How To Be Easy Going and Roll With the Punches

No one likes to be told they’re high strung. And it can make your blood boil when someone tells you to “just relax.”

But are they on to something? 

Typically, when someone is described as “easy going,” it’s a good thing. It means they are a relaxing presence, and that they aren’t easily phased or stressed out. Who wouldn’t want to be like that? 

Unfortunately, an easy going demeanor doesn’t come naturally to everyone. In fact, you may find that most people who are easy going actively worked to become that way. 

Do you want to be more easy going and relaxed? In this article, I’ve broken down a few of the best strategies you can put into practice today to start cultivating this coveted personality trait. 

At the end of the article, I’ve included a few simple weekly practices you can start using to bring down your stress levels and become a more easy going person.


What does it really mean to be easy going?

One of the tricky things about being easy going is that the word means different things to different people. 

When you look at easy going definitions in the dictionary, you see a lot of the same words: relaxed, casual, calm, unworried, tolerant. You may also see a list of things that an easy going person is not; they wouldn’t be easily annoyed or agitated, nor would they be particularly strict.

These easy going definitions do a good job of capturing the essence of the word. But unfortunately, modern usage of the term “easy going” has gotten a little mixed up. In fact, in some cases, people might mistake some seriously toxic personality traits as “easy going.” 

So before we go any further, let’s go a little deeper and talk about some of the misconceptions around the true meaning of easy going.


Common misconceptions about truly easy going people

Myth #1: Easy going people are doormats

Being easy going does not mean you say yes to everything. In fact, if you aren’t able to draw boundaries and stop people from walking all over you, you’ll end up feeling resentful and burnt out.

Neither of those traits will allow you to be easy going, so remember—even easy going people know where to draw the line and when to say no for their own mental well-being.


Myth #2: Easy going people aren’t reliable 

Some people seem to confuse “easy going” with “flaky.” It’s true that an easy going person may be more relaxed about certain things—for example, they may not get upset if you’re 10 minutes late to a coffee date with them, nor will they get too stressed if they’re running late themselves.

But someone who is “spacey” takes this to a different level—they are so disconnected from the world around them that they are frequently forgetful or sometimes downright inconsiderate. 

Here’s the truth: An easy going person can still be organized, punctual, and a strong communicator. In fact, all of these traits can make you even more easy going, because you won’t be stressed about forgetting things or missing important dates. 


Myth #3: Easy going people are stoic and unfeeling

It’s easy to conflate “easy going” with “emotionless”—especially if you watch enough movies or TV. Society loves to portray the idea that cool, calm, and collected people are able to completely shut out their emotions, but that notion is complete fiction. 

An easy going person will know how to manage their emotions appropriately. They have healthy coping mechanisms for dealing with stress and anxiety, and they’ll have a support network to help them carry on when the going gets tough.


Myth #4: Easy going people are quiet and boring

There are certainly quiet, reflective, introverted people who are easy going. But there are also outgoing, loud, spontaneous, and adventurous people who fit the description.

Easy going means you don’t sweat the small stuff, and that you don’t let little things blow up into unnecessary drama. And despite what reality TV might have you believe, a lack of drama does not equate to a boring life. 


Myth #5: Easy going people never get angry 

It’s true, most easy going people won’t get angry easily. But do they go through life without ever experiencing anger? Of course not.

Like all emotions, anger can serve an important purpose—it can help us vent our emotions, or keep us protected in dangerous situations. 

Easy going people can still get angry at injustices or insults. But they don’t get angry unnecessarily at little things, nor will they let their anger dominate all other emotions when it boils to the surface.


What are the benefits of being easy going?

Now that we know what being easy going really means, and what it does not mean, let’s explore why you might want to work on being a more relaxed, chill person.

How can being easy going make your life better?


A life with less anxiety is a happier life

Anxiety is one of those things that no one enjoys, but everyone will have to deal with at some point in their life. 

The biggest advantage to being easy going is that unnecessary anxieties are reduced to a minimum.

You won’t be as likely to grow frustrated when someone cuts you off in traffic. Easy going people probably won’t dwell as much on that embarrassing thing they did a year ago, or spend time worrying about what people think of them in a social situation. 


Being easy going makes it easier to focus on what matters

As you learn to reduce your anxiety around the “small stuff,” you’ll find that it opens you up to being able to focus on things that really matter.

Since you’re not worrying about that weird thing your boss said last week or whether anyone noticed your bad hair day, you can put energy toward working on yourself—picking up new hobbies, taking care of your mind and body, or strengthening your relationships.  


People see you as reliable and consistent

Hopefully, the reason you want to be more easy going is to improve your own life. But developing this personality trait can also have a knock-on effect on how people perceive you.

Easy going people are typically seen as reliable; people trust them, because you can rest assured they won’t fly off the handle or do something completely unexpected. 

People like people who are easy going.

