Do you ever have those moments where you care way too much about too many things and you feel like your insides are going to explode? Maybe that's just my anxiety disorder talking, but I have discovered many things you can stop caring about ASAP for improved happiness and self-esteem, and I feel like many of these things are pretty universal, at least on a small level. If it's possible to stop caring. Because let's face it. Sometimes we just have a lot of feelings, OK!?
When I worked with couples as a Domestic Violence Victim Advocate and Planned Parenthood Certified Responsible Sexuality Educator, I often introduced the revolutionary concept of not caring, and saw firsthand that it changed lives. Not caring if the house was perfect. Not caring what in-laws thought. And yes, even occasionally not caring what your partner thought. Freedom! Why do we carry so many burdens around with us?
Being able to decide you just DGAF about something is part skill that requires practice and part re-education about what really matters to you. That being said, if you care about these things and want to keep caring about them, well, you'll be happy to know that one of the things you should stop caring about is what Internet articles tell you to care or not care about! That was a mouthful. The point is, there are bound to be some cares in your life that are not doing you any favors. Putting those cares down will make more room in your life for joy. And pizza. Because you should totally not care about eating pizza sometimes. That's just, like, an ancient religious truth or something. So try on these seven DGAF scenarios and see if you can improve your happiness with a little new thinking.
1. What People Think
I heard Maci from Teen Mom OG tell her boyfriend, "You can be the juiciest peach in the world, and there will still be people out there who hate peaches." Ain't that the truth, Maci. Ain't that the truth. There will always be people who are dealing with different things in their life, who take that out on you in the form of jealousy, resentment, negativity, or judgement. Oh well. That's a reflection of them, not you. You don't have to prove yourself, explain yourself, justify your actions, or get permission from anyone to do anything. The people who don't like it — well, like I said, that's not really about you. So pay it no mind. And if you have to pay it at least a little mind, say something to yourself like "aw, I feel bad for them because they have no clue what they're talking about.It's unfortunate." Then shake off the dust (or glitter).
2. Negative People
One of the absolute best gifts you could ever give yourself is permission to not care about other people's drama and negativity. Even if someone you love is going through a hard time, you have permission to draw a line in the sand that protects you from the downward spiral of negativity (while still being supportive). In other words, you don't have to make other people's problems your own. And while we're on the subject, you don't even have to let negative people in your life to begin with. Cutting people out of your life is hard, and it might make you feel guilty and lonely, but it's better to be lonely while you build a squad that lifts you up than to surround yourself with people who drag you down. Trust.
3. If You're Adulting
Hey, you're still alive, right? So you can't be that bad at adulting. And so what if you can't do your own taxes or cook a meal. You got this. There's no right way or wrong way to be an adult. Or to be human, for that matter. And there are very few things you can't learn with enough YouTube tutorials, or calls to your parents. Also, here's a little secret you need to know: Nobody is good at being an adult. Even the people who seem like they have it all together really don't. I guarantee you that.
4. How Much Success You Have
Success is cool. It's not what life is all about, but it's cool. If you feel like you haven't accomplished anything in your life, and that has you down, you need to change the way you're thinking, ASAP. First of all, and I know I say this a lot, but you're still alive, right? You should get some kind of award just for that. Second, life is not about the sum total of your career or financial accomplishments. You're so much more. Character is a totally overlooked goal. What about successfully becoming a good person? Lastly, there is always time to change. You might not be able to move into a corner office tomorrow, but you can research schools. You can make things and meet people. As long as you're moving in a positive direction, you don't have to worry about how long it takes you to get there. You also don't have to care what others think if you don't want to work toward any big life goals. Just living is totally enough, as long as you're happy.
5. If You're Hot
Your body's fine. You have stuff to do. This is my new mantra, which I picked up while traveling out west. I saw amazing women on ranches who had cattle to move and land to work and living to do. Strong women with strong spirits, who, frankly, would probably giggle at the idea of worrying about their bodies. They were so free! It made me realize, on a soul level, that so much body worry is just unnecessary. Now I don't care what my body looks like. It's so much different than body love. It's more like I just DGAF about where my body fits into the scale of hotness anymore. Because it's not designed for hotness. And because I don't care about hotness. I feel like my body wasn't made to be judged, even in a positive way. It was made to do stuff. If you practice this mantra, you'll stop caring so much about how your body looks, too. And let me tell you, it's freeing! But, if being hot is important to you, then just remember that you create your own reality. So if you want to be hot, and you think you're hot, then BOOM. Hotness. You don't need anyone else to validate that for you.
6. What You Eat
Yes, I am telling you to stop caring about what you eat. Kind of. Let me explain. It's totally counter-productive for me to put any kind of thought into the healthiness of what I'm eating. I have some kind of hungry jerk bear who lives in my brain, and when I say "oh, I'm going to eat healthy!" that bear is like "I'm going to smack you down until you put an entire pizza in your face!" But it's not like I can't worry about what I eat. I have some autoimmune stuff happening, and high cholesterol, all of which is controlled by diet. But if there's anything I have learned, it's that when I stop putting food rules on myself, stop restricting myself, and basically stop caring what I eat, I eat better. I can actually say things to myself like "if I eat all these carbs/sugar I'll be way sluggish and I have stuff to do." Nine times out of ten, I'll make a better choice than if I tried to tell the jerk bear that I am off bagels and donuts forever. No rules. And since you can eat whatever you want, you don't have to feel like you're deprived or missing out, so you don't need to put that whole pizza in your face. It works, I swear.
7. What Internet Articles Say
Yeah, that's right. I'm telling you to not care about what I say, or what anyone else on the Internet says, for that matter. All this stuff works for me, and I find it totally freeing to lay down so many of the things I used to spend so much time caring about, but that doesn't mean we're in the same place on our journey. You have to do you. I say this because sometimes I'll read an article like this about stuff I shouldn't care about and then I'll feel inadequate because I can't stop caring about certain things. And then I remember that the person who wrote it is just another person, like me, and that just because they're sharing their thoughts doesn't mean they're law, or that they're made to fit my experience. Take what resonates and then DGAF about the rest. Real talk.
Wasn't that freeing? Now if you'll excuse me, I'm going to go soul search for more things I can stop caring about to make more room for joy in my life.
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