7 things to fix feeling irritable and dealing with mood swings

I am grumpier than grumpy cat today. So – what of it? You want to start something with me? Do ya? Do ya? Hey? PUNK. Sometimes I feel so overwhelmed and I get very upset when things are not going my way. When I get stretched for time, I can go into meltdown. What happens when I go into a meltdown? Well, I blogged about it here.

There are a few triggers which set me off. Being too busy, being late, losing things, not knowing my way – these are all major stressors for me. The Boyf says I have mood swings – I call this “being human”. We all have mood swings, some more than others. Some people are always cool, calm and collected. I have a couple of bosses like this, my father was always a cool customer and I have one or two girlfriends who are unflappable.

But me? Yikes. I get very irritated. Bad service, slow service, leaf blowers, running out of things, getting wet (from the rain, that is), boring shows on TV, inaccurate signage – ERGH!

I am getting irritable just thinking about it.

Dr George Krucik has given a great assessment of irritability on HealthLine. He says, “Irritability is a feeling of agitation that can occur when someone is provoked. It can also be a symptom of a mental disorder or medical condition.”

I am pretty sure I don’t have a mental condition, perhaps just a flawed personality. As one of my best friends says, “I don’t know what all this stuff about me being a ‘difficult’ person is coming from. I am a constant f**king delight!”

Whew – that’s the closest I have come to swearing on this blog – but I guess the subject matter is appropriate! Dr Krucik also says, “Irritability generally causes a person to feel frustrated easily. Often this frustration results in a short temper.”

So – now that we have established that I probably need to do some deep breathing and potentially some meditation, here are 7 things you can do to stop feeling so damn irritable. Good luck!

1. Return to the senses

With our eyes open (or closed if you have the opportunity) pay attention to what you can feel, taste, smell and hear. Return to your senses and realise that every emotion is fleeting. This feeling of irritability will pass. Hold on until it does.

2. Place your thumb and forefinger on your wrist

With your thumb at the base of your palm and your forefinger at the back of your wrists, apply gentle pressure. This acupressure point will calm you down after a few breaths.

3. Go for a brisk walk

Don’t dilly-dally! Get your blood pumping by a brisk walk around the block. Take long strides and shoosh through the streets, with a look of confidence on your face.

4. Smile

When I am angry, I cross my arms and scowl. Sometimes I scowl so much I worry that my face will be stuck like that. Don’t scowl. Smile and you will feel less irritated.

5. Deep breaths

Yes, if I hear this bloody piece of advice one more time I will scream. But do it. Why? Because it works. As Marcus Aurelius said, “When you arise in the morning, think of what a precious privilege it is to be alive – to breathe, to think, to enjoy, to love.

6. Think about why you are irritable

Take some time to meditate on it. I dream often about my irritations and I think about how I might do things differently next time. Spend some time getting to know yourself and your motivations and learn to heal.

7. Rise above

Sometimes, people don’t even know you are irritated. Often even when they know, they don’t care. Often these little internal storms go on inside us and they can be diffused by us if we really commit to improving ourselves.

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