Q&A Wednesday

Q&A: How to stop getting pissed off at every little thing

I posted something the other day that really resonated with a lot of you about how worked up we get over little things. How often do you find yourself really pissed off about something small, or worried about a “what-if” that may never happen?

Probably pretty often, right?!

So this week’s Q&A is all about how to stop getting pissed off at every little thing.

1. Take 15 minutes to unfollow people/accounts that set you off. 
I know this might feel like a time-suck, but it is SO worth it at the end. Overexposure to infuriating people or news outlets does NOT make us more effective citizens or more compassionate human beings. That stuff only blinds us by rage and instead of being able to use that frustration to solve a problem, we get sucked into vapid arguments on the internet. Not helpful.

2. Get off social!
Be mindful when you’re on social media and reading the news. If you’re spending more than a few minutes catching up, sign off. Go outside, read a book, call a friend, do yoga! Your time in this life is precious and finite, so don’t get sucked into things that pull from your energy; instead, get out there and do stuff that fills you up.

3. Don’t bottle it up. 
When it’s too late and you’re already totally pissed off about something, get it off your chest. Vent to a trusted friend, to a dog (I wish I had a dog to vent to, haha), or simply write it down. Get it off your chest to clear your head and gain some perspective. … which reminds me…

4. Keep your perspective in check. 
Some stuff is really no big deal in the long run. If you won’t remember this in 3 years, forget about it. But other things DO matter, so if it IS important, look into ways you can take real action to better the situation or at least play your part. To be very blunt: if you’re not going to do something about the problem, forget it and don’t let it stress you.

Over to you! How do you deal with the little things that piss you off? For example, when I filmed this week’s Q&A, I realized in editing that ALL of the audio was GONE! Just picture and no sound. I was FURIOUS because it took me forever and I didn’t have time to re-film and blah blah blah. But hey– after stepping back I can see this is not a big deal. We’ll do it this week and be back to normal next time! Now don’t be shy! Share your own stories & tips for how to stay cool below! Can’t wait to see 🙂 

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    February 1, 2017 at 8:45 am

    Okay, I hate being THAT lady but I’m going to be that lady: I’ve found that my whole realm of “getting pissed”-edness, did a 180 when I started having kids. And I know, I know. Every parent in the whole wide world is like, “Need patience? Kids. Can’t cook? Kids. Can’t get organized? Kids. Planetary alignment askew? KIDS!” And as a mom, even I can get sick of it…but if you can learn to keep your composure while you’re watching your child try to stuff play-doh down into a baseboard heater while the other one insists on wearing only a headband and not a stitch of clothing aside–If you can keep a smile on your face when you’re running late in the morning and your kindergartener wants to learn to tie her shoes RIGHT NOW while you’ve realized the other one has pooped in her diaper and it’s coming out the leg hole (yeah)–If you can accept that the only time you’re ever going to have a moment alone in the next decade is after the school run, then you are totally capable of tuning out unnecessary social media political wildfires, noisy neighbors, inconsiderate drivers and rude DMV workers (no offense if you work at the DMV), because quite honestly, none of those people puked on you, pooped their pants or defaced your furniture, so I say, if they meet those criteria, let it slide! 🙂

    1. Avatar

      Erin Motz

      February 1, 2017 at 10:55 am

      what a response! BOOM!! i can 100% see how this would be true. even when i was a nanny in college, i got little glimpses of this. such a great perspective!

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    February 1, 2017 at 8:51 am

    Good Morning! I used to be the person that got pissed at every little thing all the days. It is still a work in progress, but I find my own personal energy is so valuable that wasting it on things that really don’t matter, like dirty dishes in the sink, tech issues, (still have a problem with this one haha), negativity, and over all douchebaggery is just not worth the time and energy it takes to get pissed off. As an HSP, I tend to take in all the energy in a room good or bad. As a yoga teacher it is challenging not to let that energy effect me. It’s now about creating boundries. Taking in what is good and letting go of what will not serve me in a positive way. I’m not saying it’s easy, it takes work and awareness of how I feel. My only goal is to leave a positive footprint where ever I land~
    PS…. My dog is a great listener 🙂

    1. Avatar

      Erin Motz

      February 1, 2017 at 10:56 am

      oh man, as soon as you said tech issues, i threw my hand up like, ME TOO!!! creating boundaries is huge in getting over all this stress. great advice!

