Irritability is a chain effect. For one reason or another, we sometimes find ourselves reacting negatively to things that normally wouldn’t bother us. Each irritating thing makes the next irritating thing even more irritating 🤬. When enough of these things pile up, it can cause us to release that built up negative emotion, often on an innocent bystander, whether we like it or not.
In the moment, it can feel impossible to get away from your own negativity. This can become tricky because you’re really the only person that can calm it down. We know, not ideal. The most immediate thing you can do to de-escalate your stress is step away. Find a quiet place — a bathroom, your office, a closet — it doesn’t have to be fancy. When you’re feeling this way, anywhere without people and noise is going to feel luxurious. Start by taking some long deep breaths, allow yourself to enjoy the peace and quiet, and then:
❤️ Be kind to yourself. Recognize that you’re irritable and that in and of itself is irritating.
🤔 Try to consider whether the things bothering you will matter weeks from now. Use this perspective to let them fade away, they don’t matter.
☀️ Shift your focus to the good things. This can be as small as having a good show to look forward to watching later, or the sun being out.
🛀 If you have the time, try a few physical exercises to calm your stress. Do some stretching, listen to music, meditate, or soak in a hot bath.
🙅♀️ Either way, when you are ready to re-engage, take a deep breath and ready yourself. You may not feel or act perfectly, but you’ll be more prepared when the feelings of stress do pop up.