Dealing with Irritation

Dealing with Irritation


We’ve all been in situations where irritating things or people can get you to start gritting your teeth to hold your temper in check. First, it’s bad for your teeth when you do that, so take pity and stop it. However, it’s also not good for you to bottle up that irritation. Here are some tips to deal with your irritation without committing murder:


  • Say it out loud – Expressing yourself allows you to let the irritation flow out.  If you’re dealing with a pesky sales call for example, tell the person that you are getting irritated with his call and tell him your decision (or lack of it) for the time being and ask him not to bother you again. Sometimes, all it takes is for the other person to hear that and he’ll stop.  If it’s an irritating customer or a co-worker or boss and you can’t say anything to his/her face, get a trusted friend to talk about it after work. Your friend can either choose to be just a sounding board or someone to bounce ideas with and give you good advice. Either way, you’ll eventually feel the irritation fade away and you’ll be able to think clearer. Letting it out means you can let go of it.


  • Do something physical – When the situation calls for discretion and blasting the other person is impossible, do something away from the person or situation. One immediate and highly effective strategy is to breathe in and out. You can also walk the irritation off. Find an empty room or storage area and start screaming out your frustration. Some people drink water and focus on the liquid’s cold effect to douse hot heads. Eating also gets the same result. Squeeze balls are also handy gadgets to work out tempers. Any physical action you do lets you transfer energies. Instead of getting all hot and bothered, your mind can focus on something else to do. It will be like talking about it but this time using your body to ease out the anger inside you.


  • Think of a better place – Everyone has a ‘happy place’ – a fond memory or a daydream -- which they can latch onto at times when you need to cool off. Somehow, a nice memory has a cathartic effect that takes you back to the feelings that it invokes every time you recall. Think about those and you’ll immediately feel better. Some think of funny things or situations that can elevate their mood. Instead of imagining ways to wring the other person’s neck, why don’t you imagine him without eyebrows or without teeth or wearing a shocking orange flower printed tuxedo? It would be impossible for your mood to be low after that daydream!


So don’t bang your head against the wall. Deal with your irritation in a more constructive way.