In April 2011, I posted mental health mantras--phrases you can repeat to yourself during difficult times. Here are my 2012 mantras, designed specifically to help in those moments when you're amplifying your own stress unnecessarily:
1) You don't need to like everything. This is something you can tell yourself when you're having a tantrum (out loud or in your mind) because you don't like the new duvet cover your partner bought, or you're in the mood for sushi but your friends want to order pizza, or your secretary booked you on a 7am flight. If you're saying to yourself but I don't like beige, I don't like pizza, I don't like getting up early, consider that it's not necessary to like every single thing that happens, and that people deal with things they don't like all the time. Maybe your partner didn't like the paint colour you picked for the bathroom, or your friends didn't like the restaurant you picked for your birthday dinner. Remembering that no one gets to like everything can help you laugh at yourself a little and snap out of your huff.
2) I can do hard things. This is for when it's time to ask your intimidating boss for a raise, when you're packing to move for the fifth time in two years, or when you're living alone after the end of a long relationship, and all you can think about is how hard it's going to be. Certain things are hard and rather than telling yourself they won't be, try reminding yourself that hard is something you can do.
3) This is the fun part. This is for when you can't wait until your child is out of diapers, until you finish your degree, or until your new home is all painted and set up, and you're stressing yourself out trying to get there as quickly as you can. This is the fun part can help you slow down and connect with the excitement or pleasure of the process, making toilet training, earning a degree, and shopping and decorating less stressful and more fun. (For things that just plain aren't fun, see number four.)
4) This is part of it. This is for when you're excited to send your mom the perfect birthday gift you found but get stuck in an endless line at the post office, when you're going on a road trip but get caught in Friday afternoon traffic, or when you're registering for a course online using an absurdly non-user-friendly website. Dealing with waiting, traffic, and poorly designed Web systems become much more bearable if you can adjust your perception of them: rather than preventing you from sending the gift, getting out of town, and registering for your course, they're simply part of sending the gift, getting out of town, and registering.
I hope these help--keep me posted!