Knee-jerk reactions to issues tends to give the false impression that you are an individual with less than average intelligence. Also, with attendant anger, stress levels are increased to dangerous levels. Such stress wears heavily on mental and bodily resilience.
I found an article on this very thing but have lost the references. It provides steps to correct this all too human flaw.
- First determine exactly what sets off the reaction. Is it feelings concerning that issue or background noise. Does it result from someone making an intentional hurtful comment.
- Identify if possible whether you consider yourself a highly sensitive person. High reactance to environmental stimuli like smells, noise, etc. Knowing this may help lessen emotional reactance.
- Change your daily habits a little. Get at least 7 hours of sleep, eat healthy foods, avoid unhealthy choices. Allow yourself downtime to relax.
- Practice mindfulness. Observe your thoughts and feelings in the moment without judgment. Such mindfulness is said to reduce stress from emotions and pressures associated with emotional reactivity.
- Change the perception of the situation. Consider the source. If it is someone that doesn’t know you well, let the irritation slide. If it is someone you know well try to respond later after the emotional reaction has abated.
- Resist the urge to react or take immediate control. Step back and look at the situation from outside. Take as much time as needed. After assessing the situation it can be responded to in a more civil manner.
I realize that this is a growth process. However, learning should be something one engages in during the entire life, not just while young. I hope this helped you.
Found the reference: http://everydaylife.globalpost.com/less-reactive-people-emotionally-19191.html