Do you ever get that irritated vibe? You start to feel your shoulders tense up, and your breaths get shorter. Maybe you're rolling your eyes at the person you're with, or giving one word answers to their inquiries. You might feel like you want to stomp your feet and let out a bizarre noise to relieve the anxiety that's brewing within. Try to avoid letting your stress levels fester, inevitably reaching a boiling point. Don't be that girl sitting in the corner picking every bit of nail polish off all ten fingernails, while glaring at people across the room. Don't be that man who takes his sweet time crossing at a crosswalk, because stopping traffic as a pedestrian is all the control he feels he has in the world. Be proactive! Do yourself a favour and use these stress management tools to move beyond life's little annoyances.
Do Something You Are Good At
This may sound obvious, but do something that's going to make you feel good! Sure, ice cream makes you feel pretty good at the time, but how good are you going to feel afterwards when you look at the empty container? Are you really going to want to say, "Look what I did"? What you're good at, doesn't have to be complicated. Bake something and share it with friends or neighbours. Their praise is sure to lift your spirits. If fitness is your thing, hit up the gym, or simply see how many push-ups you can do in a minute. The endorphins will give you a natural boost. Care for someone who depends on you. Animals, for example, are notorious for loving us unconditionally. Play fetch with your puppy (or borrow your neighbours), or visit your local animal shelter and shower your affection on the adoring kittens looking for a home.
Walk it Off
Sometimes our level of irritation can be provoked by the people surrounding us. Even our most cherished loved ones can sometimes "irk" us beyond belief. Get your feet, and mind, moving! Though it doesn't always seem right, at times we just need to walk away from certain situations to avoid escalation. This may mean walking upstairs to your bedroom for some quiet time away, or walking out to your car to escape the office for a breath of fresh air. Better yet, if circumstances allow, go for a long, brisk walk. Keep up a quick pace, and take note of your surroundings. This will likely get your mind off the issues at hand, or at the very least help you think a little bit more clearly about them.
Write It Down
This strategy can be very therapeutic, but also has the potential to create conflict, so be careful where you leave your confessions! Writing down your thoughts and feelings in a diary or journal can provide an enormous relief. It gives you a platform to say things you might not feel comfortable saying aloud, and explore your understanding of yourself and the world around you. Another option is to write a letter. (Whether you actually deliver it is completely up to you!) For example, jot down all the things that annoy you about your co-worker, sibling, or friend: Their over-use of Post-It notes, their gum smacking, or their constant need to hang out a Starbucks. Write it down, look it over, and tear it up. Chances are, the things you write down are not going to be life altering or friendship ending, and life will go on. On the other hand, it may help clear your head and allow you to make important decisions about what it is you are seeking.