I love my father, but he was a hot head. His first reaction to any stressful situation was always yelling and swearing. Driving was always an adventure of him cursing at drivers and what they were doing wrong. His anger could extend into a bad mood that lasted all day.
I picked up this habit and was that person for a long time. I made a decision that I got to control my emotions and that my emotions didn’t control me. Yet, I slip from time to time.
Last night my foster dog Teddy decided that crying, barking, and trying to escape his pen was best done at midnight until 2 a.m. I was in bed fuming; angry at being woken up, angry about being kept up, angry that I was doing something nice (fostering) and that this inconvenience was my reward.
I was working myself up into quite the lather. As I felt my muscles tense and my cats slink away from me, I realized what I was doing. I was building up my anger. Listing reason why my anger was justified, compounding on the issues my making more (“Great, I can’t sleep so tomorrow I’m going to be off my game and I’ve got meetings. I won’t get anything done.)
How To Get Over Anger:
#1 Decide you don’t want to be angry
#2 Don’t make the situation worse than it is.
#3 Change your physiology. Take deep even breaths, drop your shoulders, open your palms (no clenched fists), make your body relaxed. Holding onto anger is harder when your body is in a relaxed state.
#4 Put the problem or situation in perspective. Is this the worse thing that could have happened? Is it catastrophic? Is this more of a situation or irritant than a problem.
One day I got a letter from the IRS claiming they didn’t have a payment from me. I was quick to get upset. I know that I paid the bill and now it was going to take time to resolve and research, this was ridiculous! I was building up a head of steam. I took a breath and thought to myself, this is not a problem, it is an issue that will be resolved. There are people in the world without clean water, running from bombs, escaping torture. How could this compare to that?
I won’t tell you that I don’t get upset. I do. But I am just as quick to stop and adjust my attitude. Anger, in most situations, doesn’t serve you. So stop.
Mindset ready? Go!