We all deal with petty annoyances – little insignificant things which can really irritate us if we allow them to. We don't have to allow them to irritate us at all, we can get ourselves to the point where they don't bother us at all!
Do you ever wake up in the morning and everything annoys you?
You trip over a toy – those darn kids! Someone left a light on all night – oh, that electricity bill! The toilet paper didn't get replaced – oh, the inconvenience!
But it doesn't end there, you are fixing your hair and suddenly remember something that a friend said last week and you start grumbling about your friend. Then you are reminded of what your spouse said to you the night before and you gripe to yourself about how inconvenient it is to live with him or her.
Then you leave the bathroom and what a mood you are in! You couldn't find the good around you if you tried, your mind is set completely on the negative because you allowed those petty annoyances to get the best of you.
Because of this mindset you will notice and zoom your focus on the negative, no matter how petty and minor they are.
The good news is that even if you have allowed yourself to get to this point you can still turn your day around.
You can choose to get rid of the petty annoyances.
No, you won't be able to literally rid yourself of little insignificant annoyances but what you can do is change your mindset so that those little things that are bugging you won't bug you any longer.
There are several steps that you can take to remove yourself from the frame of mind that you are in and they are very effective.
The first and most critical step to take is to…
Dig through your emotions
Most of the time that you find yourself irritated by little things that you would normally overlook you will find that there is some underlying issue that you are not dealing with that is trying to demand your attention. The reason that you are getting annoyed so easily over petty things is because you are avoiding an issue that is bigger and more pressing.
A popular example of this is the old example of the man who comes home and kicks the dog because he's mad at his boss. He's not really mad enough at the dog to kick him but he takes it out on the dog because he's not dealing with the boss. That's why you fume over the empty roll of toilet paper instead of just replacing it without griping.
It may take some real digging to figure out what is at the root of your irritations or it could be easy, depending on how long you have been ignoring the issue.
I had been getting irritated over petty things the last few days and I knew that it wasn't about the little things. It didn't take much digging because I knew what issue I wasn't dealing with, I had a very dear online friend pass away last week. I wrote about it on my blog last week which helped me to deal with it a little bit, but obviously much more "work" on my part is required to fully deal with the loss.
Though it will take time to work through the loss, the fact of acknowledging what my issue was enough for me to stop getting annoyed at all of the little petty things going on around me. I was able to ignore them as I usually do.
There are many issues which we can easily push aside and ignore, causing us to start reacting to petty annoyances. Looking through the following list can help you identify something that you need to dig through to find out what is really bothering you.
- Conflict with a friend, relative, co-worker or neighbor
- Marital tension
- Issues with your kids
- An illness or impending surgery or procedure
- Possible lay off from work
- Home repair issue or fear of losing your home
- Rising cost of living
- An issue from your past
- Political issue
Clearly the list could go on and on because there are as many problems as there are people to have problems. The best thing that you can do for yourself is to find a way to deal with your problems instead of taking your frustrations out on things that really don't matter.
Have you ever spent time with someone who obviously has underlying issues but blows up over every little annoyance? It really is no fun to be around those people and certainly you don't want be one of those people.
Dig through your emotions and deal with the underlying issues. It may take awhile, you may need to talk to someone, you may need to journal, meditate, pray, etc. But you will be much better equipped to deal with life's minor annoyances if you aren't ignoring bigger issues.
Change your focus
If you still discover that you are still struggling with petty annoyances even after you have found your underlying issue you can change your focus. Changing your focus will be easier than dealing with an underlying issue so this can be helpful while you are working through your underlying issue.
You can change your focus using different methods. One way is to simply recognize your negativity and choose to stop thinking about it and instead fill your mind with positive thoughts.
For example if you are really feeling irritated that someone left a wet towel on the floor and you can't let go of the annoyance you can talk yourself out of it. You can say, "No harm, it's just a towel. Instead I am going to focus on the compliment that my supervisor gave me yesterday. I really felt great when he said…" If your mind continues to go to the negativity persist just as hard to think about good things in your life.
Another great way to change your focus is to use affirmations, I used them this morning and they were extremely helpful in my battle with the petty annoyances. You simply repeat them again and again to move your focus. Some affirmations that are helpful in times like this are:
- Happiness is my choice.
- I release all negativity, fear and stress.
- Anger flies away from me like an eagle into the mountains.
- Love, joy and peace make their home in heart.
- Today I am focused and successful.
If you find yourself getting sucked into petty annoyances you need to dig deeper to find out what the underlying problem is and then refocus your thoughts by thinking about the positives in your life or by using affirmations.