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Remember this Phrase to Avoid Lots of Stress

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Emotional Health related image Photo: Getty Images

My wife and I were driving to dinner last night and someone was tailgating us. Tailgaters frost me because it’s intimidating, it’s dangerous, and it’s just plain stupid. We live in the mountains, so there are curvy roads with little shoulder and I have to put up with it until there is a safe place for me to pull over and let them pass. I am always tempted to slow down before I get to such a place just to annoy them, but I never do (well, almost never…).

Chris said, “Since my cancer, I have a new phrase to live by.”

“What is that?”

“I don’t care. I just don’t care.” (She said it in a dreamy, breathy voice, as if it were coming from the beyond.) “It’s too bad that it took cancer for me to realize this, but most things that used to make me angry or upset just don’t matter. They don’t! When I say ‘I don’t care’ it reminds me of that.”

I tried it. That guy was so close to us that I couldn’t see his headlights in my rear-view mirror, so I said it: “I don’t care. I just don’t care” and I said it in that same kind of dreamy, breathy, supernatural voice. It was actually amusing, and the more I exaggerated the paranormal voice the more amusing it was. And the more amusing it was, the more it helped calm me down!

Now I’m suggesting it to you. It doesn’t have to be those exact words; start with those words and then modify them to something that works for you. Try different voices and tones to make it more fun. This isn’t about using my words, it’s about finding what works for you. I think you’ll be surprised at how effective it is in helping you avoid stress over things that, in reality, just don’t matter.

Someone cuts you off in traffic: “I just don’t care.”

You drop a glass and it shatters, scattering shards of glass all over the floor: “I just don’t care.”

Someone is rude to you or cuts to the front while you’re standing on line: “I just don’t care.”

Try it, and make it fun; it works!

Dealing with cancer, some other major illness, or life in general?

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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.

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