‘Everyone has a limit for how much they can take before they lose their temper…’
For some people, it’s seemingly endless amounts of annoyance, and then there are people who have absolutely no tolerance of anything and tend to fly off the handle at the slightest thing.
I sit somewhere in between the two. I don’t have much patience, but I will put up with a LOT before I finally put my foot down. This doesn’t happen often but, when it does, it tends to be something that sticks with me for days on end, eating away at my happiness and generally, ruining my mood. And there’s nothing I hate more than knowing that some idiot has the ability to wreck my day when they don’t really deserve a second thought.
That said, it’s often easier said that done to push things out of your mind and not let them interfere with your mood. These are my ways of dealing with the things in life that drive me to distraction:
I use music as a way to chill out and shake off my shift on the way home from the office. Every. Single. Day. The worse my day has been, the louder the music will be.
I’m a huge fan of very loud singing (read: screeching) and can often be heard several towns over, performing my own original version of Miranda Lambert’s biggest hits. For some reason, the louder I sing, the less tense I feel. Plus, I often find when you sing at the top of your lungs, it’s far more difficult to concentrate on anything else apart from the words of the song. And the driving, obviously. Please don’t forget about the driving.
I am also always armed with a set of ear buds, which I store in my handbag and employ during my lunch break if I happen to be wandering around town on my own. Not only are they an introvert’s favourite accessory (they put everyone off stopping for a chat), but putting on my favourite songs as I aimlessly stroll around getting some fresh air is always a good way of unwinding if something’s bothering me.
As much as I hate to admit it (and believe me, I do), going to the gym or for a lunch run keeps me from carrying my mood from the office and back to the house.
The little haven that is Y Plas in Mach, which conveniently lies across the road from my office is a beautiful spot for clocking up a couple of miles during my afternoon break. This often gives me a boost and can perk me up for the rest of the day. On the occasion it doesn’t work, at least worked out like and there’s a calorie burning bonus in that.
It’s sometimes the very last thing I want to do if I’m feeling miserable, but it’s genuinely never made me feel worse.
I mean talking, not ranting. Ranting is the easiest thing to do when you’re in a fit of anger, but I don’t find it really helps in the long run. It might help you blow off steam in the first instance but, for me, it merely keeps me agitated for a longer period of time. And that just makes it all the more difficult to calm down later on.
What I like to do is find someone who might understand the situation I’m in, but not necessary just agree with me to make me feel better. Again, having someone agree with you for the Hell of it might help at first, but if you’ve gone off on a tangent and have genuinely been acting unreasonable, having someone back this up is of no use.
What you need is someone who isn’t afraid to tell you you’ve been acting like an idiot and will encourage you to look at things from all sides. Enter my husband…
Obviously, you’re doing this anyway (hopefully…), but when things get too much, actually focusing on your breathing can help to slow down your heart rate and make you feel calmer.
Having 5 minutes to hide yourself in the kitchen at work or, even better, locking yourself away in bathroom, gives you a short break to do some exercises and focus your mind. Try closing your eyes and inhaling deeply for 3 or 4 seconds before exhaling for the same and repeating as many times as necessary.
It won’t solve the problem, but it might give you enough breathing space and time out to think about things instead of saying something you might regret.
It is surprisingly difficult to be super annoyed about anything when you’re trying to count backwards. I often get confused simply trying to remember which number comes before 37 (It’s 36, just in case you were wondering…)
Anyway, the point I’m making is that saying the numbers out loud, or internally, makes no difference. It’s having something else to concentrate on that help to distract you from the problem at hand.
It’s tough to argue with someone in your head while you’re counting. It’s even harder to do it while going through multiplication tables or square roots. Don’t go overboard, though; no one likes a smart ass.
Write it Down
This works for me in the vast majority of cases, but it’s not always a quick fix. For the first few minutes, I can be heard brutally murdering my keyboard before I eventually get it out of my system.
Then I read it back and stare at my journal in wide eyed fear at what an angry person I’ve become become. However, doing this on the regular can help you pick up any traits or behaviours that you might need to work on.
For me, it simply means getting it out of my head, which makes it less likely that my husband will have to put up with my talking about it for the rest of the evening/weekend/natural life.
I love anything that smells like fruit. I like it particularly if this isn’t *actual* fruit. I have a mild candle obsession and love buying shower gels and lotions that make me smell like Carmen Miranda.
While I don’t find staring at the glow of a candle particularly relaxing in itself, when combined with, say, typing or stretching, it almost always has the desired effect. I care not about the quality of the candle, just solely about how strongly it smells like something I might like to drink on deserted beach somewhere…
Citrus especially has been linked to an increase norepinephrine, which is a stress related hormone. If you have no candles, simply walk around the streets of your local town with a lemon stuffed beneath your nose and, voila! Calm seas.
I’m in no way suggesting that you approach random people on the street, because that will get you into a world of trouble that cannot be cured be even a whole tree full of lemons.
I’m not even suggesting you find a human for this. The best thing in the world for you to snuggle is undoubtedly a doggo.
I have tested this over many, many years and it has *never* failed to work. If you, like me, don’t have your own doggo, most people are fairly amenable to you cuddling theirs, just as long as you let them go once you’re done. AND, if you walk around with a pocket full of snacks, you won’t even have to ask for snuggles; you will be approached by All Of The Doggos without having to make the first move. Sneaky but effective.
What are your top tips for calming down?