Feeling short-tempered: causes and remedies

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Louise Hay


Feeling short-tempered: causes and remedies

"Everything irritates me and bothers me." If you have been feeling this way lately, you should know that sometimes there are hidden emotions behind this state that we may overlook.

Last update: January 14, 2022

“Everything seems like a boulder to me, almost everything bothers me and I'm short of patience”. Some more and some less will have wondered why they happen to feel short-tempered. There are times when emotions are skyrocketing and we are accompanied only by that bad mood that permeates almost everything.

Nobody likes to wear the mask of bad mood and irritability every day. Things get complicated frequently, relationships break down and we continually postpone what we used to do without effort, thus increasing frustration. Because? Are we losing control, are we going crazy, maybe?

Absolutely no. One detail we need to understand is that the mood varies, as does the weather. We all suffer from ups and downs, there are days when we can handle everything and others not. And that this happens is normal. We are human beings, not robots whose character, emotions and motivations do not vary and remain in that unusual and artificial balance.

The problem arises when that state of discomfort lasts longer than necessary. The fact that the days go by and that thundercloud is still over our heads filtering our entire panorama is disturbing and disturbing.

Feeling short-tempered: possible reasons

At the basis of irascibility there can be emotional and organic causes. That is to say, that state in which bad mood, fatigue and lack of patience are mixed can be the consequence of a psychological state or a health problem.

JD Salinger said in his famous book The Young Holden that if we don't adapt to the right frame of mind, nothing will be right for us.

It is possible to achieve this with a greater awareness of what is happening to us. Because often theshort temper is just an outer layer, the door to something deeper that we are neglecting.

The hidden sadness, when nothing goes as you would like

Sadness often lives in the basement of irritability. That state that occurs when things go wrong, when disappointments follow one another.

When we neglect this emotion, it is very common to dress it in frustration and anger until, suddenly, our temper becomes short-tempered.

It is important to remember that mood is usually the combination of many emotions. Recognizing them and understanding what they want to tell us will always be the best strategy.

Willpower and mental exhaustion

“I have to be able to do everything. My family, my boss or my partner expect a lot from me. I have to overcome this problem. It is necessary that I give my best in this situation… ”.

Let's face it, a Sometimes we treat ourselves harshly and with high demands. Willpower has a limit and it is very easy to reach that tiredness in which everything ends up collapsing, souls, desire, strength.

Studies such as those conducted by Princeton University psychologist Roy Baumesteir indicate that the willpower is a finite resource. Constantly having to decide and act in the face of challenges is exhausting and frustrating. It is therefore common to end up feeling short-tempered.

Depression and moodiness, a very common link

Feeling short-tempered, annoyed, without hope or motivation ... One of the causes that could delineate this state is a mood disorder. Some of the symptoms of depression are short temper and bad mood.

Many people are unaware of this underlying disorder because they are still active. Depression is often associated with that sadness that encapsulates someone in the darkness of their room, but that's not always the case.

Feeling short-tempered: the anguish of uncertainty

People want certainty, the brain needs that feeling of having things under control to feel calm and balance.

Thus, when the horizon is full of uncertainties, it is normal for the sting of anguish to appear and also that alarm that turns on the amygdala when it senses threats.

Feeling more irritable than necessary is a consequence of that uncertainty that is so difficult for us to manage.

Feeling short-tempered: possible organic causes

Health could be another cause of why you happen to feel short-tempered. A mood swings can sometimes be the consequence of an alteration in the body. Some possible causes are:

  • Poor rest
  • Disorders of the thyroid gland, a very common factor that orchestrates mood swings.
  • Hormonal imbalances, such as PMS
  • Chronic pain, fibromyalgia, or any chronic disease.
  • Deficiency of some nutrients, eat iron, vitamin D, vitamin B.

What to do when you have been feeling short-tempered for several days?

As they say, the bad mood and short temper are not a good place to live. In these cases it is better to become aware of it and not allow that discomfort to increase, otherwise the quality of life would be seriously affected. How? Let's see some keys.

  • Identify. Try to rattle off the emotions that make up that discomfort. The short temper may just be the tip of the iceberg. It is quite possible that sadness, frustration, fear are also hidden in it… Let's give those emotions a name.
  • To commute. What kind of thoughts are in your head these days? You have to be aware of them, especially the highly negative and irrational ones, turn them upside down and create more useful and valid thoughts.
  • Change. When we feel more irritable than usual, we are stuck in routines that make the discomfort even worse. We make changes, we do something new.
  • To share. Talk to a trusted person, let off steam and don't take on your own burdens. We can talk about our problems with friends and family or we can talk to a psychotherapist.
  • Encourage healthy habits. Lack of sleep, an improper diet and excessive consumption of caffeine and alcohol significantly alter our emotional states and increase the risk of suffering from prolonged irritability.


In the event that these states of discomfort have already prolonged excessively, do not hesitate to ask for the help of an expert. Bad mood oxidizes life and is often one of the faces of depression.

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