Micro irritants. What are they?

We are getting irritated in tiny little ways throughout our day. And it is coming from sources we would have never considered.

Micro irritants. What are they?

Monday July 20, 2020,

5 min Read

Disclaimer: This is a user generated content for MyStory, a YourStory initiative to enable its community to contribute and have their voices heard. The views and writings here reflect that of the author and not of YourStory.

Does an ant bite annoy you? Not really!

If it is a few ants biting at the same time? Imm... yeah! maybe a bit.

What if it is many ants biting u in many places at many times during the day? I will be furious.

We all understand this right. But surprisingly we fail to recognize and accept the fact that we are slowed down by many such micro irritants we encounter throughout our every day. We are not realizing the exhaustion caused by these micro irritants.

Micro irritants

Micro irritants leading to stress

The amount of information that comes our way daily through direct communication, television, print media, social media, gossip gangs is also becoming carriers of these micro irritants. Today researches reveal any prolonged repressed thoughts and suppressed emotions are expressed through our body as disease. Any dis-ease in the mind becomes a disease of the body. The combined effect of these irritants is taking a big bite in the quality of life we experience. 

Some of the clear indicators that we are stressed out are lack of innovative ideas, poor quality decisions, lack of self -motivation, detached behaviour, often falling sick and being less productive. Unlike any major sources of stress, these micro irritants are so subtle and embedded in our daily lives, they are just accepted as a normal part of the day.

The cumulative effect of it is taking a significant toll on our well-being and the sad part is often the source of these micro irritants are people with whom we relate on a daily basis, people who are our closest and we being unaware of their impact.

They arise as a momentary challenge, but their impact can sometimes linger for hours and days. So how to deal with these micro irritants? Traditional ways of coping with negativity and stress may not work as these are more sophisticated, subtle and deeply embedded in our daily lives. They come to us through people who mean the most and whom we love the most.

On an average, we at-least deal with 20 to 30 such situations every day and even assuming we took about 10 minutes to deal with each of those we have already lost about 5 hours in a day.

Few of the things that are worth considering dealing micro irritants are,

Identifying what tops the list.

Identify at least two or three things that are persistently stressing us out which we have considered normal so far and if altered can have a significant impact. 

Doing things that are self-affirming and moving as away from botheration. This is important because the same irritant looks different when we distance ourselves and not see us as a part of the problem.


Conversations with trusted positive connections and might help us unpack what is bothering or reframe the same irritants on a different light.

Now we are ready to take a direct hit on the source of irritation which might be having an awkward but crucial conversation that can transform a relationship.

Building good practices and trusted positive connection network.

Some of the mindful practices that can help are,



Create a journal of Gratitude. Feel and express your gratitude for People, Circumstances, Opportunities…

Maintain good physical health through exercise, have nutritious food, proper sleep habit.

Interact frequently and build a dynamic relationship with people who has multiple dimensions to their lives and people with broader connections. These are the ones who can give us a different perspective through their experience.

Expand our self through athletic pursuits, social volunteering, becoming active in civic and religious communities, book reading clubs and many more…

Most importantly not allowing our self to be defined by our nature of work, but by creating meaning and purpose to our lives that beyond what we do for our earning.

Shunning the company of certain people and activities.

Identify people who persistently leaves us stressed than lifting us up.

It is difficult to detect because we deal with them so closely every day and might have got used to it. These are people who leave us emotionally depleted.

Take time to evaluate your relationships. Understand who is creating joy and who is the spoiler.

It is important to understand, not all of those who create these micro-irritants are negative and toxic. They can be people with whom we enjoy spending time with. But they enable unproductive behaviour in us or leave us stranded due to their lack of commitment and indiscipline. We do not have to disconnect from people with whom we enjoy being with. But mark your boundaries with them.

The very fact many of these micro irritants are repetitive, there must be a pattern to it. Take time to introspect, become conscious and crack the pattern of stress. Let’s acknowledge and be aware that micro irritants exist and they are slowing us down.

Build our trusted positive connections. Get the right perspective. Expand our self to be more than our everyday work. Respond constructively to head them off.