The feeling when…
Somebody tells you to calm down when you’re angry.
When somebody is playing their music out loud on their cell phone in a public place.
When you are finished washing dishes and your significant other/mom/dad/sibling comes over with a dish they forgot to put in the sink.
When you are telling your kid something and they are obviously not listening.
When you are telling your parent something and they are obviously not listening.
When somebody’s rationale is “because I said so” or “this is my house”.
When you are trying to joke around but others are taking you seriously.
Sweating the small stuff?
Many people that do in fact sweat the small stuff. They will look at that list and come up with reasons why these items aren’t “small”. A case can be made for almost everything, but looking at these items from a third-party perspective (an outsider that has no skin in the game), this is the small stuff.
When we are exposed to these experiences our mind goes on a rampage. During that rampage, it can sometimes feel nearly impossible to regulate the weather going on inside your mind. Two executive functioning skills that get hit pretty hard are flexibility and emotional regulation. It is possible that you are predisposed to irritation, frustration, and anger but it is also possible that your reaction to these triggers is so automatic and fast that you don’t stand a chance in responding (versus reacting) differently.
If you feel like this, you also may also feel stuck in your ways. During a recent conversation with a client, I asked them, “What are you truly risking?”, in reference to anxiety-based behaviors. They responded, “feeling stupid and anxious”. My reply, “Feeling stupid and anxious is your fear, but not the real risk. The real risk is not developing healthy and positive relationships with people. The real risk is feeling like you aren’t part of something bigger and feel disconnected. All things that you have said you would like in your life.” Within one hour this client had a new perspective to see through and a greater feeling of importance to make necessary changes. What they really needed to see things differently was time and space from the issue.
A little extra time and mental space during these moments of frustration, stress, irritation, and anger can have a major impact. Follow these three steps to help better manage the “small stuff”.
LEARN MORE ABOUT YOUR BUTTONS
We have them and they get pressed from time to time. Maybe you know what sets you off, but take a few moments to write down the people, places, and things that you know are trouble zones. Being more aware of the triggers will better equip you to intervene.
PICTURE IT AND PREPARE FOR IT
If you know that you will be in a situation that could be triggering, try visualizing it before you are actually there. Take a look at The Swish Technique: click here
GET BACK IN TOUCH
We all know how to have a little compassion when a puppy has an accident, a baby spills their food, or when a 10-year-old says, “I’m stupid”. Practice showing compassion to yourself and the others around you by looking at them as a person, not just a comment or a trigger. Keep in mind that you are allowed to experience these emotions, so show some compassion to yourself as well. This could be through acknowledging and labeling what you are feeling as “frustration”, “anger”, or “irritation” instead of saying “I’m irritated”. These emotions do not define you and are only temporary states. Lastly, if you need some space, take it.
With gripping emotions such as irritation, frustration, and anger there are a lack of finger snapping solutions, but If you do try snapping your fingers during a moment of anger and it works, please call us and share your magic. Above are some solid steps to make positive changes with the relationships around you.