Stop getting annoyed so easily – here’s how

An illustration of an angry woman wearing boxing gloves for the article on how to stop getting annoyed so easily

Sometimes we wonder how we can stop getting annoyed so easily – whether at home, or at work. In this article I look at the everyday things which might just be winding you up.

We all have those days.

There is a range of reasons why, under the surface, you might be having your buttons pushed in all of the worst ways. But in this post we’re going to look at everyday things which we often overlook but which can push us over the edge.

They’re things that often cause problems for me – but now I’ve found my own solutions for them. Hopefully these solutions will help you.

Here are the top four everyday things that can cause me to become irritated. I imagine many will count for you, too.

Problem number one – you need to stop getting annoyed so easily because of the heat

That’s right. Even in winter. In fact, it’s much easier to spot the heat in summer … because everyone is talking about it.

But in the middle of winter, it’s easy to not notice this problem until it is too late. When you’ve spent all day wrapping yourself in layers, turning up the heat and sticking a hot water bottle under your jumper it is easy to forget that maybe you’ll get too hot as well. That winds me up – and according to science, I’m not the only one.

Action to take

To stop getting annoyed so easily because of the temperature, I’d personally suggest turning off any central heating you have first. That’s simply because it costs you money to keep warm that way, so you might as well save some pennies. Then you can start getting rid of jumpers, hot water bottles etc. Maybe step outside as well and get some fresh air.

Problem number two – you need to stop getting annoyed so easily because you haven’t eaten

Ah, the number of times I’ve fallen foul of this one.

This is my major wind-up factor. Better known as getting “hangry”, this is a scientific reality based on dropping blood sugar levels. Often this is not spotted until it is too late because we are distracted by work or domestic chores. And don’t simply rely on routine to keep you fed and happy. There are many disruptors – maybe you’re running around more today than yesterday. Maybe you’re trying to diet by starving yourself (which I’m pretty sure is never a good idea). The problem is that it’s hard to spot the drop in blood sugar, and so you often end up karate chopping someone in the neck before you realise what’s wrong.

Action to take

Arm yourself with nutritious snacks. Avoid munchee-causing citric acid – barbecue flavoured crisps contain this sort of thing – and sugar, which is also an appetite enhancer. Ah, those crisp-making rascals.

Also, get used to checking your appetite at meal times so you get used to knowing when you are hungry and when you are not. One thing that really helps me is eating without the telly on in the background and putting my knife and fork down in between mouthfuls. Stop eating when you suspect you might be full. That means you get used to listening to your body and eating only when you need to. The flip side of that is I find I’m more able to spot when I am hungry too.

Problem number three – you need to stop getting annoyed so easily because you are getting frustrated

We’ve all had days at work when nothing is moving for us. And we’ve all had days when our annoyance at ourselves (unreasonable though that is) is taken out on someone who didn’t deserve it.

Most of us are hard-wired into achieving things, and so a lack of achievement – a daily mini-medal to pin on yourself – means you can find yourself exploding at your desk. Normally this is thanks to a tipping point such as someone asking you something when you’re trying to concentrate, or the computer suddenly having a hissy fit.

Action to take

The solution is to first off understand that – somehow – not all working days are created equal. I normally find that the day after I smash it out of the park I hit some kind of productive roadblock. Nothing terrible, but just a feeling of a slowdown.

You have to also appreciate that so many things in our lives are out of our control. You have to rely on other people in order to help the world to go around, and that means letting go of results. We cannot control results for this very reason. We can only control how much effort we have put into things. And sometimes, when we are tired from a string of productive days, you have to listen to your body and accept that although you will try today, perhaps things are not going to run according to expectation.

In these circumstances avoid caffeine. Caffeine works well for me on relaxed days, or when I’m concentrating on detail. But on days when I have to be creative and motivate myself, that’s not so easy with a pint of coffee pounding at my heart.

Problem number four – you need to stop getting annoyed so easily because of lack of exercise

Another biggie. There are many reasons that dogs are man’s best friend. One is probably that we both need regular exercise. Exercise is not only something that keeps you physically fit and healthy, but as a consequence keeps you mentally trim as well. Exercise releases endorphins, reduces stress chemicals and gives you a chance to daydream and order your thoughts.

Action to take

Really simple, this one. You need to go for a walk. If you drive to work then find a route to walk for lunch. Talk a friend into going for walks with you. If you work from home then I recommend you treat walking as part of your working routine. Just like checking your emails, every day you have to promise you’ll go for a walk. Time the walk the first couple of times so you get a good idea how much you will get. I benefit from a minimum 15 minutes, so if it’s a struggle aim for five and work up to that and beyond.

What do you think?

Those are the reasons why I often get annoyed. What sort of everyday things annoy you, and how do you deal with them? Click the comments button above the article and let me know. And if you liked this article click the Facebook like button in the top right to keep up to date.

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