Anger, like fire, has enormous energy. A lot can be gained from channeling your anger in the direction of growth, motivation, purpose, and drive. More importantly, unexpressed anger either blows up at the worst possible time or turns into depression. Instead, you can express it in a healthy manner, using it to shift your perspective, to give you focus to push through pain to a better place.
First, it’s not possible to channel anger if you can’t control it. The time-honored tradition of take 10 deep breaths works. In fact, the ancient yogic tradition of Pranayama, or breath control, works from the same principle of control the mind by controlling the breath. Then, if at all possible, remove yourself from the situation. If that’s not possible, resolve to tell everyone that you’ll be getting back to them, or if you’re driving, resolve to pretend to be calm until you’ve parked the car. Taking small steps to learn the discipline of emotional control is the first and most important step. Nothing significant is possible without it.
Once you’ve cooled off a bit, go someplace where you won’t be interrupted and ask yourself what made you angry? Then, ask yourself why it made you angry. Next, ask yourself what really underlies all this because that is really the root issue. For example, say your partner tells you the porch is a mess and you walk away in a huff.
What made you angry? Perhaps, it’s the implication that you’re not pulling your weight around the house. Are you? Why did that make you angry? Sometimes, you feel you’re being accused of incompetence. What underlies this? You know you get distracted easily, and that creates a feeling of helpless inadequacy.
So the root issue is the feeling of inadequacy and a fear that it will never change. With the root issue identified, you’re back in control of your emotions and, therefore, your life. You can make choices to deal with the root issue, to change your response to it, or even to accept it. Acceptance frees up an enormous amount of energy – as does making a concrete decision.
Fewer hard feelings
If you were dealing with a feeling of hopeless inadequacy – put it to the test. Would your best friend describe you that way? Would your co-workers agree with that assessment? Are you being too hard on yourself and creating a feeling of paralysis? If so, you can decide to create a feeling of decisiveness, faking it until it becomes natural and habitual.
If you’re not being too hard on yourself, if you really aren’t making an adequate effort in your life, or at work, only you can change that. Either you accept that you’re making yourself feel badly and making others angry at you, or you change. If you’re ready to change, commit to a series of baby steps. And consider getting help, a self-created feeling of inadequacy often has deep roots.
Whatever the case, once you have identified the true root of your anger, controlled it, faced it and moved on, you will be in better emotional place where you will attract more positive outcomes.
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