Everybody can benefit from slowing down their life. We live in a time that is ever increasing in speed, and the speed steals our peace of mind and it steals our joy. It’s no wonder so many of us have anger management struggles.
It’s challenging to pull ourself out of the speedy mindset, but it’s actually a relatively simple thing to do. At the beginning of your day, look ahead and see what you have scheduled, and plan ahead so you don’t have to rush.
Leave for the office a little earlier than usual so you can arrive relaxed and on time, which will eliminate a lot of stress from your life. For your lunch break, actually stop and take your lunch, enjoy your food, and take some time to appreciate this simple moment of space.
Slow everything down. Ease the pace of your day, allow space in your routine to stop, relax, and breathe.
You might fear that if you slow down you’ll get less done. Interestingly, this is not be the case. Studies show that when you are more relaxed and present with your work, you perform at higher levels and actually achieve more, in less time. Also, being relaxed as you go about our activities makes you more open and receptive, so you learn more and your experience is more fulfilling.
So decide to slow down and commit to it, and then follow through on your commitment. Give yourself a break, enjoy your life, and go slow, slow, slow.
It takes a lot of work to dig ourselves out of the state of chronic anger. We need to apply ourselves to various life changing strategies if we hope to actually change our state of mind. On the other hand, it takes work to stay stuck, but this form of work is darker and stinkier, we stay stuck in our own stinky shell, where no fresh air can get in because we refuse to make changes.
Anger management problems come from a habit of leaving our experience. At the slightest irritation or inconvenience or insult, we leave our body and mind and become buried in a downward spiral of anger. It’s not so much that we get angry that is the problem, it’s when we hold onto our anger, when we grip on tight and insist of waging warfare with our world. When we make anger an occupation that consumes a majority of our life force energy, then we have become lost in the darkness of an angry world.
But even then we can change. It’s a matter of deciding to pull our head out of the sand, and then following through with our decision. We need a strong conviction that we are going to make the changes, and we need to apply ourselves over the long term.
Over time we can learn to feel our anger without needing to run from it. You can learn to let anger be there, and to just let it burn, without having to light up a flame thrower to get rid of the feeling. You can just let the feelings of anger be there, and in this way they will naturally arise and dissolve. This is not easy, but with time and practice you definitely can do it.
There are plenty of resources on this site to help you with the journey.
If you suffer from chronic anger it may feel like a life sentence from which there is no escape. The sheer power of anger is overwhelming – it seems like we are at the mercy of our angry mind and there is nothing we can do. But don’t believe it, don’t think for a minute that there is nothing you can do to change. Don’t ever give up because change is possible each and every instant, and change is possible gradually over time.
A major aspect of changing our habitual anger is a strong commitment. When anger continually haunts us day after day, it takes a powerful commitment to stay the course, to not give in to a belief that we can’t do it. We get seduced by negative thoughts: “I’m just a bad person, my anger is too strong and it’s not going to change.” We end up reinforcing our anger by getting frustrated because we are still burdened by anger.
Thus a major component of working with problematic levels of anger is having kindness for ourself. We need to give ourselves a break and lighten up, as much as we can. “OK, I’m still angry, but I am trying. I feel good about that, I feel proud that I am trying to change.” Also, when you have victories over aggression, make it a point to stop and appreciate that you responded differently.
Decide once and for all that anger will not consume your life, keep up your efforts, and walk lightly with a gentle attitude. If you work with this combination of conviction, effort, and a friendly attitude, success will come.
Most of us find other people irritating to various degrees. Especially when we have problems with anger, irritation at other people is dominant in our life. Fortunately there is good wisdom that can help.
It turns out that the things that irritate us the most about other people, are the very things that we find irritating about our very own selves. This is not easy to see and it may sound like psychotherapy mumbo jumpo unless you have made the connection directly. But you have to ask yourself, “Why this thing? Why does it always come up, this same thing over and over? Why do I find it so irritating in so many different people? How could that be?”
The answer is because this thing is something we ourself are doing all the time. We are not aware of it, we don’t want to see it in ourself, so we project out onto other people. The next time you get angry or irritated at someone, take a look. Take a close look and see if in fact that the very thing you are most bothered by is a habit of yours that you have been unconscious of.
Take control of your own emotions. It’s such a simple message, and yet often so difficult to do. We know it’s true that blaming others is futile and adds further fuel to the fire, and yet we lose our cool over and over and put our emotional control in the hands of someone else. In this way we stay stuck in anger, by not taking responsibility for our own state of mind. Let’s stop doing that.
Remember this simple quote when you feel the darkness of your anger threatening to overtake you. Remember that despite the anger burning in your brain, there is an ever brighter flame in your heart.
