- Mental Health
How should one be less irritable?
Healthy Food is Key to Your Mood
Why You May Be Cranky and How To Fix It
Everybody becomes irritable from time to time. Sometimes it only lasts a few minutes, an hour or a day, but for some people it's a way of life. And there are plenty of reasons to be cranky these days, given all the bad news out there, but here are a few ideas to help you avoid some of those crabby times..
Eat: Low Blood sugar can really make a person irritable. My family used to run and hide when I said I was 'going on a diet' and my husband would come at me with a loaded banana and beg me to eat it. If you find yourself starting to feel cranky, ask yourself when you ate last. Diets do not work, and starving yourself is not the answer. A handful of nuts and a few grapes, or a glass of low-fat milk work wonders. Eat a piece of fruit around 2:30 in the afternoon and you'll avoid the dreaded 3-o'clock slump. Recognize that you're irritable because you're hungry - that's a good thing, it's your body's way of screaming, 'FEED ME!' Keep some dried fruit and pumkin seeds (not the salt-encrusted kind) or nuts with you at all times. (No, your co-workers don't count)
B vitamins, Calcium and Magnesium are extremely important to maintaining brain function and health. Fish, nuts, seeds and grains provide large amounts of these nutrients and eating them can increase your sense of well-being and happiness. Many of us are very low in these vitamins and minerals and I'm convinced this shows up as 'road rage', temper tantrums and anxiety.
Drink: Water. Quite often people who are tired and crabby think they are hungry, but in reality, they're dehydrated. If you know you've eaten enough recently and still want to bite somebody's face off, drink some water. Coffee and soda will not help, as caffiene dehydrates the body and don't even get me started on what sugar does. Drink a glass (or bottle if you must) of water and count to about a hundred to give the water time to work,
Stretch: So, after you've eaten something and downed a few bottles of water, you are still crabby; Stretch. I'm talking the long, deep, feel-it-in-your-gut kind of stretch. Think of how a cat or dog stretches, they put everything into it. This will release seratonin and you'll be amazed at the surge of 'well being' you'll feel.
Exercise: Yes, I know. That's why I put it at the end. It's just as important as the others, but if you're lazy like me, you don't want to hear about exercise. However, it really does work. Plug yourself into some music and dance to the music. Music that you enjoy is also a mood elevator. Old time Rock and Roll or Disco is great;to dance to, but so is most kind of music, just choose something that makes you feel like dancing. You may want to step into the bathroom or close your office door first. Or then again, ask those around you to take a three-minute stretch and dance break, they might like it.
Sleep: Turn off the computer or TV and go to bed! Many of us just don't get enough sleep and exhausted people are cranky people. If you're not getting enough sleep because you're staying up too late, try going to bed just one hour earlier, it could change your outlook on life. The internet will still be there in the morning and is that TV program really that important? If so, record it and go to bed.
Believe: Whether it's true or not, I've come to believe in the power of karma - or 'what goes around, comes around'. I also refuse to give rude or stupid people power over me by buying into their rage and ignorance. I try to just 'let it go' and let God or the Universe deal with them in the future. I can't say this always works, epecially at rush hour, but it probably has saved me from punching somebody's face out. Listen to music or a recorded book and 'ride out' that traffice jam instead of letting it add to your stress and anxiety level. I you're stuck on a freeway, go with it and avoid that 'I want to smack something" feeling when you finally get home. Humorous recorded books are excellent for this. I was once stuck at a railroad crossing for a very long time. I was listening to a funny DJ and started laughing. Soon, I looked around and everyone who was listening to this guy was laughing and we probably felt much better than the 'fumers' sitting there with us who looked very frustrated and angry.
All of us have annoying co-workers, demanding bosses or lippy teens to cope with, but quite often they wouldn't 'get to us' like they do if we were well nourished, hydrated and moved around a bit more.