On Snapping and getting Frustrated

Sometimes my mood just changes in a snap. I don’t get angry at other people. I don’t raise my voice. But I snap and end up being so short with myself. It’s like I’m just walking along, not looking where I’m going, enjoying the view, and then I suddenly fall into a massive pothole of self-dislike. It’s really weird, and I absolutely hate it. Does anyone else do that? Just drop from a solid 48 on the happiness scale to a terrifying -373?

For me those sudden spirals normally happen after something very tiny has gone wrong, and someone else is there. I think it stems from being smart enough at school that when I got a question wrong I would be jeered at and knocked down. Being right and good at everything I try, and the fear of everyone thinking I’m stupid, are so ingrained in my behaviour and sense of self that whenever I feel like I’m in a similar situation I have such a visceral reaction.

So I had to add snapping to my demons to battle list.

I’ve created two weapons to defeat this demon. The first is all about identifying the situations where you’re likely to snap. This is something I started doing naturally as I thought about doing a ‘How to tell your demons to politely fuck off’ on this topic, but I think I’ve pushed it slightly further. It led to a lot of revelations, while I haven’t really put it to the test. I can imagine that knowing a situation is likely to push me into a negative space, must cut the legs off the problem. If you pre-empt freaking out by saying “this situation has the potential to trigger me, so anything my inner voice says to me doesn’t count”, you kind of pre-rationalise your freak out, and make it way less powerful. You can download the snapping journal above for free here.

The other weapon is this breathing gif. Breathing exercises, and meditation, really do work and I use them to relax on an evening. Remembering to breathe and take a second when I feel like I’m falling, is something I’m trying hard to do. I’m not going to lie, it’s hard to remember when I just see red, but as soon as I remember I take a step back, and breathe, and just remember all of the stuff I worked through in the first section.

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8 Comments

  1. March 5, 2017 / 8:20 pm

    I love this idea – I am a massive snapper 🙂
    Izzy |http://www.pinchofdelight.com

    • Natalie
      March 5, 2017 / 10:29 pm

      Thanks Izzy – I hope it helps!

  2. March 6, 2017 / 12:32 am

    Whilst it’s not very often at all, I have dealt with this in the past. I’ve actually been told that it’s a side affect of anxiety, which I have. It’s like your mind just can’t handle all the emotions and other things you’re dealing with, and it just snaps. It’s scary and so out of character for me, but I think I’m learning how to control it better. Good luck fighting your demons!

    http://www.thesmalladventurer.blogspot.com.au/

    • Natalie
      March 6, 2017 / 3:10 pm

      That’s so interesting, and makes a lot of sense. I’m glad to hear you’re learning to control it, hopefully one day it won’t be a problem at all!

  3. March 6, 2017 / 10:51 pm

    This is a really good system to put in place, I don’t really ever snap at my housemates but if I spend a lot of time with people when I’m tired and can’t get my alone time I do tend to become snappy, I am getting better but I know I need to be better at not letting my tiredness affect the way I treat other people

    The Quirky Queer

    • Natalie
      March 7, 2017 / 3:22 pm

      I know exactly how you feel as an introvert, and it’s so tricky not to get a bit crabby when you’re socially tired. Well done on making some progress, and good luck working on it in the future!

  4. April 11, 2017 / 6:42 pm

    This post is great Natalie! Whilst my mood doesn’t tend to change in seconds, this would be helpful when someone really annoys me or just when life anxieties get a little too much!

    Thanks for sharing.
    Deimante x
    http://www.sunnydei.com

    • Natalie
      April 12, 2017 / 4:02 pm

      Thanks so much, I feel like it’s something you can scale up or down depending on what you need personally

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