How do you handle life’s little annoyances? When you can’t find your favorite sweater, when you’re stuck in traffic, when the coffee shop gets your order wrong—AGAIN—are you calm or do you lose your cool? Sometimes all it takes is a few negative minutes to send us into a tailspin of anger and aggravation.
For many people, it’s a struggle not to let those little things bother us. Yet, all that frustration and anger is toxic to our bodies, minds and souls. Don’t spend your life annoyed with every minor irritation. Keep these tips in mind when you find frustration creeping in:
Another driver cut you off on the way work this morning. Do you complain about the road rage incident to everyone you see that day? The desire to vent your frustrations is natural, but continuing to complain about it will only amply the feeling. Next time you’re upset about something like this, try letting your frustration subside instead of talking about it.
NAME THE REAL FEELING
When you’re irritated by something, stop to ask yourself, “What am I really upset about?” We are easily distracted by our immediate feeling and don’t always realize there’s an underlying cause. Are you annoyed or are you scared, insecure, or stressed? If you find yourself easily irritated by little things, there might be something else that’s bothering you beneath the surface.
LOOK AT THE BIG PICTURE
Will this thing matter in five minutes? In five days? Five years? If not, is it really worth letting it rattle you? Sure, the cashier at the grocery store was rude to you and it’s not ok, but is the frustration serious enough to carry with you for the rest of the day? When this stuff happens, try focusing on the bigger picture. Though negative, a brief interaction with a rude cashier is just a tiny moment in your life. Think about all the good things you have going for you and consider everything that you’re grateful for.
Your new colleague keeps asking a million questions, even about things you’ve already explained and your patience is wearing thin. If you feel your frustrations starting to bubble up, take a moment to look at things from their perspective. Who hasn’t been new on the job and afraid of messing up? They may seem annoying but their intentions are good and they want your help. Take a deep breath and try to replace frustration with compassion and understanding.
FIND SOME ALONE TIME
Even the most social people need some time alone. Life can be difficult. It gets hectic and stressful. There are always responsibilities and pressures. Too much of any of these things and you’re likely going to boil over and let the little things bother you. When life gets tough, take a time out for yourself. Avoid distractions, quiet your mind and spend some time alone relaxing or doing something you enjoy.