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My daughter once asked me a curious, but ubiquitous, question-how does one come out of irritation? She was probably reading something that she was not able to comprehend. Yes, something mundane, something that fails to yield results despite hours of slogging, someone who is over-intrusive pesters you, well the list is endless. 

All such situations result in irritation, which, if it lingers for long, can lead to frustration. Such a state of mind dampens your productivity and reflects poorly on the quality of your work. These are sins in the competitive age where work is demanding. 

Well, the good news is that you need not spend hours on research for arriving at solutions. Your own life reflections and close observation of people and situations around you provide useful tips on overcoming the condition that has been thrust upon you.

A break from the routine will give you relief. After an hour of reading physics, I used to read my favourite chemistry and even civics to come out of the ever frustrating physics. 

Do not remain in the same place when you are irritated. Come out and spend time with people or things you like the most. It can be a book, watching a movie or talking to someone whom you love to speak to. 

Studies have shown that students who were forbidden from watching cricket during examinations even for a brief time fared worse than those who were allowed to catch up with the action, especially when they were stressed out.

Someone rubs us on the wrong way. Annoying habits of others around you can make you exasperated. If you are highly disciplined, you get irritated with those who are erratic. An inconsistent fellow gets irritated to see someone strictly adhere to a principled life. Its true birds of the same feather flock together. 

Of course, the converse is also equally true. Birds of different feathers disperse. It’s difficult in life to avoid annoying people and situations always. You have to find ways to cope up with the problems. Understanding the inevitable is genius. Neither obsession with status quo nor escapism can solve the problem on hand. 

Do you know, even irritation can give an advantage to you? Amazed? It's all about how you perceive a challenge. Be positive and realise the benefits of annoyance. There is no meaning of pleasure when there is no displeasure. There is no thrill in warmth when there is no cold. 

Swiss psychiatrist and psychotherapist, the exponent of analytical psychology, Carl Jung rightly observed, “The word 'happiness' would lose its meaning if it were not balanced by sadness.”

Chrissy Scivicque in an article, ‘How to Deal With Annoying Coworkers’ (Forbes.com) said, “Did you know the things that irritate you the most in the others are usually the same qualities you don’t like in yourself? Turn that critical eye inward and you may not like what you see”. 

Others’ irritating traits help you to reform yourself. As Carl Jung said, “Everything that irritates us about others can lead us to an understanding of ourselves”.

Life is boring if everyone and everything is monolithic. Diversity is part of life, learn to appreciate this reality. But, what you dislike annoys you. The best way to overcome is by focusing on the positives in a person or situation. If something is boring, compare it with something more boring. 

Everything is relative. Don’t look for the absolute. Even in a very frustrating person also you can notice something fascinating. Nothing in the universe is a complete waste. 

Overwhelming aspects may be frustrating but as you explore, you would find something that perhaps excites you. Imagine the positive outcome of attempting something boring. Reaching your goal is certainly alluring even if the means to realise it are frustrating. 

My daughter like me was terribly bored of physics. I told her to work towards a goal. She aspires to become a medical researcher. ‘Physics is not your life-long companion’ was my solace to her.

I started taking large quantities of salads to keep myself fit. It feels disgusting at times. Perhaps, the ancient sages used to get terribly angry and curse because they used to live on bland salads alone. 

Whenever, I struggle to eat raw vegetables, I imagine how my good cholesterol is improving to keep my heart free from any future ailments and how the rich fibre keeps my blood glucose levels at the right levels. 

Psychological studies also advise you a simple, yet very practical, approach to face vexed situations.  If you cannot bear something or someone, move away for at least sometime.

When I got married, my father gave me a few simple steps to follow to avoid even the slightest marital discord. He is not a psychologist but life taught him much better. 

When you are angry with your wife, simply keep quiet for some time, talk to her about her disturbing behaviour when both of you are in a relaxed moment. If you cannot be so patient, stay away for some time. Things would fall in place, sooner than later. Or else, remember the tastier dish she prepared especially for you. 

Of course such tips may be very simple to tell, but quite difficult to follow. But then there is no harm in constantly trying to achieve a stable peace of mind. 

If you are frustrated with someone and some types of behaviour, don’t be obsessively unruly about it. Try to reason out why that person is behaving so, address or assist them in finding ways to overcome. Otherwise, at least appreciate. You would not be similarly frustrated with that person. 


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