How To Not Let Things Bother You: Learning to Cope

Updated March 28, 2024by Regain Editorial Team

How often has someone told you not to let something bother you? How often have they told you that it’s “no big deal” and you should “just move on”? Just about everyone has heard some version of those statements, but letting things go can be much more difficult than it seems. In fact, many people struggle with letting things go. However, holding onto those thoughts and feelings can be just as hard on your life as releasing them. So, what can you do?

The downsides of letting things bother you

Getty/Vadym Pastukh

Lots of things can bother us. When you allow something to bother you for an extended period, it has the potential to ruin your day. More than that, it could ruin your entire week, month, or even year. It all depends on what that something is and how long you allow it to continue to bother you. 

While it can be hard to feel this way, know that we have control over how long we allow something to bother us, and that we can change our feelings with our thoughts. Once you’ve become adept at practicing certain emotional control skills, you’ll be on track to living your life the way you want, without letting anything ruin your day.

Stop letting things bother you

Here are some of our best tips for managing the annoying things that make you angry. Keep in mind that using these strategies successfully takes practice. Not everyone will use all of them, but these great tips can help you overcome negative thoughts during tough times.

Understand yourself

When it comes to not letting things bother you, the first thing is learning how to stop it before it starts. But how are you going to stop yourself from letting something get to you in the first place? One of the best things to do is start working on the person that you want to be. By learning how to love yourself for who you are and to forgive yourself for mistakes or things that don’t go exactly as planned, you can have a much better chance of not letting something ruin your day. That’s because a lot of the time, when you let something bother you, it’s because you’re feeling bad about yourself.

When someone insults you, and you don’t believe what they say, it doesn’t affect you, or you might be surprised but then able to brush it off easily. However, if you understand what they say, or you allow yourself to think about it for any period of time, that’s when it can start to bother you. By becoming more confident in who you are and being willing to accept and forgive your mistakes, you can reduce the number of times something gets to you like that. And you can make sure that you’re able to work through it faster as well.

Know why something bothers you

Another step is to think about why a stimulus (whatever it might be) is bothering you. What is it about a statement or action by yourself or someone else that is bothering you? Is it because you think it’s true? Is it because you’re disappointed in yourself or disappointed in them? Maybe it’s because you feel like they’ve betrayed your trust or that you’ve betrayed their trust. If that’s the case, you’ll need to work through the feelings.


If you feel that you’re the one who has done something wrong, the best thing to do is own up to it. Talk to the person whom you have hurt and tell them what happened. You don’t need to explain yourself, and you likely shouldn’t because it sounds like you’re defending your actions. Instead, explain what you did and apologize. Acknowledge that what you did was wrong, share why you know it was wrong, and hope they can forgive you.

On the other hand, if you feel that someone else has wronged you, you’ll want to focus on what it is about the thing they’ve done that hurt you. Then, revert to step one. This is where you should recognize whatever truth there may be in what someone else says about you or acknowledge that you are not perfect and make mistakes. From there, you have to be willing to forgive yourself for those thoughts and feelings or for those mistakes you have made.

Don’t bottle things up

Negative thoughts can get in the way of overcoming anger. If you bottle up your thoughts and feelings, it will likely not prevent something from bothering you. Instead, it’s possibly going to bother you for a whole lot longer because those thoughts and feelings are still rattling around in your mind. When you bottle up emotions, it means that you’re pushing them down and not allowing yourself to feel and process them. When you do that, you’re potentially going to have trouble

So, you might start to feel those emotions or think those thoughts again at a highly inconvenient time. Or you might struggle to get past those emotions at all. Not to mention, they can affect your relationship with the person who said or did those things.

Instead, it’s essential to reach out to the person and let them know what’s going on. It’s not always possible to talk to someone about how they have hurt you, but if at all possible, it’s something you absolutely should do. 

After all, the only way to stop them from those behaviors in the future is to make sure they understand that they’re not okay in the present. Otherwise, they might assume that it’s not a big matter or that you thought it was funny. Even if you can’t talk to them about what you’re experiencing, it’s still important to let those thoughts and emotions out on your own.

You might want to find a quiet place where you can talk things out entirely alone. Perhaps you want to sit down and journal it out or write a letter that you never send. All these things can help you get the thoughts and feelings out of your head at the present moment. That way, you don’t have to worry about them coming up later and causing you even more problems.

Why am I so short-tempered?

