MC's Whispers

Whispering Silences

Archive for the tag “irritation”

Externalising the battles

The problem with keeping everything in your head and fighting your battles alone is that the stress and pressure you’re burdening yourself with will very often lead to unnecessary – and inexplicable to others – flippant remarks that cause further tension to your social relations.

What isn’t expressed, eats you up.

Our problems are usually smaller than we overthink them to be.

But if we don’t share them, we won’t easily find a solution for them.

Also part of Weekend Writing Prompt #266s

True Connections

It was on a wall she found on a random shortcut she took on her way home one day. She would do that at times, follow new routes and get lost in her own neighbourhood streets. It helped clear her mind, restore rational thinking, and create new ideas. It’s worth getting lost at times. But these words sprayed with graffiti on that wall made the most sense at the time:

In a world of algorithms, hashtags, and followers, know the true importance of human connection.

Perhaps that’s what’s driving us crazy. What is holding us permanently on edge. What has caused so much irritation and agitation around us.

The fact that we’ve essentially lost the one thing that keeps us humane: our connection.

It’s something you learn along the way. That it’s not enough to rely on physical attraction alone. Or to a few light-hearted chit-chats, and small-talk at regular get-togethers. We need people to challenge our mental limits. We want to be provoked to think more, to delve deeper into discussions that matter, debates about the world we live in. Talk that goes beyond trash TV, and our routine days. We need an attraction of minds. Because when all else fails, that’s what we’re left with.

Because it’s our minds that essentially help us get through everything. It’s the most resilient organ we have. And it’s what helps us find our way home even when we’re on paths we don’t know.

Forces of Gender

It is a proven fact that men and women react to stressful situations differently. It’s not all about gender, though, it also has to do with a person’s character. But judging from the men in my family and workplace, they have a more reserved way of dealing with things that women usually lose control over.

Females have an innate tendency of shrieking their lungs out when their irritation hits alarming levels. It’s as if we’re giving up on trying to make sense of anything anymore and have surrendered to exasperation, releasing all the tension that has built up like a volcano gathering lava. We’re also severely more impatient, needing solutions here and now, and certainly more sentimental, allowing emotions to take over rational thinking at times.

It’s not easy remaining calm in adverse situations. And the more you tell someone in such cases to “relax” and “calm down”, the worse it gets. We know that’s what we need to do; but that doesn’t mean we can.

In movies – slapstick comedies in particular – we see the recurrence of actions that irritate a character for the sake of witnessing their reaction and laughing at it. But consider the person experiencing the incident. It may be funny to an outsider – or even to the same person after a while – but at that precise moment it’s literally salt on an open wound.

We need to lash out every so often to get rid of the tension we aggravate inside about everything – our lifestyle, our environment, the policies that govern our lives, the things we can’t control yet so deeply affect us. But we need to find healthier ways to release that stress. And we need people around us who understand, who actually help keep us sane, and who can maintain freak-out levels to a controllable intensity.

The straw breaking the camel’s back

In a period dominated with too much fatigue on all levels, it doesn’t take much anymore to make you flip. There is so much aggregated exasperation mounting up inside that all it requires is one small thing for the entire situation to get out of hand and for your nerves to go rampant.

It’s like that Arabic proverb – the straw that broke the camel’s back – about how a camel is loaded beyond its capacity to move or stand. It is a reference to any process by which cataclysmic failure (a broken back) is achieved by a seemingly inconsequential addition, a single straw.

When you’ve gathered so much frustration, when you’ve tolerated too much beyond your capacity for patience, when you’ve exceeded your own limits too many times, it is the slightest of things that makes you erupt.

And remember, a volcano exploding has been accumulating its lava for long before it actually lets it all loose.

The good thing is that you do feel relieved after releasing all that pressure. But you also feel exhausted. Because this is neither normal nor healthy.

We know what we need to do to have better mental and physical health. Yet we so often allow circumstances to dominate over us.

That’s the real problem: we allow others to take control of how we react.

The long hours of a day

When you wake up too early, you give yourself the chance to do a lot during the day. Things you otherwise complain you don’t have the time to do. Things you’ve been stalling, postponing or procrastinating in doing. You view the world differently when you see it from the first light of dawn to the last artificial light of night. You appreciate it more perhaps.

But – for there is always a but – having this abundant time in your hands also gives others the chance to irritate you more. Because just as easily as you find things to rejoice and be grateful for during the day, you also spot the negative (usually small) stuff that annoy you to the bone. And these are worse because they overturn every positive thought you try to create.

