Why Do Little Things Set Me Off?

Feeling highly irritable all the time is as unpleasant for you as it is for those around you. We don’t necessarily choose this behavior; instead, it feels like an impulsive force that can leave as quickly as it overtook us. So, why do little things set us off?

Little things set you off because you have burnout due to interpersonal stresses and neglect a healthy self-care routine. Burnout leads to anger, irritability, and the feeling of powerlessness. Self-care activities like exercise or lower expectations can combat things that set you off.

While burnout is the primary cause for setting you off, the good news is that plenty of things can even out the odds. Let’s cover the dangers of burnout and which self-care activities are perfect for maintaining a healthy lifestyle. We’ll also look at things you can do to reduce your stress!

Man irritated and set off by small things and clawing his head

Why Do Seemingly Unimportant Things Upset You So Much?

Anger is an instinctive reaction to feeling powerless, but it is also a good indicator that there is room for positivity to flourish.

You can’t control the behavior of others, but you have complete control over yourself, even if you don’t realize it. As such, when you are angry at someone, you are actually angry at yourself. When something sets you off, question it. What happened that made me feel so powerless?   

As you reflect on the things that set you off, you’ll notice a pattern, giving you the detail you need to move forward to create positive outcomes.

Burnout and a lack of self-care are also significant contributors that can cause the slightest reaction from others to set you off.

What Is The Relationship Between Burnout & Irritability

Burnout is a psychological affliction that occurs when you spend too much time managing interpersonal job stresses without recharging your mental faculties.

If you’re experiencing burnout, you’ll likely experience overwhelming exhaustion; you’ll feel like your work is lacking and ineffective, and you may question the actions of those around you and detach yourself from inclusive activities.

Burnout is a serious concern regardless of your profession, and the only way to keep your head above the water is to include self-care as part of your daily routine.   

Self-care involves making time to do things that improve your mental and physical health. Mental health, in particular, is your best and only defense against stress, and it has the added benefit of reducing your risk of illness while giving you more energy.

Some of the best self-care activities include:

  • 30 minutes of exercise daily
  • Focus on positive thoughts while disregarding negative ones
  • Make sleep a priority. Blue light from devices makes it difficult to sleep.
  • Eat healthily while staying away from caffeinated drinks late at night.
  • Practice gratitude and tell yourself that you’re proud of the day’s accomplishments, even if it wasn’t everything you wanted to do.
  • Pick up a relaxing hobby like painting, photography, journaling, or gardening.
Upset wife getting mad over small things with smoke coming out of her ears for effect

Why Can It Be Challenging To Do Self-Care?

While self-care has plenty of benefits, we can’t always bring ourselves to do it. Let’s look at some of the reasons behind that behavior and see how we can change our perspective on it!

  • Exhaustion – It’s an uphill battle to make decisions when you’re tired, and too much of it leads to poor self-control and impulsivity. Be mindful of this state because one episode of Game of Thrones is never just one. Prevention is better than cure, so stop it before it happens!
  • Expectations – The same expectations for two days may not be practical because you don’t feel the same every day. If you feel beat and expectations overwhelm you, recognize it and give yourself time to rest. Do what you can do rather than what you think you ought to do.
  • Self-shaming – Do not berate yourself when you don’t do something. A seedling does not grow into a tree in a day or a week; changing things about yourself will take time. Chase negative thoughts and focus on positivity; practice gratitude and praise yourself for the things you did do rather than what you didn’t do.

Continue Reading: Can You See a Psychiatrist Without Your Parents Knowing?


Remember that burnout is a sign you need to consider changing how you do things! When little things set you off, it has a profound effect on your relationships, and that will have a snowball effect.

Practice good self-care and adjust your expectations according to your capabilities rather than what you think you should produce!

Skip to content