Useful Tips

How to get rid of irritation - psychologist's advice


Our experienced team of editors and researchers contributed to this article and tested it for accuracy and completeness.

The wikiHow content management team carefully monitors the work of editors to ensure that each article meets our high quality standards.

If you are bored and want to "tease geese" - read on. Attention: all of the following is only humorous in nature, and the authors of this article are not responsible for your actions, as well as for the reaction of others.

Causes of irritability

Irritation is a reaction in the form of negative emotions directed towards someone or something (an internal or external stimulus). Irritation precedes anger and dangerously flashes of anger. This is the first signal of the body that something needs to be changed, it is impossible to tolerate the prevailing conditions further. The pattern of development of emotions is this: discontent (disappointment), irritation, anger, anger, rage, affect. I think this makes it clear that you need to fight irritation.

Irritation as a feeling is common to all people. This is normal:

  • For example, we get annoyed when something doesn’t work out for us, or when we have a cold.
  • In addition, irritability is a variant of character accentuations.
  • In some cases, irritability is caused by hormonal changes, for example, in adolescence, women during pregnancy or before menstruation. With other hormonal malfunctions, irritability also makes itself felt.
  • Irritability occurs at the time of getting rid of a habit (alcohol, smoking, coffee, sweets) or forced deprivation (hunger, poor hygiene, lack of sleep). The organism rebels and demands to satisfy its natural need.

The described cases do not cause such fears as the situation in which the irritation turned into irritability and became a character trait. The most popular cause of chronic irritability is a feeling of inferiority, the loss of one’s status, place in one’s life. Simply put, dissatisfaction with oneself and living conditions.

Irritability symptoms

It is possible to suspect the appearance of irritability if irritation occurs every day and more than once, namely:

  • irritation lasts more than 7 days,
  • because of it, relations in the family, at work, with friends deteriorate,
  • a feeling of inner tension builds up, it becomes chronic,
  • headaches appear
  • every day a person as if "gets up from the wrong foot",
  • discomfort is felt everywhere, no matter where you are or whatever you do.

Additional symptoms of irritability include:

  • decreased memory and concentration,
  • sleep disturbances
  • general weakness, fatigue and apathy,
  • muscle and joint pain
  • migraine.

Other symptoms (individual reactions of the body) may also make themselves known, but this complex inevitably signals a weakening of the body's defenses, the need to combat irritability.

The attacks themselves are manifested individually. Some people manage to keep their outer calm until the very end, but boil inside (you can’t do this), others fall into tantrums and tears, still others break down at all.

Irritation in women

Women more often than men suffer from irritability, which is due to psychophysiological characteristics (increased emotionality, natural regular changes in the hormonal background) and greater workload. Most women have to combine work, parenting and housekeeping.

Hormonal changes during pregnancy and menopause contribute. In this case, irritability is accompanied by:

Hormonal problems are treated by an endocrinologist and a gynecologist. If the cause is tiredness or dissatisfaction, then you need the help of a psychologist and a change in lifestyle.

Irritability in men

In men, irritability is more often caused by social factors: workload, fatigue, conflicts, difficulties in the family. If an inner feeling of dissatisfaction, low self-esteem and a sense of meaninglessness of life are superimposed on this, then the situation is exacerbated.

Male irritability often results in outbursts of anger and becomes destructive. However, men can restrain irritation longer, endure, hold back. Where the woman immediately begins to scream, the man will remain silent. But that is precisely why their irritability looks like more destructive.

Irritability in children

The causes of children's irritability are not much different from the manifestations of such in adults: psychophysiological characteristics, the influence of upbringing, fatigue, fears, anxieties, self-doubt. In addition, irritability can be a form of protest at the excessive custody of parents or, conversely, authoritarian upbringing.

Irritability is more emotional than in adults. Although the specificity of the manifestations depends on the age of the child. For example, young children often cry, bite, scratch. Preschool children are stubborn. Younger students violate discipline. Teenagers show aggression, slam doors, close themselves. In addition to age, the reactions depend on the character, temperament (choleric and melancholic are more prone to irritability) and other congenital characteristics of the child.

