I admit it, I get annoyed, irritated, even angry, easily. Some days it could be something as simple as missing a change of lights and getting stuck in the traffic; not knowing what I'm going to have for tea; my children asking me the same question 20 different times in an hour; or, something totally out of my control like the state of world politics. Somedays I just wake up irritated due to other stresses.
My brain battles with the fact that the world is not how I would like it to be and is full of "whys and shoulds''.
Now anger can be a great motivating force for change, however, when directed at things you can't change or don't have the time, energy or inclination to change, it is like banging your head against a brick wall.
It's hard being angry and annoyed, it takes energy and it hurts the people around me when I am short with my patience or have no space in my world of indignation to listen and be with them.
Remembering to stop and breath is common advice, and when you can do this it helps.
Why? One of the reasons is that it creates a buffer between emotion and action. But it is not the only way to create a buffer. I have been working on some different strategies and I thought if I share them other people may find them useful.
1. Awareness - recognition that I am feeling annoyed. Labelling this emotion.
2. Making sure I am eating, drinking and walking regularly. So important to try and maintain a balanced physiology.
But number three is the new strategy I have been trying recently. I find it is creating a buffer between my feelings and my responses. I am really pleased with the difference it is making in how I feel.
3. Rating my annoyance - how important is it that I react to that perceived injustice/annoyance. I use a scale of 10 and give myself permission to react angrily when the number is an 8 or above.
Interesting when I apply a rating most times it has only been about 2/3 out of 10.
If you think these strategies may help you give them a go and comment below whether they worked or not.
If you know someone who may be interested, either tag them or share this post.
* My aim is for these posts is meant to useful, interesting and/or inspiring. They are not designed to be used for therapy.. If you are experiencing stress please contact your GP or mental health professional.
Kim Dunn is a Child Psychologist and Founder of Positive Young Minds.