When situations or people get on your nerves, you have to find the strength to let them go, or they may consume you.
Your nervous system becomes hyperactive when you ‘literally’ allow others to ‘get on your nerves.’ Your adrenals react to the stimulus and you find you are in a heightened over-reactive state. Not good when you consider all the other stressors in your daily life.
So how can you learn to let go of people or situations that get on your nerves?
Step 1: Pause and notice
We are always on the go; so many of us are addicted to the charge of constantly doing. Learn to take a time out and simply notice what’s happening.
Is your breath shallow and infrequent? Is your body tense? Is your mind filled with thoughts that won’t stop? Don’t try to stop any of this, simply notice.
Step 2: Get rid of the charge
It is your body and therefore, you are in charge and responsible for your own reaction! If you are angry hit the bed, throw a pillow, push the wall, use fire breath, or have a good cry if you need to…anything to move the energy out. Own your feelings by experiencing what’s happening within you.
Step 3: Override your autonomic nervous system
Breathing is the most powerful tool to ‘fool’ your nervous system into believing it’s safe. Shallow, tense, held breath, does just the opposite.
Take a deep slow breath through your nose, into your belly for 4 seconds. Hold your breath for 4 seconds. Release through your mouth for the count of 4, as if you’re blowing out a candle across the room. Hold on empty for 4 seconds. Keep doing this until you feel more grounded, centered and calm.
You may also visualize breathing in a new calming energy and breathing out the negative feelings.
Step 4: Once you are calmer begin to notice what’s being triggered within you
Get specific & name the facts. By asking yourself “when she/he said/did that, it made me feel small/worthless/unheard/unseen.”
You do this so you are more self-aware of what’s happening to create the reaction within you.
See if you can narrow it down to 1 sentence that includes what you felt and what you need. “I felt judged when she talked to me in that tone, I need her to calm down before she reacts and speak to me respectfully.”
Step 5: Take it a step further
You can take this a step further and ask yourself if this reminds you of a similar experience growing up. This may be a challenge to see, but it’s usually there, and you may find a nugget of gold.
Maybe the tone reminds you of a relative who spoke to you the same way, and you felt ashamed or scared. Allow yourself to feel the hurt you experienced as a child, and really be honest with your self. So often it’s easier to make the other person bad, than to face the old emotions that we fear will hurt us.
Asking good questions we will help you find deeper self-awareness in your life
Is my experience based on facts and what really happened?
Or could I be projecting my past story onto the other person or situation
Did I over react to the incident? Could I be in transference?
If so, a stored memory has taken over. You are not acting in the present moment and are in the past.
What did I really need in the moment of the interaction?
To be heard and understood/respected/talked to differently/given more time?
What do I need right now in order to move on?
It may be to hear “I have a right to be heard,” or “I am a great person, I’ll get through this.” A great healing response can be to rock yourself, go for a walk, give yourself a hug or do something fun to shift your energy.
Get really clear on what you need moving forward
This is a perfect time to understand where you end and the other begins. By expressing how you feel, to the person/situation, and asking for what you need, you create a new healthy boundary. This may feel awkward at first; you are stepping out of your comfort zone and doing something new.
You are learning to love and honor yourself and creating powerful change in your life. Well done!