Emotional Wellbeing



Self Improvement

Mandy Kloppers

Learn to pick your battles



small challenges photo


Learn to pick your battles

Have you ever heard of the expression: “Making mountains out of molehills”? I have come to believe that a lot of the stress and anxiety that we experience in our lives comes from magnifying and ‘catastrophising’ problems. I know I do it. A few years back I received a parking ticket that I felt was completely unfair and unjust. It was such a long and protracted saga that I am not going to bore you with details but suffice to say – a year later the problem had not gone away. I had a court date to go to the Crown Court (God knows how a parking ticket ended up as a matter  for the Crown Court) and I had amassed a pile of paperwork to fill three huge arch lever files. In the end I was given a complete pardon but it didn’t save me money in the end and the angst was certainly not worth proving the principle.

Now I am much more selective when choosing which battles to fight. I am a huge stickler for justice and this often gets me into trouble but I have managed to learn how to see the bigger picture and decide which matters are ‘small hills’ to navigate around and which hills are actually mountains that need to be addressed. Life is only as serious as you decide it needs to be.

Keeping a sense of humour is a great tool for combating stress and challenges. We can work ourselves into a right old froth by listening to our thinking – especially the thoughts that make us feel powerless, used or abused in some way. (Remember thoughts DO NOT represent reality directly – they are merely interpretations of what is going on).

I am still a huge advocate of standing up for myself and I won’t go quietly when the issue is of great importance but I have learned to let go hurtful comments from others, lies that are told about me or small injustices that I know I can live with. It’s a constant assessment about the emotional effort involved compared with the importance of the issue at hand. If I feel I can make a difference in a positive way, I might just wade into the fray. If it has to do with how other people think and their preferences I tend to leave it alone. You can’t control how others think and act, all you have control over is your behaviour and how you react (personal responsibility).

Only you can decide what is non-negotiable in your life and what you can live with. It might just be worth re-assessing the non-negotiable list from time to time though as I know mine has changed and has reduced dramatically in the last few years. It’s a feeling of freedom – knowing that there are fewer things in life that are going to ‘hook you in’ or press your emotional buttons.

Mandy X




Photo by Nathan O’Nions