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What to Do When You’re Faced with a First-World Problem

In general, we’re a pretty stressed out society. Most Americans will admit to feeling some level of stress or anxiety, whether it relates to work, family, finances, or a combination of factors. Stress adds up, and it has serious health consequences over the long term. While we often feel guilty when we complain about first-world problems, and it’s always a good idea to keep things in perspective, as  there’s no denying that minor inconveniences can be downright annoying.

The issues at hand might not be the end of the world, but they can disrupt our days, make us late to appointments, cost us extra money, and contribute to the stress we already face. Whether it’s getting stuck behind a rude customer in the Starbucks drive-thru or not being able to find a place to park, we all know how frustrating these spontaneous incidents can be. Faced with a trivial problem that is driving you up the wall? You’ll laugh about it once some time has passed. But in the meantime, here are some helpful tips to keep your cool and handle the problem with grace and efficiency.

Use practical breathing techniques to steady yourself.

When you’re dealing with a difficult customer service representative or sales clerk who refuses to hear you out, it’s tempting to want to cause a scene and demand to speak to the manager. But science has proven that deep, slow, controlled breathing not only helps to ease anxiety, but also regulates your CO2 levels. In the heat of the moment, try to focus on your breathing rather than erupting. Step away, hold your breath for three seconds, and then exhale on the third breath, relaxing your facial muscles as you do so. Repeat as many times as you need until you feel physically and mentally calmer. It’s amazing what a few seconds of self-care can do to ground you and enable you to approach a stressful situation with a fresh perspective.

Be prepared before you start a new project.

While unexpected problems can and will arise whenever you try something new, it stands to reason that the more prepared you are for a project, the less likely you are to be burdened by stress during the process. Impulsivity can lead to a lot of fully preventable issues. If you are planning to undertake a massive home renovation project, lay out your budget and figure out where you can cut costs beforehand. Consider renting tools rather than buying them outright. There are plenty of companies like this forklift rental company in Akron, OH that help the frugal among us. Don’t be afraid to admit when you’re in over your head, either. Professional construction workers, such as the premier homebuilders in Hanover, PA, can help if you’re feeling overwhelmed.

Learn your options.

Where there’s a will, there’s most certainly a way. If you run into a problem that seems insurmountable, chances are, there is a way to resolve it practically and without too much expense. You might have to take a few extra steps or speak to a few more HR managers than you initially planned, but stepping back for a moment and reflecting on what you might be able to do to handle the situation productively can bring you immense relief and inner peace after all is said and done. Sometimes a seemingly bad situation can help divert you from an even worse situation down the road! Remember that even if you miss your flight out of Newark and have to spend a night in a nearby hotel, there is always airport parking in Newark, NJ and another flight out in the morning.

First-world problems may seem trivial in hindsight, but it’s always important to keep things in perspective to stress less and maintain a worry-free attitude.

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