What’s the Last Thing You Thought You’d Do when You were Angry?
Yeah, me too.
If you are an adult, you’ve been angry many times in your life. If you are like the rest of us, it may be that you settled into a routine reaction pattern many years ago. Here are seven helpful things you probably never thought you would do when you were angry.
1. Just be aware of it. The normal tendency is to either attack or avoid the object de’anger or to avoid it. The same often happens with the feeling of anger itself – attack it an get rid of it, or deny it and avoid it. A mindful response is simply to be aware of what is going on both in your body and your mind.
2. Ride the wave of anger like a surfer on the ocean. Anger will come on, probably rise, then crest and subside. Riding it out is often the best auction.
3. Treat angry thoughts like your cranky Aunt Annabel. You put up with her because she is there, but very seldom do you listen to what she says.
When you find yourself going through hell, keep going. Winston Churchill
4. Lean into the feeling of anger, not away. Many of us have been taught that anger is a danger to ourselves and others, and we avoid it like the plague. Instead it’s like a strong wind that would like to blow you away; the best thing to do is to lean into it and keep on going.
5. Stay physically centered, even though you feel emotionally chaotic. It’s the reaction to anger that is the problem, not the anger itself. The more willing you are to stay focused on what is really important to you, the more likely you are to stay response-able.
6. Treat anger like it’s a blinking red light on the dashboard of your car. The light might keep blinking, but that doesn’t stop you from pulling over and taking a look under the hood.
7. Do nothing. This is the simplest and often the most effective of all.
It is simple. You don’t usually have a choice when it comes to feeling angry. Either you feel it or YOU REALLY FEEL IT.
Each of us always has a choice of what to do.
And we become what we practice.
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