Thanks to the news and social media and the ensuing negativity, it’s easy to get stressed and anxious in the modern world. To fall in the trap of constant comparison and get caught up in the unending rat race. To feel like a loser, to think we’re falling behind, and to keep trying hard to be, do and have better.
We all have two choices — either we can continue to live this anxious, overwhelming life or instead just stop caring. While the former comes with innumerable compromises and restrictions, the latter gives you the welcome change and the freedom that you’ve been craving for.
Not caring is the perfect antidote to the stress and anxiety that we all encounter in our day-to-day life, as counterintuitive as it may sound. Of course, this doesn’t mean that we need to let go of our civilized ways and act in a wild and indiscriminate manner. It means that we must let go of caring in a subtle manner — in a way that helps us design a good life with due respect and diligence. Here are three subtleties to keep in mind:
- Not caring does not equal being totally indifferent: When someone is indifferent, it means they don’t care about a single thing on the planet. That’s not what not caring is about. When you stop caring, it basically means that you become selective about the things that you genuinely care about and refrain from wasting time on those that don’t matter and align with you.
- You must stop caring for the minor so that you’re able to focus on the major: Let’s face it, we’re humans after all, and we have finite amounts of time, attention, and energy. And that’s why it’s critical that you start focusing on things that bring meaning and joy to you every single day. If you’re someone who cares about every little detail and triviality in your daily life, it’s a sign that you need to figure out what exactly makes you feel purposeful and brings you utmost fulfillment, and just focus on that.
- You must take absolute responsibility for what you care about: We are constantly choosing what to care or not care about in our everyday life, whether it be consciously or unconsciously. And instead of operating on autopilot and giving in to negative thoughts that take us on the downward spiral, it’s best that we exercise a sense of agency. Like the Stoics, we can focus exclusively on things that are within our control, and let go of those that are not. People, events, and circumstances are out of our control, however, we still have absolute control over how we respond to them. Even if things go sideways, choosing your response and not acting impulsively can be great catalysts in personal empowerment.