Remember that no matter how bad it gets, how toxic with anger your mind and life feel, you can always come back home to the light. The goodness of your being will never abandon you, never ever will it diminish or fade in the least. The goodness of the human heart always burns inside, regardless of the darkness we perpetuate in our life.
Don’t ever give up, because at your core you are light.
One of the major obstacles to healing anger is our inability or unwillingness to face up. We don’t want to acknowledge just how angry we really are. We walk around carrying so much bitterness, we kill ourselves with self-hatred, or we repeatedly lash out at the world. Inside our heart we are burning in hell, even though we might not be aware of it.
It’s easier to remain ignorant of the reality of our anger, the severity of it, and how we perpetuate it year after year. Understandably, for a lot of reasons we don’t want to look at how bad it really is.
And yet, facing up and coming to terms with where we are at is crucial to our ability to move forward. “Start where you are,” as they say. But you can’t start where you are until you actually know where you are.
This is not easy. But getting real is the only way you’ll ever progress on the anger management path.
You have to be brutally honest. How angry are you? Can you look inside your heart and find a truthful answer? If you have anger management problems, you need to be able to honestly say to yourself, “I am crazy angry, and it is crushing my heart, killing my spirit, and destroying my life.”
Once you are able to give yourself this form of tough love, the next thing you need to do is soften. You need to feel the pain of your anger, and then feel the deep sadness of how you are draining your own life force. Feel that sadness and let it fill you. This is healing nectar, and if you let yourself truly feel it, your anger will evaporates into space.
Then of course, anger comes back, but now you know that it is possible to change, and you have tools to make the journey forward. You can keep coming back to the truth of your anger and the truth of your broken heart, and over time you can shift your allegiance away from the hardness of anger, over to the power of sadness.
We all would like to experience more peace in our mind and our life, and less struggle and conflict. And rightly so, why would we want to suffer disappointment and angst. Not wanting the things that cause us to suffer is normal, of course. And even though we often do the very things that invite it, deep inside nobody wants more conflict.
But conflict will come. It’s inevitable and natural that things won’t go the way we want them to, and we will resist that. We will experience conflict in our own body and mind, and we will also experience conflict coming at us from other people.
Our challenge then, is to learn how to effectively deal with conflict. We will face conflict in our life again and again, so we will benefit greatly by learning skills to work with it. Rather than shutting down when things don’t go our way, rather than putting up angry walls when we feel threatened, we can instead learn how to face the conflict with confidence and clarity.
This takes time and practice, but over time we can develop skills that give us the strength to look conflict in the eye and say, “Hello, nice to meet you. Let’s dance.”
Check this post for some further guidance.
Life doesn’t normally cooperate with our grand design to sew up all the loose ends and create a comfy cozy existence for ourself. No, life is chaotic and uncertain. We don’t know what’s going to happen tomorrow, or today for that matter. This is a truth that we cannot deny, and yet, this simple truth is challenging to accept.
It’s normal that we should want to have a balanced, somewhat predictable life. It’s normal and healthy that we should want to have stable sources of of food, love, and shelter. Even biologically, our body is continually working to maintain homeostasis, a state of equilibrium throughout all of our bodily systems.
So it’s understandable that we have this habit of holding on and wanting things to be stable. But it’s a fine balancing act, because on the one hand we continually seek stability, and yet on the other, life is anything ‘but’ stable.
Relaxing with, instead of fighting change, can free you from the grips of chronic anger.
We get into anger management problems when we refuse to relate to this unstable aspect of our life. When we refuse to let go and flow with change, our grip on the wheel becomes tighter and tighter as we try to force life to maintain a steady course. Herein lies our challenge. We need to learn how to soften our approach so that change and uncertainty are not such a threat. It will behoove us to make friends with the impermanent, shaky ground of our life.
This is extremely good news. Because when we start to let go of our fear of uncertainty, life becomes a more expansive and joyful affair. When we get with reality ‘as it is,’ reality is no longer a threat. When we stop ignoring and fighting the way things are, we are freed up to understand our life, and to begin to enjoy the dance.
During this time of such suffering in our world, it is tempting to get angry and blame. We can blame the gun industry, we can blame ignorance, we can blame hatred, we can blame the government. But better if you can, to feel the pain and just hold it there. Feel your own pain, feel the pain of those who lost their lives and their loved ones, and even feel the pain of the shooter, who must have been suffering such horrible agony.
Yet, getting angry will be natural for many of us. For myself I am struggling with rage at the ignorance that serves to let these things happen. But I am working with it, because I know that rage isn’t going to do anyone any good, in fact the opposite is true. Ignorance only thrives when we hate it, so we will do better to just feel the pain, and open our heart to the pain of the world, as profound and vast as it might be. This is no easy task…