It’s Time to Dial Down our Annoyance Meters
“You just have to dial down your annoyance meter and deal with it.”
We live in sunny Winter Haven, so no doubt, we have it easier than our friends and family in colder climates. Even so, it's easy to feel at the end of your rope over COVID.
Want to know how much you need to dial down your annoyance meter to get through this period of change and isolation? Count how many times you swear in a day. That will give you an idea of how much room there is to dial down your annoyance meter. Now have a good laugh at yourself.
Across the globe, almost all of us are in a state of drastic change. Even though there were warnings of its arrival, the lock downs associated with the COVID-19 pandemic seemed to appear suddenly.
Heap on fear over health, money, food, family, and the unknown, and people are on edge.
Even the things that can give us comfort and a sense of security can become too much. With schools closed, and adults working from home if possible, family time might feel more like quantity over quality right now.
Because I already worked from home, a lot about my daily routine has remained the same. But knowing that I’m now home for a different reason also fills me with a fair amount of anxiety, which in the past would lead to being easily aggravated or annoyed.
This all gets me thinking about a great phrase a friend of mine used a few years ago.
We were talking about some tedious chore that had to be done, I don’t remember the exact context any more.
He said, “You just have to dial down your annoyance meter and deal with it.”
I’ve used that advice many times, and it’s going to come in handy for the long haul we’re all on.
Because I tend to get in my head and anxious when I feel like I can’t control or fix a situation, I’ve made a conscious effort to dial down my “annoyance meter”.
It’s my strategy to be even more loving, kind, flexible, and patient not only with my husband who’s also now working from home, but to people in general. Who knows, maybe at the end we’ll even have some fond memories of how we used this time.
Here are some mindset hacks for dialing down your annoyance meter.
Let go of expectations. Everyone has their own routines and traditions that feel right to them. They don’t always line up with your own. Go with the flow. Your routines will be waiting for you when this is over. Or maybe you’ll see that you’re okay with new routines.
Be open to possibilities. Give everyone and every situation a clean slate. Be open to new ways of doing things.
You’re going to have to be creative and flexible with the supplies that are available from the grocery stores. Not everyone fills the dishwasher or makes the bed the same way you do. Have some give and take about how you’ll spend your time together.
Don’t let your future peace of mind be ruined by past experience. Be willing to do it someone else’s way for a change.
Be willing to laugh (at yourself if needed). People are going to mess up, freak out, be stressed, be sad, and be annoying, including yourself. They’re going to chew too loud, hum a song you hate, complain too much, and look sloppy. Be willing to laugh at the human condition.
Everyone has a lot churning in the backgrounds of their minds, so keep the mood light.
Be forgiving. Cut people some slack. While you’re at it, do it for yourself as well. Be more than willing to apologize. Do it humbly, simply, and move on.
If you feel you are owed an apology, be okay with not receiving it, and get over it.
Don’t take things so personally. No one is out to get you. No one is trying to annoy you. If you feel annoyed, take a deep breath and dial down that meter.
Take a walk. Meditate for a few minutes. Talk yourself down. Use the bonus techniques in the next section. Put your situation into perspective.
These are a few bonus techniques for decreasing annoyance.
In addition to the mindset shifts I listed above, I take some physical actions too.
Visualization: I mentally visualize a dial, and I turn the dial down. Like an old fashioned dial on a television or monitor, I picture that dial dimming what it looks, sounds, and feels like to be annoyed.
Discharging: I picture annoyance as an energy. I direct it to flow down and out to whatever part of me is connected to the ground. That would be my feet or my seat. I discharge the annoyance right to the earth and let it dissipate.
Mantras: Pick a phrase or saying the helps you feel more chill. Keep it positive and uplifting. It can be spiritual, empowering, sassy…whatever helps you release a sense of annoyance.
“I’m so grateful for the things that are going right right now.”
While you’re at it, turn down your own annoying meter.
Examine your actions and behavior. Err on the side of being gentle, and flexible.
You don’t have to utter every thought that pops into your head. You don’t have to control and direct every action. You don’t have to offer every opinion. You don’t have to correct everything that you think is wrong.
For each action, ask yourself, is this going to help the situation?
“I’m always that annoying person that pulls out the camera in the middle of dinner and starts taking candids.” Maria Sharapova
We’re living in historic times. It’s up to each one of us what we make of it. To a large degree, it’s up to each one of us to determine how much we suffer or not.
It’s my aim to build up and not tear down. To heal and not to harm.
Peace to you, and be safe, Winter Haven!
all images open source from pixabay.com