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MSS Live Well Corner: Dealing with Annoyances

MSS Live Well Corner in Mustard Seed Sentinel
Credit: Lacie Slezak in

Dealing with Annoyances

Don’t Allow Small Annoyances to Become Big Stressors

by Joanne Troppello

Annoying things happen all the time. You may have to deal with coworkers who frustrate you rather than work productively as a team player. Maybe waiting in traffic while driving your kids or grandkids to gymnastics class is getting on your last nerve. Different things annoy different people in different ways.

According to, “The word stressors and the word stress sound similar, but they do have different meanings. Stress is a bodily reaction, and stressors are what create that reaction. In other words, a stressor is any stimulus that produces mental or physical stress. Notice that we define stressors as stimuli. They are something that causes a stress reaction, but they aren’t stress itself.”

It’s so easy to allow small annoyances in your day to build up your frustration levels to the point that those compounded stressors add to your daily stress.

1. Step Outside the Situation

An important first step in identifying the stressors in your life is to step outside your situation – and see things as a neutral party. If you can’t look at your situation objectively, ask a trusted friend or family member to step in and help evaluate things.

2. Be Open to the Truth

You need to have an open mind when you are evaluating the things in life that are causing you stress. Without true honesty, you could be overlooking things – or not realizing something that is a stressor. For example, maybe you are too busy with several activities for each of your children during the week, and you may need to cut down on some of those sports or intellectual pursuits. Again, you may not see the truth, or want to hear it, so that’s where a trusted friend or family member comes into the picture to advise you.

3. Make Positive Changes

Once you’ve identified the stressors in your life, you can work on streamlining your daily and weekly schedule to find ways to decrease those annoyances and lower your stress level. You may want to cut out a specific activity from your schedule to decrease your busyness. Maybe you need your spouse (or friend or family member) to chip in more with household tasks or taking your kids to practices etc. Just remember that any change you make to remove those stressors will have a positive impact on your life—even if the residual effect of removing those stressors is not felt immediately.

4. Remain Open to Reevaluation

Life is not an exact science. You can’t predict traffic for the day. However, you can use Google Maps and other traffic/map apps to find new routes to get you where you need to go. Maybe removing that one activity from your child’s schedule caused more unhappiness for them than you had anticipated. The main point is that during your stress-relieving evaluation process, you always need to remain open to continually reassessing the situation.

“Change is inevitable. Stagnancy, thank Heaven, is not.” – Richelle E. Goodrich

Change is a part of life. Many times, change can be a stressor for you. Sometimes, change can become a positive growing experience. No matter what, it’s important that you continually focus on the positive things in your life, not the small annoyances that can eventually become big stressors.

When annoyances compound to become big stressors, I follow those four steps and include a lot of prayer, Bible reading, and listening to worship music. That’s the perfect way for me to reevaluate things and ask God for His wisdom.

How do you avoid allowing small annoyances to become big stressors in your life?


About the Author

Joanne Troppello at Mustard Seed Sentinel

Joanne Troppello is an author, writer, and poet. She is the publisher of the online Christian lifestyle magazine, Mustard Seed Sentinel. Connect with Joanne on Twitter. You can find Joanne on these social media channels—Twitter, Facebook, Parler, Spreely, and Clouthub—with the same username, @JoanneTroppello—and @joannetroppello.mseedsentinel on Instagram. Visit the Mustard Seed Sentinel YouTube Channel. Check out MSS Live Well Corner.

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