For the better part of my sports career, through playing and now coaching, the idea of having a short memory has been drilled into me. It seems counterintuitive, as memory, in particular having a good memory, is such a positive attribute, but hear me out. In sports, having a short memory really just means don’t sweat the small stuff, and in today’s world, it seems as if everyone gets caught up in the smallest, most insignificant events.

If the last 2.5 years have taught us anything, it’s that you can only control what you can control. I know firsthand how difficult it is not to worry and stress about every minute thing, but if I’m being transparent, there have been so many times I’ve found myself making a mountain out of a molehill only to find out the molehill didn’t even exist.

Let’s be real for a second – life is hard enough without adding unnecessary stress to it. One of the most significant ways I have found to limit myself during situations out of my control is to take a step back and be thoughtful about the bigger picture. Self-reflection is such an important skill, not only for personal growth but mental health. It promotes healthy responses and behavior, as well as self-compassion, all of which encourage happiness.

Every day, we get to choose how we show up for others, but we also get to choose how we show up for ourselves. Do yourself a favor; show up in a way that minimizes stress and promotes a more content, carefree attitude. But even then, if you find yourself amidst a stressful situation, ask yourself about the bigger picture. Take the time to reflect on if the stress you’re feeling is authentic or self-inflicted. If you find yourself answering the latter, recognize it and then choose to move on. At the end of the day, you will never regret choosing a life of less stress and more happiness.