The daily irritant: How to pinpoint and deal with everyday annoyances
The death of a loved one, losing a job, homelessness – while major life events like these are certainly impactful, daily annoyances can add up. In 2010, Consumer Reports commissioned a national survey to find out what annoys people on a daily basis.
Surveyors asked 1,125 Americans to rank 21 annoyances on a scale of one to 10, with the lower scores signifying non-issues and higher points indicating severe disturbances. Hidden fees came in at an 8.9 average, the highest on the list of annoyances. This ranked just above not getting a real person on the telephone, tailgating, mobile phone use by drivers and bills that are difficult to understand. Although annoying to some, inaccurate weather forecasts didn’t receive much blowback from survey participants.
Results also revealed patterns among certain demographics. For example, residents in urban areas often lamented dog droppings on city streets while Democrats found loud opinions on television shows more bothersome than Republicans.
Barbara Greenberg, a clinical psychologist writing for the Huffington Post, is irked by unnecessary comments like “You look tired. Get more sleep!” along with computer problems and repetitive tasks.
As it turns out, all of these daily annoyances could take a toll on a person’s mental health. In a study headed by Oregon State University’s Professor Carolyn M. Aldwin, 1,293 men from the Normative Aging Study were surveyed regarding minor and major life events. After controlling for unhealthy habits and demographic details, those who reported a higher number of minor stresses had the same mortality risk as those who had experienced major events.
“It’s not the number of hassles that does you in, it’s the perception of them being a big deal that causes problems,” Aldwin said.
Toni Bernhard, JD, tells impatient people to recognize how the emotion affects their mind and body. Bernhard says impatience rarely has mental or physical benefits. Keeping this in mind can spur change toward a more even mindset.
She recommends recognizing individual instances of impatience and realizing that life won’t always conform to expectations or ideals. Instead, understanding the internal process of impatience and how to control it will help settle nerves.
Sovereign Health Group helps patients get at the root of issues big and small. Mental health professionals can also help with daily stresses and major life events. Call us today to learn more about our programs and how we can help.
Written by Nicholas Ruiz, Sovereign Health Group writer