Annoyed woman sitting at desk

What to Do When Everyone is Annoying You

Kristen Peairs
April 11, 2024
February 28, 2024

Sometimes, everybody and everything feels annoying but we still need to be out in the world. We’re not talking about times when just one person amongst many is driving us nuts. We’re talking about times when everybody and everything feels annoying. We might even go so far as to be annoyed with ourselves, too. Why does this happen and what can we do to get through?

Again, keeping in mind that we are referring to the kind of annoyance where everybody and everything feels annoying, what we are most likely dealing with is a case of overstimulation, often brought on by imbalances in our neurotransmitters. How do neurotransmitters become imbalanced? Well, there are a myriad of ways that can happen. Let’s go over a few of them.

Alcohol, caffeine, and/or other substances

Alcohol, caffeine, and any number of other substances alter how we think and feel by shifting our neurotransmitters. The effects of these shifts can linger for days, weeks, or months afterward. Often, effects last longer and are more noticeable as we age. How we feel and recover in the days after consuming caffeine (or alcohol) in our 20’s might be significantly different than how we feel after drinking caffeine (or alcohol) in our 40’s and beyond. What’s actually happening to create the imbalance?

With caffeinated beverages, the caffeine blocks the receptor for adenosine, a neurotransmitter that slows us down. Without adenosine, we speed up. When we speed up, other neurotransmitters, including adrenaline, are released. So even though our attention, focus, and creativity heighten with caffeine consumption, we are actually pushing our body/brain beyond its natural rhythm and using resources our body may not be able to quickly replenish.

Alcohol affects different neurotransmitters than caffeine, but the end effect is similar. After alcohol consumption, the body/brain is left scrambling to support the neurotransmitters in coming back into balance. It takes time and resources for the process to occur. In the meantime, we might feel extra sensitive to stimuli which can leave us feeling annoyed at everyone and everything.

Not enough food or water

Food and water provide key nutrition for neurotransmitters and the body/brain processes they support.

Food provides glucose (sugar) which is a primary energy source for every cell in our body. Without enough dietary glucose, a cascade of events occurs to recruit glucose from storage in the liver and other body regions. This recruitment can take time, though, leaving imbalances that affect our mood. Maybe you’ve heard the term, “hangry” (hungry and angry)?

Zooming in on water…water is the medium through which everything in our body travels. Without enough water, our bodies may experience challenges with releasing toxins, transporting nutrients, and communicating between cells which causes any number of imbalances.

For additional insight about The Best and Worst Foods for Mental Health, click here.

For additional insight about The Importance of Hydration for Well Being, clear here.

Not enough sleep

Sleep gives our physical body opportunity to rest, release, and reset. It also gives our limbic systems time to resolve emotions and problems we didn’t process through while we were awake.

There are four stages of sleep and we cycle through those stages 4-6 times. Each stage has a particular purpose. Going through each of the stages and completing enough cycles contributes to  our feeling of health, vitality, and focus upon waking.

For additional insight on sleep, click here.

Unhealthy environment

An unhealthy environment can be caused by poor air, light, or sound quality. It can also be caused by chronic negative behaviors, interactions, and attitudes from people. In some cases, an environment that is healthy for one person may feel unhealthy to another. It’s personal discernment that can help us obtain clarity.

Unprocessed emotions

Though some unprocessed emotions are resolved during sleep, other emotions need conscious attention to release their hold. For example, if we are still feeling anger swirling in our gut days or weeks after the inciting incident, then we can be sure that our bodies and brains have been working overtime to keep us functioning as best they can. Without resolution, unresolved anger leaves us more likely to have high blood pressure, headaches, and emotional outbursts. Other emotions have their own unique sets of mental/emotional symptoms.

Tips for restoring peace and feeling better:

  1. Eat something healthy: Start with fruit. Fruit is 80-90% fluid, contains fiber, vitamins, minerals, and life-supporting glucose for over-extended brains and bodies. After fruit, have a light meal that contains protein, whole grains, and veggies. A turkey sandwich on whole wheat bread with a side salad is a well-balanced option.
  2. Drink water: Whether it’s tap water, bottled water, or carbonated water…just drink water. Remember, everything in our body relies on fluid to travel from one place to another. If the flavor of water is undesirable, add a slice of lemon, a few slices of cucumber, or some mint leaves to it!
  3.  Take a nap: Whether the nap is 10 minutes or 2 hours, it’s important to give our bodies downtime to reset. Sometimes simply lying down and closing our eyes without sleeping is enough to let our brains unwind and thoughts return to calm. Setting our phone alarm for a specific wake-up reminder can help ensure we don’t lose track of time.
  4. Do mindfulness practices: Meditating, journaling, and/or focused breathing exercises can all support our minds and bodies in returning to equilibrium.
  5. Spend time in nature: Spending time in nature is known to decrease anxiety, stress, and depression while also increasing happiness. To get started, try going for a walk, sitting on a park bench, or hugging a tree.
  6. Talk with a mental health professional: Sometimes we need support from professionals skilled in helping people work through their thoughts, emotions, and life challenges. It’s normal to need support!

Now that we’ve explored reasons why we could be feeling annoyed at everybody and everything, what clarity has arisen for you?

Kristen Peairs
Kristen Peairs
Kristen Peairs is a Registered Dietitian, Licensed Massage Therapist, and Professional Educator. Throughout her 20-year career, she has worked with many people suffering from a diversity of chronic health conditions. Understanding how food affects the brain and the whole body has been a key factor in the success of her healing strategies. At Nivati, she has researched, written, and filmed over 100 health and wellness videos for their content library. Kristen is currently writing a cookbook for people living with food allergies and intolerances.