How to Stop Feeling Annoyed

by Rachel Miller

March 25, 2022

ABOVE : Autri Taheri

It’s annoying to feel annoyed. It’s frustrating. Sometimes you feel guilty for it—why is this thing bothering me so much?

Consider:

  • You always have the choice of what you value: a quiet environment, “winning” the argument, getting from A to B as quickly as possible. Whatever it is that’s important or ideal to you right now, you can change! You can change your expectations to suit your present circumstances.

  • When things interfere with your plans, when things don’t go how you would like them to go–whenever you’re annoyed–ask yourself:

    • What is this preventing me from enjoying this moment? How is this ruining my experience, my happiness?
    • Does it need to be this way, that I was hoping for? Is it absolutely essential?
    • What if I chose to be OK with how things are, like I wanted them to be this way? Like waiting: is it necessary for this person to move faster for me to be happy? What if I chose to accept the present time frame for what it is: out of my control—and be OK with it?

  • Play around in your mind with the alternatives. Why does it have to be the way you initially hoped for? If you can’t change the given circumstance, people, or things that are bothering you, why not change your expectations of them? What not make this desired expectation no longer essential for peace of mind?

  • You don’t need to grit and bear it. Control and change what you can:
    • If it’s noise in your environment, put ear plugs in or ask them to keep it down.
    • If it’s not within your control, then ask yourself, what small advantage could this be bringing me? What could I gain from this? There is always something to gain if you look for it–even if it’s just to practice choosing not to care, to practice changing your wants to meet the given circumstances.


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