Try for freeTry for free


Feeling irritable requires a great deal of emotional energy. With practice, you can experience it less often.

Try 14 days free

Better mental health starts with Headspace. Unrivaled expertise to make life feel a little easier, using guided meditations, mindfulness tips, focus tools, sleep support, and dedicated programs.

Try 14 days free
Better mental health starts with Headspace

Sometimes it can be hard to differentiate between sort of anger and irritability and frustration and restlessness. They can all sort of manifest in a similar way in so much as the body feels a little bit techy, kind of restless. There's no sense of being settled, grounded, calm and ease in the body. And likewise, the mind is very kinda busy. It just doesn't seem to wanna settle down in any way. And often when we're sitting to get some head space and we're wanting to sit in a nice kind of way and not move around too much, when we're feeling irritable, then it's really hard to just sit there 'cause we wanna kinda move around physically as well. If you think about the body, maybe a bit like being a container and the mind is inside. So when the mind's very sort of calm, then naturally the body is not kinda moving around too much and the body's quite happy just to sort of sit there in one position. But when the mind's very irritable and every little thing is really sort of standing out and the mind seems to be jumping on every thought and feeling that arises, then the mind's essentially kinda rattling around the body, and the body doesn't wanna kind of stay steady. It wants to move 'cause the mind is moving. So it's only as the mind starts to calm down that the body starts to calm down as well. This sort of feeling of an irritable mind, it often feeds itself. So like all of these obstacles, if we sit often enough and for long enough, we will experience irritability in the mind. It's not that we are a bad person, it's simply because this is an expression of the mind. Is one expression, it may not be our favorite one, but it's an expression. And we wouldn't want to kinda get rid of our emotions. Instead, we need to kind of see, okay, how can we understand irritability? How can we approach it in such a way that it doesn't make it worse? And ultimately, can we approach it in such a way that it appears less frequently in the mind? So the key I think is how we approach it. So let's say a thought arises in the mind. And it's a thought that doesn't seem to wanna stay still. It just leads to another, and another, and another and another. The temptation is to feel frustrated, we feel angry, we might even feel a bit anxious, or we might feel disappointed in ourselves because we don't feel that we're doing a very good job, and all these things start to kind of play out in the mind. We are feeding the irritability. We are giving it more fuel to jump around, to move around. It's just more thinking. But if we see those thoughts arising in the mind and we're able to step back momentarily, so that we...


Duration5 min

About your teachers

  • A former Buddhist monk, Andy has guided people in meditation and mindfulness for 20 years. In his mission to make these practices accessible to all, he co-created the Headspace app in 2010.

    More about Andy
  • Eve is a mindfulness teacher, overseeing Headspace’s meditation curriculum. She is passionate about sharing meditation to help others feel less stressed and experience more compassion in their lives.

    More about Eve
  • As a meditation teacher, Dora encourages others to live, breathe, and be with the fullness of their experiences. She loves meditation’s power to create community and bring clarity to people’s minds.

    More about Dora
  • Kessonga has been an acupuncturists, therapist, and meditation teacher, working to bring mindfulness to the diverse populations of the world.

    More about Kessonga
  • Rosie Acosta has studied yoga and mindfulness for more than 20 years and taught for over a decade. Rosie’s mission is to help others overcome adversity and experience radical love.

    More about Rosie
Your lifelong guide to better mental health

Your lifelong guide to better mental health

Stress, sleep, and all the challenging emotions — care for your mind with the everyday mental health app that's shown to make a difference.

Try 14 days free
Look After Your Mind

Look after your mind

Proven guided meditations and programs to help you stress less, sleep more soundly, and better navigate life’s challenges

Science Backed


Studies show that using Headspace for 30 days can reduce stress, increase resilience, and improve overall well-being

Explore Content

Explore 1000+ 
expert-led exercises

Access our library of meditations, breathing exercises, and guidance videos for stress, sleep, focus, everyday anxiety , parenting, and more.

Member reviews

Hear from some of our members

Your app brings so much peace and tolerance to our home.




Changing my thoughts has allowed me to change my life.




The stress and loneliness courses … taught me how to comfort myself.




Headspace provides me with … a connection to myself, and a disconnection from negative thoughts, feelings, and sensations.




Related to 'Irritability'

More to explore

Beginning Meditation


Reframe Stress and Relax


New and Popular


Becoming a Mindful Parent

    • Terms & conditions
    • Privacy policy
    • Consumer Health Data
    • Your privacy choices
      Privacy Choices Icon
    • CA Privacy Notice
  • © 2024 Headspace Inc.
  • Terms & conditions
  • Privacy policy
  • Consumer Health Data
  • Your privacy choices
    Privacy Choices Icon
  • CA Privacy Notice