funny and offensive. If they really went beyond the line, then you may want to talk to them in private—even though every part of you wants to punch them in public. Most likely the person did not intend to take the joke too far.

4. Getting cut off while driving.

No need to become another road rage statistic. It does not matter what country you are driving in, there are always going to be reckless people on the road. At the same time, you never know who is racing to the hospital about to have a baby!

5. When you did not get the credit you deserve.

Even worse when someone else got all the glory. Work toward finding more contentment and appreciation in your own personal accomplishments. Break free from the need to be approved by others.

6. Not taking that chance.

That seeming once-in-a-lifetime opportunity and you did not grab it. Now all you have is that bitter scar of regret. It may be a fairytale-ish saying, but it is true: “If you love something, set it free, if it returns, it was meant to be.”

7. Bad restaurant food.

It is always a risk going to a new restaurant—even when you order your trusted favorite dish, it can turn out to be a disaster. By all means tell the waiter or waitress that you thought it was terrible, most likely they will give you a different meal. But certainly do not let it dampen the conversation and company of those you are with, especially if you are on a date!

8. Not paying someone back.

You were broke and going through a tough financial time, and the years have since passed. Now there is a rift in the relationship and money is not going to help. Do not be afraid to acknowledge that you messed up to a person to whom you owe money. Maybe send them a gift or a card.

9. When you said too much.

You try to catch the words but they have already fled from your mouth. You are dumbfounded at the stupidity of what you just said. If they are a true friend though, they will get over it. It happens to the brightest.

10. The cooking disaster.

Ever tried to impress someone with a home-cooked meal and your dog would not even eat it? That is why there are so many takeout or home-delivery places these days. Make the phone call.

11. When you were lied to.

Betrayal is brutal. Like getting sucker punched. Remember that old saying, “Hurt people hurt people?” Rather than punch them back, you could really catch them off guard by asking them what is happening in their life that caused them to do that. You may even free them from some deep-rooted pain.

12. The spending spree.

You make an excited purchase but about a month later you are filled with regret because you never used the item. Redeem the experience and donate the item to someone who really needs it. Most places will still give you a store credit as well.

13. When you did not stand up for something.

You feel like a coward. What that person said was offensive and you should have put them in their place. But the momentary pacifism does not have to linger and keep you trapped in frustration. Forgive yourself and be more intentional next time.

14. Not keeping promises.

Our intentions sometimes get the better of our actions. It is certainly much better not to make lofty unfulfilled promises, but rather to quietly carry out what you intended to do. It is better to underpromise and overdeliver than overpromise and underdeliver.

15. Traffic Jams.

Rather than have you blood boil over the road work or the accident, use the time to reflect a little. Just breathe. If traffic is at a complete standstill then make a phone call or step out of your car.

16. Getting fired.

Or being made redundant. Circumstances can be very unfair. But perhaps that job was not the right one for you. Use this time off to think about what really excites you and begin to pursue that.

17. What the bully said in 5th grade.

Words do hurt, often more than sticks and stones. But the only reason why the effects linger is because you keep letting the words run through your mind. A helpful way to get rid of toxic thoughts is to imagine writing the words on a piece of paper and then tearing it up.

18. When you gave up too soon.

The light was clearly at the end of the tunnel, if only you pushed that little bit further you would have made it. But for whatever reason, you crumbled. Learn from your mistakes. Figure out where you went wrong. There is always another race.

19. Saying, “I love you.”

Whether you said it when you did not mean it, or you did not say it when you needed to. The moment passes and you are willing for it to return. Do not try to re-create the moment. You cannot force those moments. But if it was the right moment, then it will return. Just be prepared.

20. Irony.

All captured brilliantly in that song by Alanis Morissette, Ironic: “It’s like rain on your wedding day, It’s a free ride when you’ve already paid, It’s the good advice that you just didn’t take.” Life is indeed full of providential paradoxes. Rather than fight fate, it is probably better to embrace it.

There is one major element that ties all of these 20 points together, and that is forgiveness. The ability to forgive yourself and the ability to forgive others. Frustrations are dissolved through healing. Healing happens when the pain disappears. So whether the pain was caused by yourself or caused by the other person, find a way to let go.

Featured photo credit: girl blowing dandelion by AnnaOmelchenko via stockfresh.com

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