Mindfulness

Managing Irritation

By  | 

When you’re feeling a general sense of irritation you’re primed for projection. Unconsciously you’re waiting for, actually actively looking for, a specific entity to lash out at. You need someone or something to blame for your unwanted psychic load, for your unwanted feelings of irritation. When you find an entity that seems to fit the bill you can feel justified in unloading your negative feelings onto it and then go on about your day with a clear conscience.

This is a modern day example of scapegoating. Even if the people you lash out actually have said or done something irritating, you’ll probably concede that when you’re in a good mood these same stimuli would get little or no rise out of you. You’d probably handle the situation in a much more productive way, choosing to focus on something positive and guiding the conversation in that direction, for example.

At any rate, when you’re feeling irritated the solution to feeling less irritated that we’ve been discussing here is to fixate on irritating things in your environment. This is kind of like starting a war to end all wars. Neither strategy makes any sense. The path to peace is peace, not war. The path to feeling less irritated is fixating upon calming things in your environment, not irritating things.

Owning up to that general feeling of irritation, recognizing its presence within you and consciously accepting the fact that it’s now your responsibility even if it was caused by external circumstances outside of your control, is the first and most important step in handling it in more productive ways. The next step is, like we said above, to think of the antidote to irritation as all of those stimuli in your environment capable of producing peace, calm, tranquility, and well-being within you. Searching these stimuli out is the way to reduce your irritation. It’s not searching out more stimuli to irritate you.

Greetings I'm Michael, the owner of Evolution Counseling and the author of all the articles on this site. I got my master's degree from Seattle University in community mental heath counseling and have committed myself to advancing my knowledge of psychology and to evolving my own philosophical system ever since. In addition to the content on this site I offer online coaching using Skype. If you'd like to learn more about it click on the online coaching tab or if you think you'd like to set up a session send me an email at evolve@evolutioncounseling.com.

You must be logged in to post a comment Login