Finding ways to be more relaxed and roll with the punches could help strengthen the relationships you have, and perhaps even make it easier to find friends as an adult


Easy going people can be more creative and innovative

Embracing an easy-going attitude can significantly enhance your creative abilities (whether or not you think of yourself as an inherently creative person).

A relaxed mind is more receptive to new ideas, allowing for imaginative and innovative thinking. This isn’t limited to artistic endeavors; it also transforms your approach to daily problem-solving and decision-making.

By adopting a laid-back perspective, you open yourself to a world of creative possibilities, making it easier to discover unique solutions and ideas.

This mental shift not only reduces stress but also enriches your personal and professional life with inventive insights.


How to become more easy going and less high strung

The benefits are clear. Now, how do you actually start becoming more easy going? It will take time, but here are some practical things you can start doing to become a more relaxed person over time. 


1. Take time to figure out what is making you high strung

question mark on chalkboard

This is by far the most important action you can take on this list. To become easy going, you must first discover what it is that’s keeping you from feeling relaxed. 

Anxiety is one of the most common issues among adults in the U.S., and it can be caused by any number of things. Work, relationships, and big life events like weddings or moving, can all cause anxiety. In some cases, anxiety is purley situational, and once your stressful situation improves, the anxiety will ease. 

If your anxiety isn’t from a temporary situation, though, you may need to work through it further before it begins to ease.

If you’re struggling to pinpoint the cause of your anxiety, consider calling on the help of a professional. A mental health counselor can spend time with you to discover the source of your anxiety and provide you with strategies or treatments to alleviate the problem. 

We have some resources here that may be helpful as well. These articles help address some of the most common sources of anxiety for young adults: 



2. Take care of your mind and body

woman meditating

I’m sure you’ve heard this before, so I won’t dwell on it too long, but the fact remains—if you aren’t taking good care of your body and mind, it’s going to be next to impossible to become easy going. 

Anxiety and sleep have an interesting relationship. According to the Sleep Foundation, going without enough sleep is likely to cause issues with anxiety and worry. And on the flip side, when you’re anxious, it’s harder to sleep—starting a vicious cycle. 

If you frequently find yourself cutting back on your hours of sleep, taking steps to fix that problem will help you become more easy going. This may mean going to bed earlier or sleeping in later when you can, or doing some relaxation and meditation to help you prepare for sleep. 

be more easy going by getting quality sleep; graphic link to sleep post

The same goes for the things you’re putting into your body. It’s impossible to feel fully relaxed if you haven’t eaten enough, or have eaten things that don’t make you feel great. Staying hydrated will also work wonders.

These are small, simple things you can do to help you feel your best, and when you do, you’ll find it’s much easier to manage your anxiety and start to feel more relaxed.   


3. Don’t bottle up your emotions

This may sound strange, but to become more easy going, you also need to become more emotional. Or at least, you need to find a way to become more in touch with your emotions and true feelings. 

This is a lot easier said than done, especially if you haven’t spent much time actively thinking about how you manage your emotions.

But if you aren’t able to express yourself in ways that are healthy and productive, then eventually your emotions will find their own way out. This could look like angry outbursts or general irritability—and those traits are definitely not part of the easy going repertoire.  

Once again, a mental health counselor can go a long way toward helping you discover methods for managing your emotions appropriately. You can also look into mindfulness, a practice designed to help you become more aware of your own self. Healthline has a great list of mindfulness apps to get started, if you’re interested. 


4. Cultivate a positive outlook

It can be easy to walk through life with a pessimistic viewpoint. Many people subscribe to the idea that being pessimistic means you’re never disappointed when things don’t turn out how you want. 

While pessimism can be healthy sometimes, it can also lead to you having an overall negative outlook on life. And excessive negativity will keep you from achieving your goal of becoming easy going and relaxed. 

I am not saying you need to be chipper and always looking for a silver lining.

In fact, toxic positivity can also hold you back from being easy going. But allowing yourself to be more positive in general will likely help you feel more relaxed.

Once again, mindfulness is your friend here. When you find yourself feeling particularly pessimistic or irritable, pause. Take a few deep breaths and ask yourself, “Why am I feeling this way?”

Consider writing down a list of positive things that you’re grateful for every day, and when things are really starting to bum you out, find a way to take time for yourself and do something you truly enjoy. 

Eventually, if you practice mindful awareness and self-care, you’ll find that you naturally become more positive and easy going.


5. Surround yourself with positive people (and ditch the toxicity)

Meme: u ever sit down n think about ur friends n how much they have impacted ur life and how much they mean 2 u and u just [photo of an emotional Jim Halpert from

And that’s how it should be! So far all of my tips have focused on self-reflective strategies, but let’s face it—it’s hard to be easy going if you are constantly dealing with negative, high-strung, or anxiety-inducing people. 

Start by thinking about the people in your life who may be causing you anxiety and stress.

