Personal responsibility is a much better gift that keeps on giving.
It’s easy to get caught up in the stress of the holidays and walk around with a lit fuse waiting to explode, but we don’t have to be that way. I was inspired to write this after reading a great quote on the “Let Life In Practices” blog, ““Anybody can become angry-that is easy, but to be angry with the right person and to the right degree and at the right time and for the right purpose, and in the right way- that is not within everybody’s power and is not easy.” -Aristotle”
We always have a choice on how we direct our anger. Sadly we most often choose to let anger rise so much that we lash out at others and this is wrong. Lately I have seen more of this in the form of people waiting in lines, or rather rushing and pushing others out of their way so they could be first. I also see it in the road rage, or stealing from people as they shop for gifts. What a wonderful time of year indeed. Like all emotions anger has a butterfly affect. Unlike the Pay It Forward movement which creates a better world, the dominoes of anger cause pain and tragedy.
I get mad of course and sometimes I lash out in rude ways. But these days, I do it so little that when it happens I feel embarrassed and personally responsible. What has helped me is being aware of what, who, and when I am most easily angered. Here are a few of those times when I know that I will get angry over little unimportant things.
- I feel tightness in my stomach.
- I feel icky and therefore have less patience.
- I am in a rush to somewhere so so very important.
- I am tired or hungry.
Over the years I have taught myself different ways to calm down and decide whether or not I want to let my anger out or just let it go. I read lots of books, practiced lots of suggestions and finally found some that work. Here is what I do to counteract those warning signs mentioned above.
- Take a few deep breaths.
- Repeat an affirmation, usually this one: “My thoughts are peaceful, my words are peaceful, my actions are peaceful”.
- Eat some food, but nothing sweet because sugar causes hyper sensitivity.
- Take a break and close my eyes. If I have time I will take a nap or go to bed early.
- Slow down and remind myself that either I am not in a hurry or it is better to be late than to cause an accident and make my day and possibly someone else’s worse.
Everyone is different and this won’t work in every situation, but I see anger flare up a lot around stress. I watch others and see how they react and pay attention to what set them off. I so often see myself in the other persons angry shoes that I can realize my own anger needs to go away. Two angry people are so much worse than one. Whatever you choose, practice it often as only then will YOU be able to deal with sudden stressful and angry situations.
Will you take the time to become aware of your own warning signs?
Will you choose when to let your anger out and when to let it go?
What can you do to dissolve or control your anger?