Don’t Cry Over Spilled Milk
Want some quick life wisdom from a psychologist? Don’t cry over spilled milk. Whether the milk is literally in a puddle on your dining room floor or you are figuratively fretting over the little things…today is not the day to worry about it. It’s Don’t Cry Over Spilled Milk Day! Yes, that’s really a thing. (There’s also National Pizza Day and National Ice Cream Day, so clearly there is a food theme going on behind the scenes of America’s calendar planners.) But, today’s theme is useful. It reminds us not to sweat the small stuff. And in the big scheme of things, that’s an important way to live. For ourselves and for our relationships with others.
I’ve talked before about self-talk as a stress management tool, citing my colleague Dr. Teg McBride who says to tell ourselves during a stressful event, “Few things in life are terrible, horrible, or awful. Most are just uncomfortable or mildly inconvenient.” Although it might seem like a stressor, we’d be hard-pressed to classify spilled milk as anything but a mild inconvenience.
What’s spilling out of your glass today? Whatever it is, I challenge you to laugh instead of cry about it. Laughter releases endorphins, our body’s natural pain relievers. It also reduces stress, tension, and anxiety while simultaneously boosting the immune system. And the best part? You can pretend to laugh and get the same physical benefits. That’s right. Your body can’t tell the difference between real and fake laughter. So, go ahead and try it. (I bet your smile becomes real once you start.) Oh, and don’t forget to clean up that milk!
From my brain to yours,
Amy Lawson Moore, PhD
Cognitive & Educational Psychologist