Annoyance isn’t a pleasant feeling. It gets in the way of living a happy, productive life where you can feel satisfied.
Annoyance rubs at you like a stone in your shoe. You feel it, but it’s often not extreme enough to really draw your full attention to it. You just kind of live with it until you finally realize that you are being annoyed by the world around you.
And once you realize how easily annoyed you are, you can start changing things to create a more peaceful space.
These negative emotions do serve useful purposes, though. Annoyance and irritability are both precursors to anger. They serve as a warning that what you’re experiencing is likely to push you toward an angry response.
It’s a way for your brain to give you a little bit of warning so you can try to avoid being entirely pushed into anger, which can have negative consequences.
But not all annoyance tracks from Point A to Point B so cleanly. There are other reasons why you might get so annoyed all the time.
So why does it seem like everyone and everything annoys you? What are the causes, and what can you do about each of them?
1. You consume too much alcohol, caffeine, or other substances.
Many people use alcohol, caffeine, or other substances as a method of stress relief. The problem is that many of these substances actually cause more stress because of the long-term effect they have on the nervous system.
A couple glasses of wine may be a great way to relax for an evening. A couple of glasses of wine every evening, however, is not going to be so great months and years down the road.
Alcohol affects levels of serotonin and other neurotransmitters, which can increase anxiety and lead to moodiness. That effect can last anywhere from several hours right up to a whole day after drinking has ceased. [source]
Caffeine is a stimulant and can amp up your nervous system. It doesn’t directly cause anxiety, but it does amplify anxiety in people who are predisposed to or already have an anxiety disorder.
That stimulation can cause anger and irritability, shorten patience, and lead to impulsiveness.
2. You don’t get enough sleep, or it is poor quality sleep.
The brain produces many of the feel-good, mood balancing chemicals that it needs for the next day during the deepest sleep stages.
People who don’t sleep well or fail to practice good sleep hygiene may find themselves getting irritable and annoyed very easily and on a regular basis. It’s hard to have patience when you’re exhausted.
Good sleep hygiene helps the quality of sleep that you get. That includes things like having a comfortable mattress and pillow, not having lights on in the room for your brain to pick up through your eyelids, and not using screens before bed.
Avoiding substances like caffeine, nicotine, and alcohol also improves the quality of sleep.
Cutting back on fluids after 6 P.M. can help you maintain deeper sleep by not having your body wake you up at 3 A.M. to use the bathroom.
For more information on getting a good night’s rest, read this: 14 Things To Do Before Bed That Will Put You Into A Deep, Restful Sleep
3. You’re not getting enough exercise.
Moving your body provides many mental and physical health benefits. Your brain produces endorphins and dopamine when you exercise (and you get some extra vitamins if you do it out in the sun!)
These chemicals help keep your moods balanced and your mind at ease. Exercise is a stress and anxiety relief that is all-natural and attainable for most people.
Even just taking a walk up and down the street for 20 minutes every few days will provide great benefit.
You may find that your annoyance and irritability reduces with regular exercise as stress relief.
4. You’re overtaxing yourself and need to reduce your load.
People are not machines. Most people have a difficult time maintaining a hectic schedule that keeps them busy, busy, busy.
That’s an efficient way to work yourself into anxiety and depression by not making any time to practice self-care or to unwind.
Irritability, annoyance, and shortness of temper go right along with those things.
Make sure that you create time for yourself in your schedule. If you’re a busy person, you may need to pencil rest breaks and exercise times into your schedule. Even a 15 meditation session can significantly reduce anxiety when used as a regular break.
It’s hard when you’re juggling work, family, and maintaining the home, which is why you will likely need to make time. Say no to some responsibilities and let someone else handle them so you can stop and take a breath.
5. The environment or the people around you aren’t healthy.
Not every bit of annoyance is unfounded. It may also be your brain trying to tell you that a situation or a person isn’t right for you.
If you find that you are easily annoyed by the people around you, it may be that they negatively influence your peace of mind and happiness.
Your brain may be trying to get you to realize that you need to limit your time with these people or find a new environment that isn’t so stressful.
Maybe it’s family or people you don’t want to just cut off and wander away from. Maybe you love your career, despite how stressful it is and how obnoxious coworkers might be.
In that case, it’s good to take dedicated time away to give yourself a chance to reset. That may just be a weekend to yourself at a hotel or full use of any benefits your work may offer.
Many people avoid taking their sick time or vacation time because they are guilt-tripped into feeling like they aren’t a team player.
Don’t fall for that garbage. Take the time you earn when you’re able to. Take your vacations. Use your sick time when you need it. It’s yours. You earned it.
6. Unresolved issues are starting to resurface.
Sometimes we don’t get the closure or compassion that we need to get over an upsetting situation.
It’s easy to swallow your anger for the moment, but it will undoubtedly come back sooner or later.
Annoyance can point to those emotions starting to resurface. It might be your brain telling you, hey, this was wrong, and we still haven’t resolved it in a way that we can be peaceful about.
You might be annoyed with a person or a situation. Did they mistreat you? Do they treat you with respect and consideration? Did they act with respect when you had a disagreement? Or did they ignore your concerns and blow you off?
The mind has a difficult time letting these kinds of situations go. If you are mistreated at work, and no one seems to care, your mind may be at unrest to tell you that you need to change or resolve the situation.
7. Your standards are too high.
Perfectionism can make you feel irritable and annoyed. A person who sets the bar for success at the same level as perfect condemns themselves to failure, anger, and annoyance.
No one is perfect, not even the perfectionist. And by continually reinforcing and telling themselves that they need to be perfect, they are guaranteeing that they won’t be able to create peace with the situation.
Few things are ever perfect, and the few things that appear to be likely aren’t or won’t be forever. That’s just how things go.
Perfectionism can be heavily related to anxiety and self-worth. A lack of value for oneself and your contributions may touch the same sensitive spots that annoyance, anger, and irritability do.
And expecting perfection out of other people is a recipe for disaster. You may be annoyed with other people because you’ve set the bar too far out of reach for them to be successful.
People are flawed, messy, often self-interested creatures. Still, the best way to approach them is with minimal expectations and compassion.
Maybe they can’t or don’t want to meet the standard you’ve set. Maybe they understand something about the standard you don’t, which changes where they set the bar.
Talk about it and try to find common ground with other people. And try that same conversation with yourself if you find that you’re annoyed with who you are.
Forgive yourself for not being perfect, because you’re not. No one is. People just don’t work that way.
You may also like:
- 12 Strategies To Use When You’re Feeling Irritable
- 20 Types Of Annoying People You Should Avoid
- 6 Reasons Why Introversion Can Lead To Irritability (+ What To Do)
- Emotionally Stable People Do These 7 Things Differently
- How To Be Less Emotionally Sensitive: 5 No Bullsh*t Tips!