Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Anger management

Scream into a pillow! No, it doesn't seem healthy, but what can i say, it works!!

Deep breath! Deep breath! Deep breath! a few more times if you wish! It works, it really does. If you believe in it and do it just right. Concentrate on your breathing in and out, then get back to thinking about your problem. Repeat a few more times.

If it's more severe than that, recite the table of 17 in your mind. If you've already recited it enough number of times to say it backwards, go to 19, 23, 34, 49, 56. Pick a number and start with it. Whoever is at the receiving end of your anger, might also benefit from it if you want to say it loudly!

If you're Shakuntala Devi herself and have figured out tricks to do the previous mental exercise with relative ease, we'll need some better mental exercises. Retrospect / write / read / draw.

Go for a jog or swim if you have the time, or play your happy song and dance. If you don't know how to dance, kickbox in the air!

Make your anger constructive by coming up with a rule for yourself. Something like 'everytime you're angry, you're going to take one task you've been procrastinating on and complete it right then'.

Get some physical exercise regularly, apart from keeping you fit, it'll keep you happier.

Weed out everyday annoyances, tell yourself to take it easy and not get annoyed at the same things again and again. There's no point, right!

But why am i writing about anger management? Ref. point no. 4 above :)
I tickled my baby and he laughed and poof went my anger this morning, but there's more to my anger management than what i've listed above. Those points are just curing the symptoms to some extent. What i don't practice enough, is dealing with the emotion head on. There are a few things that i internalised too well from the lessons in school. One of them was; 'words once spoken cannot be recalled'. I'm extra careful with my words when i'm angry, i'm so cautious that i let it all bottle up instead of getting it out of my system, all for the fear of saying something hurtful. I have the ability to forgive and forget and let it go, so it works out just fine. But it's not a healthy way of dealing with the emotion. Discuss it and get it to a closure, that's the healthy way.

The other problem i have is that i don't always articulate why i am angry. This is a bigger problem for those close to me, than it is for me. What happens as a result of not attributing a reason to it is that the anger from one situation gets transferred to another and someone else has to bear the brunt of the collective anger. Putting it off for later is the worst thing to do!

I'm a fairly happy person, and i have a great amount of control over my emotions, including anger. But i need to deal with my anger in a slightly more matured way. Let go of the control to some extent. Getting angry is a natural reaction to situations. It might be considered a negative emotion, but it's an essential one and cannot be ignored. Being carefree comes naturally to me, i'm not able to deal with an angry me. If i imagine my complete personality, i picture a happy me, playing a sport, working at my desk, looking on with a content smile at my happy baby, being busy, out and about, partying, sleeping, a bored me, a super active me, a lazy me, and a lot of other 'me's; i cannot conjure up a picture of an angry me. Believe it or not, most times i feel guilty about feeling angry! But i do get angry, a healthy amount of times. I cannot ignore one emotion completely from my personality, it's there and it needs to be dealt with healthily.

So let this be the start, and the mantra is going to be 'Just say it'. In conclusion, i would like to say to my ex-boss 'You're lucky to have escaped to another team by now, or this trial could have created quite a stir in our peaceful interactions!' I'm serious, most times i was talking to him, in my head there was a motion picture of me smashing his head into the table in front of us. *Breathe in, breathe out*

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