It’s a great day to be alive! Don’t waste it!
Last week I wrote to you all about fear and the debilitating impact it can have on us personally; our growth, our happiness, our relationships and life are far less fulfilling when we let fear drive our decisions and actions. Consider this week’s post and email; part two to my anti-fear rant.
I’d like to introduce you to fears sister…her name is Anger. She is equally treacherous and can bring you down in seconds. Fear and anger go hand-in-hand and are more connected than people think.
Anger, like fear, is an emotion and reaction that we impose on ourselves and usually stems from our own issues, insecurities and lack of control. Sound familiar? Like I said, It’s a lot like fear!
Think about the last time you were genuinely angry…I mean raging mad and filled with anger. What were you mad about? Did something happen to you? Did someone do something to you? I’m not talking about the little annoyances in your life like when your kids leave their crap all over the house, someone cuts you off and takes your parking spot or you spill your freshly brewed cup of coffee – a travesty, I know, but not something to get genuinely angry about. I’m talking about the events that take you to a dark place and make you feel like a two ton elephant is sitting on your chest or like you are going to punch through a brick wall. What got you to that angry place?
The last time I was genuinely mad was a few weeks ago when someone made some pretty disrespectful comments about women to me. In that moment, I really just wanted to punch the guy in the face and it took every ounce of my being to be patient and respond with a smile. I responded with brief, to the point answers and gave every possible verbal and non-verbal cue that I wanted to have nothing to do with this person and/or the conversation. Once I had some time to chill out, I realized that my anger got the best of me. Now some people might say “don’t waste your f*ckin’ time on people and situations like this” but I have to disagree. I think I missed out on an opportunity to have a productive conversation with this person and possibly enlighten him as to what he was saying and it’s impact. Instead, I shut down.
My anger stemmed from my own insecurities and lack of control – I felt attacked because I identify as a women and took his comments personally. I was getting myself worked up over a conversation with an individual I will probably never see again in my lifetime. I was fuming and I carried that with me for a couple days. I replayed the conversation in my head and wished I said something more, something better and stuck it to him. Again, unproductive. I let my anger eat away at me and destroy my inner peace.
More often than not, our anger is the result of an interaction with someone else. It’s not too common that we get angry when we are sitting in a room by our selves (well, not most of us anyways). Anger is driven by our interactions with others and our personal reaction to the situation. That means you are in control of how you respond and how it effects you. Like fear, anger is BULLSHIT and all in your mind.
The bottom line is this; anger is personal to you and an emotional reaction – how you choose to respond is what can make or break you. You can let it stew and dwell on the shitty emotions you’re experiencing or you can move on. That may mean just letting it roll off your shoulder and not wasting time and energy on it or it could mean taking action to address and resolve the anger you feel. Either way, the goal is to move forward and not carry this with you.
Just like managing your fear; when dealing with anger you need to know what ignites your anger and what can you do to move past it. Similar to last week; I am sharing three quick actions steps you can take to address anger and move the f*ck on as soon as possible!
- Ask yourself this question: “why am I so angry right now?” Write it out and dive into your personal reaction a little…
- Breathe. As cheesy as it sounds, breathing does help – I’m talking on a physiological level -science proves it! I never would have been one to say this but since meditating regularly, I am definitely bought into breathing techniques and mindfulness. Give it a try and when you feel that anger coming on; take 10 slow, deep breathes.
- Address whatever made you anger. Did a colleague say something to offend you? Did someone you love lie to you? Whatever the situation – don’t let it stew and take over your mind and body. If there is someone you need to address it with – go talk to them and tell that what made you angry. Speak from a personal place (use “I” statements rather than “you”). Try to turn the situation into a learning opportunity and have a productive conversation rather than shutting down and walking away. This is easier said then done but the first two steps will help prime you to approach the person that set you off.
It’s hard in the moment to do these three steps effectively so don’t be afraid to walk away and take a moment to breathe and think.
Ultimately, you are in control of your emotion and your attitude whether its anger or fear, YOU are in the drivers seat and directing your attitude, energy and actions. You should spend as little time as possible being angry and/or fearful. These are two emotions that hold us back and destroy our inner peace. Figure out what incites your angry and fear and learn how to overcome it and move forward.
If this post didn’t make you less angry, maybe this pic of Chumlee will! He never gets angry…