We allow ourselves too often to get affected by others. We enable them to push all the wrong buttons and then blame them for being who they are.

There are days when no matter how optimistic and creative you may want to be, something usually capsizes the entire process. These days are usually (but not restricted to) Mondays.

Regardless the surge of stress that overwhelms us; the incessant feeling that you’re constantly on edge; and that unwavering sentiment that you cannot bring yourself to relax, there is always a way. What you’re currently doing is obviously not it. You just need to find it.

It certainly helps to have people around you who can talk you out of a negative mood and help calm that storm that’s been brewing inside since that forced wake-up at dawn.

Five minutes to survive

http://newoctobersky.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/01/breathe.jpgIt’s a wonderful feeling when you are finally able to loosen the chains that so tightly gripped your insides that you were unable to breathe. Robin knew it well. She was an observer. A person who would closely study human behaviour, the way people socialize among each others, their characteristics, their hand gestures, their unique movements. She was also the kind of person who gathered anger inside of her like a hay ball picks up speed. And it could easily become the cause of her consternation and, worse, suffocation.

All she needed was five minutes every few days.

It was a requisite that enabled her to lash out on everything and everyone that bothered her. To blatantly express whatever was on her mind, without prejudice, without fear of being criticized, and above all, without the constant need to restrain herself lest a “diplomatic incident” may emerge.

It was five minutes of pure and unabashed liberty.

They passed by quickly, almost with a single breath of air. It is surprising how much one person can maintain bottled up inside of them. Out of fear of what may happen if those thoughts became externalized. Out of concern that others won’t understand them. Out of simply the lack of the right person to listen.

But those five minutes were vital for Robin’s survival. It was the time when the toxin could be released, the noose could be relaxed, and oxygen could freely run back into her veins filling her heart with a deep relief.

It was the five minutes we all need to stay sane, to relax, to remind ourselves what truly matters. And to just let it all go. No matter how difficult it may be.

 

Also part of Daily Prompt: Survival

The breaking point

11146-broken-pencil-tip-1680x1050-photography-wallpaperHarold was a man with exceptional patience. He possessed the remarkable ability of retaining his calm even in situations where it was most likely to lose all control and begin to scream, either out of panic or of agitation. Yet, he managed to radiate a tranquility that was truly rare in such times of increasing uncertainty and turbulence.

That was until one Friday. It was also the 13th.

Things started out badly that day when he broke the mug he had been drinking coffee in for the past few years and which had become his favourite. He should have seen it coming then, the streak of bad luck, but he chose to ignore it. Optimism was always the best course of action. He convinced himself there was no use worrying over anything he could not change, and especially a mug, which could easily be replaced.

But then he went to work. And that is where it all fell apart.

On his desk he found an invoice charging him an extravagant amount for services that supposedly were provided, but he recalled very well how last week he had a row with that specific manager for not delivering the agreed services, forcing Harold to in the end do all the work himself. Why was he expected now to actually pay for work he himself did?

Harold began to fidget nervously, feeling his heart beat increase significantly.

The next blow came when he realized that he was literally robbed of cash from his bank account because his Internet provider had on a whim decided to increase the cost of services three-fold.

But the real “icing on the cake” came when his boss stormed into his office infuriated, blaming Harold for something he had not done. Or rather something Harold had advised not to do, yet no-one listened to him, and now a major client had withdrawn investment. Someone always had to be blamed. And it was usually the calmest and quietest one that gets chosen as the scapegoat.

Harold erupted.

That was when he began to constantly feel angry and irritated. About everything. It took even the slightest of sounds to tick him off. He was fuming about the injustices that always fell upon him; how he was always blamed for things that went wrong, even when it was not his fault. He was annoyed at how nobody ever did their job or at least what they proclaimed they would do but always wanted to be paid the full amount no matter the quality or quantity of what they delivered. He was livid about how others always wanted you to adhere to your part of the agreement but never lived up to their own. But most of all he was enraged about how corrupt the human soul really is, having no qualm or remorse whatsoever in outright stealing, cheating and deceiving the other.

Harold had changed over the course of just a week.

He could no longer sleep at night, haunted by these thoughts that swarmed his mind like Erinyes. Even when he did manage to doze off for a while, he would wake up drowning in his own sweat with his heart racing, suffering panic attacks in his very sleep.

Nothing could offer any consolation any more. It was the curse of realizing no matter how good you are the bad somehow always end up getting their own way. He was tormented by things he was wronged about and, although he knew nothing could be done to change them, for some reason he could not let go or forget about them.

He had to move on.

