It’s the small things that make us snap chuckle. Your spouse’s loud breathing, a dish in the sink, or a bad parking job by a stranger: All of these things can ruin the day. There are many little things that can increase our collective irritability, especially with the holiday season. There are many factors that can cause increased irritability.
It is possible to overcome your irritability even if your triggers are small. Psychology Today says that your frustration is caused by the same stress hormones as when we go into fight-or flight mentality. The slightest stimulant can cause us to jump and react like we are under attack. Instead of being a caveman who uses fight-or-flight instincts in order to avoid predators, you start freaking about the way your father is eating his food.
Here are some techniques to help you manage your frustration if you feel overwhelmed by how irritable and cranky you have been recently.
- Recognize that you are annoyed
Do not try to get rid of your frustration hoping it will go away on its own. Even if you have a few minutes and space, don’t let your frustration get in the way of you being able to resolve it. Rather, it can be helpful to admit that you are frustrated. If you are prone to regretfully lashing at others, you might try to acknowledge the situation by saying, “I’m sorry. I’m feeling irritable this morning, I think I need [a snack], to go for a walk or any other tips below.”
- Take a deep breath
The anger management cliche of counting to ten and taking a deep, slow breath is a good idea. Focusing on your breath can calm you and force you to stop reacting to your emotions. You can use the same techniques that you might use to manage anger or anxiety, and also try this deep breathing exercise or the practice of havingning.
- Give yourself permission to be alone
Even if you aren’t the cause of your irritability, it’s important to not expose others to your little freak-outs. You need to find a place where you can relax and think through things. Dr. Guy Winch writes Psychology Today:
Your mind may be able to sense that you are in need of a break by exhibiting symptoms like insomnia. You can listen to music, practice yoga or stretching, or even take a bath. Take a deep, slow breath after you are done. Once you return to the fray, your system won’t be irritated again.
- Gain perspective
You can remove yourself from the annoying situation by taking a step back. Assess whether your reaction is appropriate to the situation. Some perspective can help you to diffuse your emotions and allow rationality to guide your thoughts.
- Get moving
Exercise is a great way to relieve stress. Get rid of your nervous energy by taking a walk, hitting the weight room, and engaging in any other physical activity. It is a great way to get rid of any mental frustrations, even if it is only for a short time.
Have you ever thought about the possibility that you could be feeling a bit hungrier? Your mood is directly affected by how hungry you are. Take a break and eat a snack. You’re not who you are if you don’t eat.
- Identify your triggers
To identify the patterns that set you off, you can keep track of times when you are annoyed. Do you find yourself annoyed by the same person over and over? Do you have certain behaviours or situations that make it difficult to get along with people? This will help you plan for, manage, and avoid irritation in the future.
- Take a look at how you sleep
Insufficient sleep may be the reason you feel irritable throughout the day. We have some tips that will help you get the best out of your sleep to ensure that you can function normally without feeling anxious.
- Seek professional assistance
An indicator of a more serious mental illness, such as anxiety or depression, is irritability. You may need to seek out a professional if you feel that your constant irritation isn’t something you can handle on your own.