Ways To Stop Feeling Irritated
Published on October 27th, 2021
Updated on March 11th, 2022
Irritability can be a challenging feeling to cope with. We feel irritable for different reasons, and sometimes we feel irritable and do not understand why. Irritability is often difficult to manage, but with practice, it is possible to learn how to keep your composure when irritated.
We can feel irritated for different reasons. Sometimes the people around us irritate us. Sometimes we are in situations that make us feel irritated, and sometimes we feel irritated because we are not keeping in touch with what we need at a given moment. Irritability can be triggered for different reasons, and understanding the reason behind the irritability can make it easier to cope with.
Sometimes we can identify why we are feeling irritated, and sometimes we cannot. Whether or not you understand the source of your irritability, knowing the coping skills you can use to manage irritable feelings can help in many ways.
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It can prevent you from lashing out at others and putting unneeded stress onto yourself. Coping skills for irritability can also help you keep in touch with what you are feeling, your boundaries, and what you need to feel like you are okay. Consider the following things you can do when you are feeling irritable.
Take A Time Out
It is common for people to feel irritable when they are overwhelmed. Irritability can start to bubble up when we are overstimulated or have too much happening around us at once. A great way to ensure that your personal space is preserved when feeling overwhelmed is to take a time out. Taking a time out involves removing yourself from a situation for a short time while you regroup and calm your nerves.
Taking a time out can be simple. It can be taking a walk around the block, excusing yourself to the restroom, or simply closing your office door for 5 minutes. Calming down can prevent irritability from building.
Irritability can bubble up when we are feeling frustrated or angry. When we are feeling irritable because we are frustrated, our thoughts can get carried away and fuel the irritability. In situations like this, it is important to S.T.O.P.
This method is often used for people who struggle with anxiety and anger management and can be very effective for managing feelings of irritability. S.T.O.P stands for:
- Stop what you are doing
- Take a breath
- Observe what is going on that is causing the irritability
- Proceed with the best course of action that ensures a healthy outcome
Take A Breath
Breathing can be a very helpful tool for calming down tense nerves caused by irritability. It is a grounding tool that helps you find a sense of peace in the present moment. Using your breath to calm your irritability can help to reduce tension in the body.
This reinforces a sense of calm that prevents the irritable feelings from taking over. Deep breaths can ground you in the present moment, and promote acceptance for an uncomfortable or irritating situation.
Change The Subject
We can feel irritable in response to the people and conversations around us. Everyone is different, and not everything is easy to talk about with others. If you find that a topic of conversation is causing you to feel irritable, change the subject.
Redirect the conversation to something lighter and easier to talk about. You have the right to your personal space, and if there is something you don’t want to talk about then talk about something different. If the people around you resist your attempt to change the subject, then excuse yourself from the conversation. Take some time to yourself to regroup or find someone less oppressive to talk to.
Take A Break And Circle Back
When we feel frustrated with something, we can easily become irritable and short-tempered with other things. If you find yourself feeling frustrated about something then take a break from what is frustrating you. When you are in a calmer and more relaxed state, circle back and revisit to find a resolution to the frustrating issue.
Talk It Out
Talking about what is making you feel irritable can help to reduce the tension that you are holding to yourself. Talking it out with trusted friends and family members can help you find relief. Sharing the stress with others can help you feel relieved, validated, and supported.
It can also help to set boundaries and clear the air with those who are causing you to feel irritable. Sometimes, people around you can help you find a solution to what is irritating you, or help you find guidance to resolving the irritability.
Put Your Thoughts In Check
Irritability is not always reasonable. It is common for people to feel irritable as a result of their negative self-talk. To manage irritability, it is important to keep your thoughts in check. Checking in with yourself to challenge the thoughts that are making you feel irritable can be a helpful method to prevent irritability from growing.
Being mindful of your internal dialog and challenging negative thoughts can help you determine if your mood is due to something that is really upsetting you, or if it is the result of you overreacting, misinterpreting a situation, or thinking in the negative.
Leave The Stressful Environment
We can feel irritable for different reasons. Sometimes our irritability is caused by one situation but affects us in another situation. Stress can weigh heavily on us and can be carried over from one environment to another. Irritability can be an indicator that a situation is causing unneeded stress on you, and it is okay to listen to the message that your irritable mood is sending. A method to manage irritability is to leave the situation that is causing you to feel irritable.
Even if the environment itself is not causing the irritability, it may be fueling it. In situations like this, it can be best to leave so you can resolve the irritability without other stressors fueling the uncomfortable feelings.