How to deal with being irritable at work

You head to work daily, focused on accomplishing your tasks. Are you happy, though, or do you constantly snap at others and make snarky remarks? Being a grumpy co-worker isn’t the reputation you desire, and it’s not propelling you forward.

Feel good about your environment and your contributions. Understand the causes of irritability and find solutions that allow you to breathe easy and enjoy your day. Take action, conquer those negative feelings and say goodbye to on-edge moments and surly comments.  Rean on to learn how to reduce irritability at work and thus be a better co-worker to be around!

1. Create a realistic schedule

Psychology Today notes that irritability develops during stressful times when people experience pressure or feel overwhelmed. The body enters a fight-or-flight response, tensing up and trying to make it through the day. You tackle work but do so by overreacting and becoming highly emotional.

Recognise that doing too much is driving you to react poorly. Evaluate your workload and schedule to give yourself more time and fewer tasks to accomplish; follow the less is more concept. If needed, discuss how you feel with your boss, asking to retool your schedule.

2. Learn your triggers

What drives you mad? Identify the common triggers that send you over the edge. Co-worker behaviours and interactions may frustrate you. Older technology, environmental conditions and unclear directions may also send you over the edge.

Acknowledging the aggravating factors helps you reconcile with the issue and find solutions—game plan coping strategies. Consider anxiety medication for adults if it’s really affecting your health day-to-day and incorporate several tension-relieving habits into your routine.  There are many natural solutions for stress and anxiety or speak to your GP if you want to go down the medication route.

3. Take a break

Give yourself time. Recognise when irritability sets in and politely walk away from the desk or conversation. Staying in the moment furthers annoyance. Take deep breaths and go for a brief walk, releasing pent-up energy.

4. Talk it out

Vent. No, it’s not childish. Talk to someone you trust about what has you upset. Getting it off your chest allows you to evaluate the situation and work with someone to find a viable solution.  While you may want to stop work-related stress spilling over into your personal life, sometimes it can help to talk to an understanding and problem-solving friend. 

5. Skip the coffee

While you may think your cup of java is getting you through the day, it could exacerbate your emotions. Caffeine stimulates the brain, giving you that extra oomph to stay focused and think. However, it also heightens your sensitivity, making those frustrations worse.

Skip the extra cup or grab herbal organic tea instead. You won’t get that sudden jolt, but it could aid in containing your feelings and minimising caffeine crashes.

6. Eat clean

Dining on sugar and processed food feels good when you’re down. However, those eating habits can cause unstable sugar levels that contribute to your moodiness. Skip the cookies and ice cream on those bad days and select healthy, well-balanced options. Fill the plate with fruits and veggies, and concentrate on plant-based proteins.

What about that glass of wine at the end of the night? While it takes the edge off for a bit, it may lead to lingering effects the following day, such as fogginess or headaches. Limit alcohol, or cut out altogether, and seek other avenues to release your dissatisfaction.

Final word

If you’re tired of being the office pessimist, learn why this behaviour started. Track your triggers, read up on anxiety medication reviews and adopt coping mechanisms.

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