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    February 1, 2017 at 9:02 am

    Hi Erin,

    I agree totally, except for one thing. Dogs are pretty sensitive to people and their emotions, but they don’t understand them well. If I express anger or frustration to my dog, she becomes distressed I think mostly because she wants to make me feel better. But without a clear command that she knows she can follow it can be quite hard on her. So if you do let off on your dog about something other than your dog’s behavior, please quickly give your dog lots of loving. Thanks Erin for all the good things you do.

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      Erin Motz

      February 1, 2017 at 11:00 am

      Ah yes, should have clarified: I definitely do NOT mean to flip out on your pet. In my head I pictured having those moments where you’re sitting together having a little therapy session. “I can’t believe X said this… it really worries me and I need to find a good way to deal with it…” haha, you know, something like this 😉 I used to have moments like that with my dog all the time and they were surprisingly therapeutic!

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        February 1, 2017 at 1:46 pm

        🙂 I just do this with imaginary friends… in the car or on walks. Works SO great, also if you need to “discuss” a problem or annoying person: Thinking out loud while moving is the best! And no dog is worrying about the state of me…

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    February 1, 2017 at 10:03 am

    I am definitely one of those people who gets annoyed and has a hard time letting it go. It is one of the reasons I took up yoga and mediation in the first place. Last year I found another tool that is sooooo amazing. Emotional Freedom Technique, also called tapping works wonders on everything from anxiety and distress to pain. There are a million youtube videos out there, but one of my favorite references is thetappingsolution.com. Now I have a full arsenal of ways to control those pissy times.

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      Erin Motz

      February 1, 2017 at 11:01 am

      Agreed! I like EFT, too. Took me by surprise how well it worked!

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    February 1, 2017 at 11:27 am

    I try to always find humor in the days I am failing! It happens often. Like last night I could have been pissed I couldn’t find matching socks before leaving the house, but I wore my hot pink and one bright purple socks in yoga tell my feet where warm with pride! And “yes” I am that yoga person that wares socks tell I am ready to take them off! Thanks for the talk!

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    Melissa Green

    February 1, 2017 at 11:44 am

    I have found if you can find humor in it, then laugh. I try to laugh as much as possible. I am a 7th grade teacher. I love my students, but man they can be frustrating. So, instead of getting angry because they don’t understand, I make a “dad joke”, we laugh together, then try again. Happiness is so much easier than anger. And, keeping a smile on, even when you want to cry, makes everything seem just a little less difficult. (I do understand the are some situations that laughing is not appropriate, but laugh at the other stuff. Then just make an effort to smile through the tough times. It really does help.) Oh, and fish are AMAZING listeners.

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    February 1, 2017 at 11:45 am

    Erin –

    I really needed this this morning. I had a frustrating evening and I was still letting it work its negativity into my day today. I’ve been really good about #1 & #2 for a long time, I’ve just been letting other dumb stuff make me irritated. I struggle with perspective. Mindfulness, yoga, and breathing techniques are definitely helping, though, as well vent sessions sometimes! Thanks for making me feel normal for being pissy, but also keeping me in check!

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    Kera N

    February 1, 2017 at 11:49 am

    Totally get a dog! One of the best things for me is going on a walk with my dog and watching her being present in the moment and then also becoming present in the moment. I find that just letting all of life go except this moment with my dog in nature enjoying the sun/rain on my skin and the movement of air around my body, how happy my dog is over every smell. When you are there, it is easy to let the things pissing you off go.