Of course, relationships always have their ups and downs, but if you find someone is consistently bringing you negativity, it may be time to consider changing your relationship with them. 

You don’t have to cut toxic people out of your life entirely. In some cases, this may be impossible if there are toxic behaviors within your family or colleagues.

But you can at least try to limit your contact with them, or consider drawing boundaries that will keep their negativity away from you. 

For example, let’s say you have a colleague who always likes to gossip and spread rumors, and you realize their behavior is causing you a lot of stress. The next time they try to throw shade about someone in the office, you can politely but firmly say, “I’ve decided I don’t really want to talk about people who aren’t in the room.”

They may act shocked or offended when you do this, but stand your ground. Setting healthy boundaries can be challenging, but they help you reduce anxiety and become more chill in the long run.  


6. Step outside your comfort zone and try new things

feet dangling up high, getting ready to skydive

For my last tip on how to be more easy going, I’ve got something fun: Try something new.

You can start small, by tasting a unique food or visiting a different part of your town. Or you can go big—finally sign up for that skydiving course, or rent a car and take that solo cross-country road trip. 

Being adventurous and open-minded to new experiences will help you become more easy going. Remember that positivity is one of the best ways to be more relaxed; if you have an open mind about things that are unfamiliar to you, you’ll avoid falling back on negative perceptions and assumptions.   

Think about the easy going people you know. They are the kinds of people who aren’t likely to fuss about trying something new or doing something out of the ordinary. Instead, they keep an open mind—because that’s what being easy going is all about.  


3 Easy Challenges to Make Yourself More Easy Going

Above I’ve listed the long-term methods to make you more easy-going over time.

But it’s not exactly easy to take those big ideas and wrangle them into something practical, which is why I’m leaving you with three tasks that will help you get closer to the easy-going life you desire and deserve. 

These are practices I use personally, and they have worked wonders for me. But you are your own person, so feel free to adapt these practices or invent your own. 


Challenge 1: Morning Brain Dump

Think of your quest to become a more easy going person as a day-by-day challenge. Some days, you might succeed at being a chill person, other days you might slip up. 

I find that I can set myself up for a day with less stress and anxiety by doing a “morning brain dump.” I’m borrowing this idea from “The Artist’s Way,” by Julia Cameron—excellent reading for anyone who wants to reduce anxiety and become more creative. 

In her book, Julia calls this practice “Morning Pages,” but the concept is the same. Before you start your day, sit down with a pen and paper and write out three pages of whatever comes into your head. You can write about what you have coming up in your schedule, how you slept, what room you’re in—just let yourself write and don’t worry about what you’re putting on the page. 

The idea in this challenge is to give yourself a space to dump out all of the anxious, self-censoring thoughts that you would otherwise carry with you throughout the day. 

You don’t ever have to go back and read what you’ve written; in fact, you can tear out the pages and throw them away when you’re done. Try this for a week, and see if you find yourself more relaxed during the day.


Challenge 2: (Literally) Showering Yourself in Gratitude

It’s very natural for your mind to focus on negative thoughts while ignoring the pleasant moments that happen every day. Big stresses from family, friends, and work, can easily outshine the small joys (like a delicious, healthy meal) and big joys (like your strong friendships). 

Learning how to “reset” your mind to focus on gratitude takes practice, but it can transform anyone from a pessimistic person into someone who is more easy going. 

The hard part is finding time to stop and reflect on things you are grateful for. I overcame this by assigning my “moments of gratitude” to the shower (as strange as that sounds). 

Every morning, when I step into the hot water, I remember that it’s my time to run through a mental list of things I’m thankful for. Something about the steam and warmth makes the thoughts flow easier. Every time I do this, I step out of the shower feeling as though I’ve not only cleaned my body, but also my mind. 

Not a shower thinker? You can adapt this gratitude exercise to your morning commute, a session at the gym, or while preparing breakfast. The key is to find a moment in your routine where you can pause and acknowledge the good in your life. 

This daily habit of gratitude can shift your perspective, making your days more enjoyable and your mindset more easy going. Give it a try and watch how it subtly influences your outlook on life.


Challenge 3: Doom Detox

Look, there’s a lot to be worried about in today’s world. Wars, violence, global warming—it’s easy to become overwhelmed and feel anxious, even if you don’t have much in your immediate personal life to be anxious about. 

One way to combat this is to cut back on your connections to all the doom and gloom—namely your phone, TV, and computer.  Try charging your phone in another room at night, using screentime-limiting apps, or designating a day for a complete digital detox. 

Of course, you can still catch up on the news and be an informed person. But do your best to recognize when anxiety and stress start to overwhelm you, and step away from the screen. 

Any one of these practices can make big changes in your life. Don’t try them once and give up—try to give it at least a week before you decide it’s not working for you.


Remember, above all else, being easy going is about reducing the amount of anxiety in your life. It can take some hard work and it won’t happen overnight, but if you’ve made it this far in the article, you’re already on your way.