Everyone has an occasional bad day. Lots of stimuli, including the small things, can cause tempers to flare up: traffic delays, losing an opportunity and even breaking a fingernail are some of them. Children may have temper tantrums because they’re hungry or thirsty. For adults, temper triggers often come from work, stress, finances, and family responsibilities, and these reactions may reflect perceived self-worth. 

You may find yourself yelling, making a quip, saying hurtful things or outright arguing with another person. In some cases, your bad mood may make you may throw or break things, lash out at objects or people, or seek revenge.  How you respond to the trigger shows insight into your mental health. Feeling short-tempered can also be one of the symptoms of bipolar disorder, which can be diagnosed by a mental health specialist. 

The reason some people don’t lose their tempers is because they’ve developed adequate coping strategies that help them move past the anger. They’ve learned to manage their own reactions with self-compassion and curiosity, versus judgment and fear.

Control your reactions

Sometimes it isn’t easy to put things into perspective, but you must do it. If you find yourself blowing things out of proportion or jumping to conclusions throughout the whole day, it could be that you’re letting your emotions control you rather than the other way around. 

Instead, focus on precisely what’s happening without looking too deep into it. Now, if you recognize a pattern of behavior in a friend or acquaintance, you might need to look at the big picture, but in general, you want to look at things on a smaller scale. Why do these things bother you so much?

If your friend forgot to pick up the snacks you asked for at the grocery store, it might be that they have a lot on their mind or were in a hurry and not that they don’t care what you want. If your brother didn’t make a dinner reservation, for example, it might be that they thought you would do it or that the time you wanted was already booked and not that they didn’t want to spend time with you. Instead of assuming that one little thing is a sign of something major, look at it as just what it is, a little thing, and be willing to let it go. Stop letting people affect how you feel.

Creating a calming strategy


Another important part of the emotional control process is to have a strategy in place for what you’re going to do when something bad happens or when something negatively impacts you in any way. You want to have an idea of something that will help you relax, take a few deep breaths and reset. That means setting up some form of a stress management plan that will help you move forward. 

The more you learn ways to stop yourself from focusing on what has happened, the more you’re going to be able to move past it. That doesn’t mean it won’t hurt or that you don’t have to cope with it in other ways, but taking a little time to walk away might help you do exactly that.

Your calming strategy might entail reading a book, listening to your favorite song, writing in a journal, or any number of other things. No matter what it is, it can be instrumental in making sure that you can help yourself. That, after all, is the most important part of the process.

Getting help for emotional control

In addition to external stressors like grief, many mental illnesses are associated with anger. Although The DSM-5 identifies more than two dozen mental illnesses associated with anger, some of them include:

  • Bipolar disorder

  • Borderline personality disorder

  • Depression

  • Intermittent explosive disorder

  • Oppositional defiance disorder (ODD)

Therapists can help you learn how to control your anger and manage your disorder by teaching you coping mechanisms. That said, you don’t need to have a diagnosable mental health condition to experience profound anger or struggle with managing negative emotions.

For those who struggle with these steps and accept their own mistakes, you might benefit from seeking professional help. It’s not easy to forgive yourself or to admit that you are not perfect. In fact, many people live their entire lives striving for perfection, and the idea that they can never achieve it may not be acceptable. That’s where it can help to have a professional in your corner. They can help you recognize the reality about perfection’s unattainability and the value of accepting your mistakes. Everyone makes mistakes, and no one is perfect.

If you are in need of professional help, you can contact Regain to get in touch with a mental health professional entirely online. All you have to do is find someone with whom you feel comfortable, and you’ll be able to set up an appointment at a time that works for your schedule. That way, you can start working on improving your self-confidence and self-esteem to learn more about stopping letting certain things bother you.

Many people have sought online counseling for anger management and emotional control. In one study conducted at the Centre for Psychiatry Research in Sweden, participants with self-reported anger and aggression concerns engaged in an internet intervention designed to reduce their negative thoughts and feelings. Results showed that, overall, the sample experienced significantly lower levels of outward anger expression, aggression, and anger rumination.


Learning how to acknowledge uncomfortable or distressing thoughts while not allowing them to consume you is a challenging yet valuable life skill. When we can learn to not take things personally, accept our personal flaws, and be kind to ourselves, we may be more able to experience positive emotions in our daily lives. Should you feel that an online therapist would be an asset in your support network, you can reach out to Regain when you are ready.

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