wikiHow to Be Easy Going

Three Parts:Facing Problems with EaseFocusing on the PositiveAdopting Care-free Habits

Most people admire those who keep their cool and just take whatever is thrown at them. Have you ever wondered how to keep going and smile through hard times? Maybe you were not born with a laid-back attitude, but you can adopt one by changing the way you perceive and respond to the world around you. Learn how to take life in stride and develop the easy-going attitude you long for.

Part 1
Facing Problems with Ease

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    Don’t internalize problems. An easy-going person doesn’t become overwhelmed or bogged down by life’s problems. People with laid-back attitudes know all too well that even the worst problems are temporary. If you often overreact in the face of issues, it’s time to take a chill pill.
    • Instead of stomping off in anger or frustration or running what went wrong through your head over and over, take a deep breath. Breathe in through your nose for a few counts. Hold it, and then release the air through your mouth for a few counts. Repeat this until you feel calm and able to view the issue more objectively.[1]
    • Accept that “This, too, shall pass” by repeating the phrase to yourself whenever you encounter a problem that causes you to want to overreact. Remember that you don’t own all the problems of the world.
    • Practice mindfulness to help maintain emotional composure. Let in comments, ideas, and opinions without judgment or offense. Realize that these are a reflection on the person saying them and have little to do with you personally. Remind yourself that you are competent and able to deal with life’s problems as they arise.
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    Ask yourself if it really matters. Does it really matter if you have to bend down and pick up the papers you dropped? Does it really matter if you miss your bus? I think you will find that most times it doesn't really matter. Most issues we encounter on a daily basis seem important, but are truly minimal and inconsequential.
    • Question whether what you are getting upset about really is a big deal. Doing this helps you identify unnecessary stressors before they explode out of your control. Ask yourself “Will this affect my life in 1 year? 5 years?” If the answer is “no”, let it roll off your back like a bead of sweat and keep on with your day.[2]
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    Consider if there is something you can do about the situation. If it should turn out that it matters, be sure to consider if there is anything you can do about it right now. Sometimes, you may find yourself getting caught up in circumstances that are really out of your control. Ask if there is something you can do. If there is, go ahead and do it. If there isn't, what's the use of letting it get to you?
    • You can’t control things like the weather, politics, or the stock market, so there’s no use getting yourself upset when these types of things don’t go your way. Instead, focus your attention on all the things that you can control like your productivity, creativity, thought patterns and your character.[3]
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    Aim to find common ground in disagreements. Conflict doesn’t have to increase the distance between two people. It can actually be a benchmark to bring people closer together. When in disagreement, try not to focus on your differences with others. That is, what you believe to be true versus what they believe to be true. You can make more of an impact by highlighting mutual interests.[4]
    • An easy-going person respects the differences of others and is willing to listen and negotiate. Don’t get stuck in the mind frame that one of you has to be wrong. Look for the common ground and use that to resolve the issue.
    • For example, you and a friend are in disagreement over where to go for lunch. Both of you have different opinions and don’t seem willing to bend. To move the discussion forward, suggest to your friend that you both list all the places or types of cuisine that you absolutely do not want to go to. Then, you can use that common ground to find a place where you both wouldn’t mind eating.

Part 2
Focusing on the Positive

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    Put a stop to negative self-talk. A great way to develop more laid-back thinking habits is to notice when you are being negative and put a positive spin on it.[5] After you bring awareness to a bad attitude, you are more likely to catch it mounting in the future and not let it get the best of you.
    • For example, if you find yourself saying “I can never catch a break,” you should immediately look for an example that renders that statement untrue. Did you catch a break last week or even last month? Remind yourself of that opportunity and revise your statement: “I’m having a hard time right now, but it will get better.”
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    Practice gratitude to improve your mood and outlook. One of the best antidotes for beating worry is to focus on the good. You can do that by taking time each day and pointing out what you are thankful for in your life. Grateful people heal from sickness faster, are happier, and are more resilient to life’s problems. Plus, when you are aware of all that you have to be thankful for, you are less likely to ruminate over a bad situation and get stuck in a negative rut.[6]
    • Take some time at the end of each day to write down at least three things you are grateful for in a gratitude journal. When you feel down, review your journal and remind yourself of the positive things happening in your life.
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    Spend time with fun, positive people. Easy-going people have warm, happy, and supportive social connections. Having positive social interactions with friends, co-workers, and family can motivate you to make better health decisions and even live a longer life. The quality of your relationships does count thought. Be sure your relationships include satisfying interactions with people who make you feel better about yourself and your life.[7]
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    Find reasons to laugh. Laid-back and happy people are that way because they know how to have fun. When it comes to fun, having a sense of humor is an essential ingredient. Laughter provides relaxation, boosts cardiovascular functioning, and makes you more resistant to illness.[8]
    • Tell a joke to a friend. Watch a hilarious comedy TV show or movie. View crazy cat videos on YouTube. Make a commitment to laughing a few times a day—it’s the best medicine.[9]

Part 3
Adopting Care-free Habits

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    Go with the flow. Being overly serious can work against you if you are hoping to become more easy-going. Laid-back people tend to move with the tide rather than pushing against it. Even if you’re an adult with an important job, that doesn’t mean you have to be totally serious all the time. When it’s necessary to take a serious approach, do that. But during leisure time, make a commitment to lightening up some. Doing this will even make you more likeable to others.[10]
    • Say yes more. Make an effort to be more spontaneous. Even if you are more comfortable planning things out, once in a while say yes to a friend's random idea or spontaneous adventure.
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    Take personal responsibility for your own happiness. Assigning the job of keeping you happy to someone else will keep you frustrated and dissatisfied. You alone are responsible for how you feel. No one can make you happy without your permission. Just as no one can negatively affect your mood without your permission. The same goes in reverse: you are not responsible for anyone else’s happiness.[11]
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    Make self-care a regular part of your day.[12] When you prioritize your own self-care, you will see an improvement in how you respond to upsetting events in life. You can help yourself become more easy-going by attending to your physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual needs.
    • Eat well, exercise, and do relaxation exercises to improve your physical health and well-being.
    • Hang out with friends, engage in fun activities, and schedule in some down-time to manage stress.
    • Nurture your spiritual health by journaling, meditating, taking walks in nature, or praying. Do whatever works for you!
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    Live your passions. Without a doubt, a guaranteed way to transform your mindset is to change what you are doing with your days. You may feel too serious because you spend your days doing something you do not enjoy. Perhaps, in an effort to become more easy-going, you will find that what you are doing is not inspiring you to have a positive, laid-back attitude.[13]
    • Consider what you do every day and what you really wish you could do with your time. Is there any way to change your schedule to do more of what you love? Of course, not everyone will be able to overhaul their life and start a career based on their passions.
    • If this is you, then try to dedicate a few hours a day or week to doing something you are passionate about, whether that is volunteering, teaching, making art, or planting your garden. Notice how improved your attitude is after doing more of what you love.[14]
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    Stop worrying about what other people think. Being self-conscious about who you are and what you are doing will never result in a care-free lifestyle. Easy-going people focus on their own goals and happiness, not what other people think. If you have to live your life on guard of what you say or how you look, you will miss out on all the opportunities to bask in self-love and acceptance.[15]
    • Overcome this habit by reminding yourself that “What other people think about me is none of my business!” Tell yourself this whenever you catch your thoughts going into the direction.
    • Another strategy is to extend love and compassion to yourself. Give yourself a hug. Pat yourself on the back after even your minor achievements. This releases you from the need to seek approval from others. When you feel good about you, it doesn’t matter what others think.

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Categories: Personality Traits and Attributes