Petty annoyances are part of daily life. These annoyances could involve a late train or bus, a co-worker’s constant gossiping, an interruption of your daily routine, or an unexpected situation. Even when you try to carry on as usual, these annoyances will be bothersome for some period.
Hopefully you will be able to rein in your temper and not take any action you may later regret. Follow these simple suggestions so you can avoid behaving badly when feeling annoyed.
- Is it worth it? Start by asking yourself whether the annoyance is worth devoting any of your time. Most situations only escalate when we pay attention to them. This escalation may occur over time as we keep the annoyance at the back of our minds where it builds up. Each time we come across the petty annoyance our reaction becomes a bit stronger. Why is this bus always so late? Why doesn’t my partner ever remember to close the cabinet door? Think about how important these small things are in the entire scope of things. To retain your peace of mind, pick your battles and ignore the inconsequential.
- Change your focus. When you start to feel annoyed, remember a happy situation since this will send a positive image to your brain and lessen your stress. Reciting a positive affirmation (e.g. I am having a great day and won’t let this petty situation get the best of me) can also help you to keep positive and reduce your rising blood pressure.
- Focus on the bigger issues. Recognize if a health issue or other major personal crisis is the underlying cause of the annoyance and think about how to deal with the larger problem. This will help you gain perspective in coping with the minor issues.
- Be thankful for all you have. Recognizing that many petty annoyances are simply the byproduct of daily living helps us to gain perspective and overlook minor inconveniences. Yes, your laptop may be slow to boot this morning but think of what the Internet enables you to do in terms of both your business and social life. Identifying things that you are grateful for in your life will help you to make a cognitive shift in how you perceive the world and enable you to easily brush aside petty inconveniences.
- Be grateful for your bills. Many of us get annoyed when opening bills. But think of what those bills signify: the gas and electric bill enables us to cook great meals; the cable bill enables us to watch our favorite programs; credit cards enable us to buy many types of items, from necessities to the more frivolous. Next time the bills come, open them with gratitude for they signify the rich life you lead!
Appreciate the simple things. This could involve sitting by the window and enjoying a beautiful sunrise/sunset, playing with your children in the park, reading a good book, or listening to a favorite CD. Each activity can help relax you mind making it easier for you to overcome annoyances that may crop-up from day-to-day.
Daniela Baker is a social media advocate with CreditDonkey, a consumer credit card comparison site.