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    February 1, 2017 at 12:10 pm

    “If you’re not going to do something about the problem, then forget it and don’t let it stress you out.” Can someone PLEASE put this on a t-shirt! I absolutely needed to read these words today. I get so overwhelmed with issues in our world right now that I find myself getting sucked into everything and my blood pressure rising. That is not helpful for anyone especially me. By my brain getting pulled in too many different directions, I feel like I want to “do” something but I’m paralyzed and overwhelmed because there is so much. But when I take a step back and focus my energy on one thing that is important to me…I find that gets things going, and I have energy to devote to more and more areas. Great advice Erin! Thanks! 🙂

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    Nicole Ascher

    February 1, 2017 at 1:33 pm

    When I feel that way, I move myself and take a breather. For example, when I get upset at work, I go to the bathroom even if I don’t have to.

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    Beth M

    February 1, 2017 at 2:38 pm

    Hi Erin!

    This is definitely me! I used to get so pissed about things that I would give myself headaches and almost cause myself to have an asthma attack. It would typically stem from something work-related, social media, or my very worst culprit, driving. Yeah, I suffer from severe road rage. I have learned to control it just by taking a minute, a deep breath, and thinking about the situation rationally. When I would get pissed off while driving, I would tell myself, “#1 they can not hear you, #2 you look like a total crazy person, and #3 this is not improving your situation at all!” Then, I normally start to laugh at myself and how ridiculous I was being, and instantly I feel much calmer. Of course, it doesn’t always work that well, but I have definitely learned to control it a lot better than I used to. I also do some type of yoga and meditation everyday and if things are really out of control, I hang out with my cats because they have a magic ability to calm me down almost instantly!!

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    Dumpling Love

    February 1, 2017 at 8:00 pm

    There are indeed some days where I get pissed off at the tiniest things that, in hindsight, are so ridiculous. I take point 4 and rant to my bestie, go for a walk, pray, or quite literally bake/cook up a storm (I love to bake & cook) such that I need to force my brother to eat the products, or take them to work =P

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    February 1, 2017 at 9:02 pm

    There was once when I was a kid, I ranted to my dog while I was washing dishes. She sad patiently on my feet (between me and the cabinet below the sink) and just looked up at me the whole time. I love that dog.

    For most things now, I try to remember that there is a solution to everything and that getting angry won’t necessarily bring me closer to finding that solution. So rather than get angry, I ask questions like, what’s the next step? Especially with tech. issues. I can hardly conceptualize anything technological. I’m at the point where I’ve managed to learn some basic vocabulary, like “monitor,” “router,” “modem.” When there’s a tech. issue, I know there’s a solution, I just know that I don’t know what it is. So I find the person who does. My problem becomes not the tech. problem, but the finding the right person to solve it problem.

    I will admit that when I was living in Portland, Oregon, there was a particular intersection I had to avoid at rush hour because- I SWEAR- nobody knows how to navigate a 4-Way Stop! In my usual fashion, I thought about the solution. Perhaps I should just keep a stack of driver manuals next to me and throw them at the cars which proceed incorrectly. Thorough as I am, I read the manual Oregon puts out and found that there is actually no real explanation as to discovering right of way at a 4-Way Stop. They suggest that right of way exists, but rather than explaining it, say, “Just be a courteous driver.” not helpful.
    So my solution was to just avoid that place at those times, and most other times as well.
    I guess it all comes down to knowing that there is a solution, and putting my energy toward finding it, rather than getting angry that things aren’t as I think they ought to be.

    Thanks for getting us talking, Erin.


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    February 1, 2017 at 10:51 pm

    […] How To Stop Getting Pissed Off At Every Little Thing […]

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    February 4, 2017 at 11:44 am

    I work in customer service and I am constantly having to find better ways to deal with the stress of people and their horrible attitudes, this was very inciteful.

    I tend to let a lot of things under my skin, to the point of yelling and throwing things sometimes (yes, I have thrown adult tantrums). I have found that the best things for me in those moments just drop what i am doing, take a deep breath, and go outside. I used to take my dog for a walk in the meadows behind my house. Just the quiet was amazingly helpful. Just that moment to ground myself and reconnect with my head and my heart.

    I loved reading everyone’s input, it’s just as helpful to see that we are not alone in our feelings at times.

    Thank you all so much.

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