Anxiety isn't just a feeling of fear. It's a host of different negative emotions, each of which contributes to personality changes that can make it harder to interact with people and enjoy your day to day life.
One of those emotional issues is a feeling of annoyance. Many people with anxiety find that they're annoyed much more easily, and this annoyance can cause pressures between you and the people and activities in your life.
Is Anxiety Making You Easily Pissed Off?
Anxiety causes irritability, because even if you don't feel it your stress levels are always higher when you have anxiety. Take our free 7 minute anxiety test to score your anxiety severity, learn about your stress baseline, and compare your anxiety to others.
Why You Feel So Annoyed
At its core level, the reason that you feel annoyed when you have anxiety is pretty simple - anxiety is annoying. It's something that nags at you each and every day, controlling your thoughts and placing you on edge. There's a reason that anxiety can cause annoyance and anger - you're essentially living a life bombarded with thoughts and emotions that become harder and harder to handle.
You can find out the severity of your anxiety and how to cure it with my free 7 minute anxiety test. But the key thing to remember is that being annoyed isn't exactly something that you can just get rid of. Part of it is going to be present when you are forced to deal with stressful issues each and every day.
Everyone gets annoyed for their own specific reasons. Some of the most common include:
- General "On Edge" Feeling - Anxiety itself can create annoyance in some ways simply because anxiety is the preparation of your body for danger. Your body is actually primed to be on edge, ready to flee or fight a predator. When you're at that high a level of energy, other people and things become a distraction/inconvenience. You're essentially responding to these feelings the way you would if you were trying to avoid danger and something else was happening on the side to distract you.
- Lack of Positive Emotions Another reason that things become annoying is because other emotions associated with the event or issue are removed. Anxiety can make it harder to feel positive emotions like happiness or laughter. As a result, things that would normally cause you enjoyment are no longer enjoyable, and that may cause those same exact issues to become an irritant instead. It's like changing the radio station from music you love to music you don't like. Suddenly, the music becomes annoying.
- Others Struggle to Understand You Often the issue isn't even that complex. It's simply the feeling that others aren't understanding what you're going through. For many, the feeling of being alone as though you're forced to struggle with your anxiety while others try to tell you everything is okay can be difficult. You get irritated with yourself, which makes you irritated with others that try to fix you.
- Progressive Negative Thinking The lack of positive emotions can also cause the opposite effect - progressively worse thinking about things or issues in your life. When you have anxiety, you tend to notice the negative things more, and over time those negative things can add up and start to become annoying or irritating.
- Anger At Stress Sometimes you're not angry at the person. You're angry that the person is causing an increase in stress. Unfortunately, not all "stress" is that stressful, but anything that increases stress or frustration at all can make you made, because it makes your anxiety feel worse. For example, normally when someone didn't hear something you said, you might feel only a tiny amount of frustration but barely notice it and repeat what you said. But when you already have anxiety and you're already extremely stressed, that little bit of extra frustration feels much, much worse, and ultimately you lash out or get overly annoyed at the behavior.
It should be noted that anxiety also changes your brain chemistry. It causes your brain to actually translate information differently and respond to that information with different emotions than you would if you didn't have anxiety. So some the feelings of annoyance may actually be due to the way that your mind now responds to the world around it and not necessarily because you're actually irritated for any other reason.
How to Reduce Your Annoyance Level
When you find yourself easily annoyed and you're looking for some relief to improve your relationships with others, a big part of that comes from awareness. You need to consistently remind yourself that anxiety is causing you to become annoyed too easily. That way when you do become annoyed, you can acknowledge to yourself that it's your anxiety causing it, and avoid any responses that increase your stress and anxiety.
In the meantime, consider the following strategies:
- Exercise Regularly Exercise is one of the most important tools for better thinking, and is known to help reduce anxiety. Beyond all that, exercise releases endorphins, which are a neurotransmitter that improves relaxation and positive thinking. By exercising regularly, you're creating a calmer and more relaxed mindset on a chemical level, while simultaneously reducing your anxiety and working out your frustrations. Exercise is very important.
- Fake It - Assuming you're starting to acknowledge your irritability, you also need to make sure that you don't give into it. If you're feeling extra irritable, try pretending to be extra positive. Many people find that pretending to be positive starts to rub off, and they end up feeling more positive as a result.
- Don't Keep Anxiety Inside - Many people find they're at their most irritable when they're trying to fight their anxiety. This is likely because it takes a great deal of effort to try to hold in your anxiousness and emotions, so other things in life that make it harder to fight off the anxiety become annoying as a result. Try to be more open about it with others. If you're feeling anxious or worried, tell those around you and talk about it. Don't be afraid of your anxiety, and your annoyance levels should decrease.
These are the tools that you can use to address your annoyance directly. But of course, the longer you suffer from anxiety, the more likely you'll still feel very irritable. That's why it's so important to make sure that you take the steps necessary for controlling your anxiety permanently, so that you can prevent it from affecting you emotionally.
Start with my free 7 minute anxiety test now. The test is a tool designed specifically to help people with anxiety related emotional control issues start combatting their anxiety and keep it from coming back.
Take the test here, now.
Author: Micah Abraham, BSc Psychology, last updated Sep 28, 2017.