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 does breathing help calm you down? 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. Here are three other strategies you can try to calm down.
1. Awareness - recognise that you are feeling annoyed. Labelling this emotion.
2. Make sure you are eating, drinking and walking regularly. Maintaining a balanced physiology is important for emotional regulation.
3. Rate your annoyance - how important is it that you react to that perceived injustice/annoyance. Try using a scale of 10. Interesting when I apply a rating most times it has only been about 2/3 out of 10.
* These articles are provided by Kim Ross, Psychologist for general information and education . They are not designed to be used for therapy.. If you are experiencing stress please contact your GP or mental health professional.
Kim Ross is an Online Psychologist and Founder of Positive Young Minds and Private Practice Sustainability.