All it really takes, is to find one person who will demonstrate that not everybody is the same. To be able to restore your confidence in humanity, your faith in kindness, and bring back the smile on your face.

For Harold that would arrive a month later. At a bar a few blocks from his house. In the form of a beautiful brunette who had also suffered many injustices in her life and who described herself as “walking bad luck”. Combined, they would change their destinies.

Things you never tell

confidentialEveryone – no matter age, gender, social background, or political beliefs – has things they always want to say but never do. Things are just left boiling up inside of us, yet are never uttered. No matter the instance or the person, there are similarities we all share. Here are a few:

– I dislike rude people. Even more so when they work at service desks, either in person or over the phone. Also hypocrites. They are possibly worse.

– I cannot stand people who think they are so important that everyone must set out the red carpet whenever they simply show up. Self-interest, self-prioritisation and greed are possibly the worst of humanity’s greatest evils.

– I am deeply disappointed by people who so boldly state that they will always be there when you need them, but are nowhere to be seen when that time actually comes. Equally despicable are those who pretend to listen but never do.

– I despair with the fact that I cannot get paid for the work I produce, which is doing something that I love.

– I hate that another so easily manages to engage in doing exactly what I am still striving to achieve. I hate it more because I envy them. Yet, some are now doing what they previously scolded me for pursuing so ardently.

– I love what my work allows me to do, but I am opposed to sending my work out with someone else’s credentials, simply because they cannot produce the work they so proudly proclaim they can do.

– I get irritated by people who think they are educated simply because they graduated from a university, but cannot correctly compose a simple text, while they have difficulty even in articulating a few words.

– I despise the fact that money may not be everything but it definitely helps in getting you everywhere faster.

– I resent the truth in the saying “do good constantly and you will never be remembered, do wrong once and you will never be forgotten”.

– I am heartbroken that things never turn out the way you want them, no matter how hard you try, and you always have to settle for the next best thing. Unless you’re the guy next door. Because it seems for the neighbor, everything is always so much easier.

Also part of Daily Prompt: Break the Silence

Sometimes you just have to croak

Frog-After-Diner-HDThere are so many times in a day that if you stop and think of how many things bug you just at that moment alone, you’d go insane. We people are like that. Get uptight, obnoxious and nervous wrecks over the slightest of things. Then try to find stress balls, yoga mats and tranquillizers to calm down. We should be more like frogs. They seem to know what they’re doing.

Think about it. Have you ever seen a frog stressed out?

Usually, frogs just sit on a leaf in a middle of a pond, musing. Who knows what may be going on in that (little) head of theirs? They’re just carefree, relaxed and serene.

In fact, do you know why frogs are always happy?

Because they don’t let anything bug them!

So maybe we too should be more like these little green amphibians. Always aware of what is going on around them, constantly monitoring their surroundings, seemingly distant, but ever-present.

It is natural that we all get irritated from time to time about pretty much everything. The trick is to demolish that bug with a speedy roll-out of the tongue and then act as if nothing extraordinary happened.

It may be hard being green, but it ain’t easier being any other colour either. So maybe we should take some hints from these little creatures croaking our way. After all, these short-bodied fellows live for over a decade and, compared to human proportions, this is quite remarkable.

So next time a bug hits you, take two seconds to squash it and then croak away carefree.

Goosfraba

YogamanDo you ever feel the urge to take out your anger on something? And always have “buy a punch bag” at the top of your list but somehow never get around to doing so? Like you need to find a way to calm your nerves, defuse your irritation and overcome your frustration with all the annoying things around you? Because it just is so true, that common sense is simply not common at all. And that what you think is obvious, may not be so for so many others. Either way, everyone needs to find a way to channel this enclosed negative adrenaline into a healthy outlet.

Some choose yoga, Pilates or even kick-boxing.

But there is one thing similar in all these activities. They all prompt you to “just breathe”.

In fact, one of the principles of managing your frustration and remaining calm is to breathe and count to ten. It will help you relax and lower the adrenaline levels that are surmounting inside you.

In Anger Management Jack Nicholson used a single expression as a mantra to do just this. Sitting in lotus position with hands in meditative mudra, he intoned “Goos Frabaaaaa.”

Goosfraba is also a word that Eskimos use to calm down their children. So it is not surprising that this was chosen as the key to nerve-control. (It is also a word Eskimos use when they’re having sex – but that is a completely different story).

So next time someone parks in your spot, an employee is rude, or you simply cannot communicate with the people you work with, just breathe and exhale “Goosfrabaaaa”.

Also part of Daily Post: Unsafe Containers

Also part of Daily Prompt: Big Day Ahead

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