How to get rid of irritability

  1. It is necessary to recognize the causes of constant irritability. Probably, this is a matter of actual internal conflict, accumulated problems, locked emotions or fatigue. Rate your daily routine, nutrition, sleep. Is irritability caused by overwork? If so, change your lifestyle. Perhaps the point is not even fatigue, but in one obsessive detail, for example, an uncomfortable chair. Remember when you first felt irritable, what discomfort could cause it.
  2. If the reason lies deeper (dissatisfaction with oneself, life, work, complexes, anxiety, fear, stress), then honestly write down your desires and complaints (which does not suit you). Next write down the causes and consequences (both current status and desired).
  3. Engage in self-knowledge, make a plan to meet current needs. Learn temperament and character. Stubbornness, rigidity, perfectionism, intransigence, conflict, low empathy, selfishness are also causes of irritability.
  4. Take time every day to relax in the form of a beloved and useful work. Write a list of 30 favorite things (more or less can be) and choose something from it every day.
  5. Develop self-control. Learn to understand when the tension reaches its peak (the desire to scream and stomp, there is a feeling of muscle tension, the pulse quickens, palms sweat, and so on). Make it a rule at such moments not to make decisions, not to talk, but to engage in self-regulation (auto-training, relaxation, breathing techniques). And only after you calm down, it is rational to resolve issues.
  6. Change your thinking to positive. Refuse the phrases “another terrible day”, “again there will be nothing good”, “go there again”. Form and pronounce positive attitudes. Stop noticing only difficulties, problems and failures, start seeing opportunities and alternatives.
  7. Learn to express emotions in a socially acceptable way. At least do not hush up what worries you. Do not try to avoid conflicts or please everyone. Learn to communicate and lead productive conflicts. To do this, it is enough to calmly inform the interlocutor of his feelings: "I am annoyed by the tone of command, please speak more softly." And then discuss the differences.
  8. Pour out irritation in sports, singing in karaoke, screaming in the field and the like.
  9. Reduce servings of coffee, sugar and alcohol, of course, if the irritation is not caused by refusing them.
  10. Make friends with yourself, find yourself. Irritability is a protective reaction of the body. What is he trying to protect you from and prompt you to at least some activity (in this case, destructive and aggressive)? Say thanks to him and start acting consciously.
  11. Observe yourself, create a "diary of irritability", where you will record its appearance, amplification and weakening. Remove from life all possible irritants (objects and subjects, after contact with which the irritation intensifies). Perhaps this is the most difficult stage. Especially when it turns out that you need to change jobs or break off relationships, look for the meaning of life. But it needs to be done. The path to happiness and harmony is not easy.
  12. If it is impossible to remove the stimulus, then learn self-control and change your attitude to the situation.

If the situation is not amenable to self-correction, then it is worth visiting a psychotherapist. As a rule, irritability is treated with cognitive-behavioral therapy. Its purpose is to help the individual identify the causes of her behavior and learn to control these reactions, understand and study herself.

If it is impossible to change external circumstances, a person learns to recognize, accept and adequately respond to traumatic circumstances and difficult life situations. In some cases, sedatives or antidepressants are prescribed.

Emergency help

If you need to urgently cope with irritability:

  1. Use a score of up to ten, a method of switching attention to pleasant memories, technology for changing activities and distractions (walking, running, cleaning), draw on paper and tear it, wave your hands.
  2. After that, write on paper the possible consequences of irritation and its incorrect expression. Ask how it hurts you. You need it?
  3. Carry out auto-training. Say: “I understand that annoyance is a bad emotion. I control my emotions. I understand and accept the world in its diversity. I live harmoniously and without irritation. I enjoy the friendly interaction with the world. ” It is better to carry out this auto-training daily.
  4. Perform a breathing exercise. There are many methods of respiratory relaxation. For example, you can use this technique: take a lying position, inhale with your nose, rounding your stomach, exhale with your mouth, drawing in your stomach. Breathe slowly and deeply. Repeat no more than 10 times. Try another exercise next time: inhale deeply and slowly with your nose, exhale sharply with your mouth and take another 3 exhalations. Breathing exercises should be done carefully. It is better to consult with your doctor first! For example, it is not recommended to resort to them for heart diseases and at the time of a cold.

Correction of irritability, like any other psychological problem, requires a private approach. In general, we can only say that we need to look for the causes of fatigue and discontent, and then deal with it. It is useful to check your health for hormonal disorders. And of course, it is necessary to develop willpower and master the techniques of self-regulation.