There are many stressors in life. Much as some days can be absolutely lovely and delightful, sometime all it takes is just one little incident, or even a message or email to spoil it for you!
I am by nature an easy-going person but it doesn’t take much to trigger me, and so over the years, I have learned to either keep my temper in check and hold my tongue, or blow up and then apologise after (which in itself is stressful and makes me feel guilty). So I try and avoid the latter and stick to the former.
For the first method, it requires quite a bit of will power. I have to literally tell myself to not react and to just ignore the irritant (a bit difficult sometimes when the irritant is an overenthusiastic in-your-face type of person but it can be done!).
There are a few methods that I used to pooh-pooh at but they actually do help.
Count To 10
I find that most times I feel guilty because I just blurt out what I want to say, which gives a few minutes of satisfaction, and then the guilt gets to me and I feel bad. So the best thing to do is to just count to 10 (or however high you need to go) and let the urge to retaliate subside. It may not go away completely but at least you haven’t said or done anything to make the situation worse.
It is no coincidence that meditation focuses on breathing. Taking deep breaths help to slow the heart rate and calm you down, and stops you from doing or saying anything you’ll regret.
Remove Yourself From The Situation
If you’re able to, excuse yourself and only return when you’ve calmed down. Or if you’re being annoyed by messages or emails (thanks, technology!), just move away from your computer or telephone and physically put some distance between yourself and the source of your annoyance. Take a break, get a bite to eat, watch a little tv or even meditate.
Meditation might seem like something trivial and spacey, but it can help tremendously. Although emptying your mind may seem like quite the task when you’re annoyed or angry, it can be done. Otherwise, just think happy thoughts like that holiday you have coming up, your loved ones, your funny pets or even a show that you just watched; anything to get rid of the negative feelings.
Talk To A Friend
This is a bit tricky if you have friends as easily ticked off as you as they may not help the situation! But a third party can give you an objective point of view and may make you see that maybe your anger is misplaced or that you’re overreacting. And if it’s a good friend, you may end up having a laugh anyway so it’s a win-win situation.
Some people just can’t help themselves and it may just be a clash of personalities that annoys you. In this situation, you can’t get the person to change so just ignore them. Limit your interactions and communications, and you’re already cutting out some of hat may get to you. If you’re in a meeting and the person is talking and you feel your annoyance start to rise, just zone out and not let that voice/accent/mannerism get to you!
It’s A One-Way Street
The person that you are directing your anger at may not even be aware that you’re all churned up inside and ready to explode. So why waste so much energy and emotions on something that only upsets you? Remind yourself of this and it should help calm you down.
Although getting annoyed may sound trivial, it can have an enormous impact on your emotional, and even physical health, especially if it’s a constant occurrence. It can cloud your judgement, distract you from what’s important and derail your goals. Although the points mentioned above may seem too simple to work, take it from someone who has had to employ them a few times, they do!
Get guidance on mindfulness, nutrition and exercise with PurelyB’s 21 Days To A Better Body programme, and get tips on reaching your goals!