Happiness Blog June 17, 2019

Now that we understand how anger impacts our happiness and comfort, we can begin the work of letting go. When in a situation that you know is likely to trigger anger, create extra space to process. You can create space by taking a depth breath or asking for a moment to step away. While taking space, acknowledge your negative feelings and then make a conscious effort to express yourself in a way that does not reflect anger. While this may not be fulfilling, it will help by demonstrating to you whether the anger is necessary to get your needs met. It will also allow you time to reflect on what purpose the anger is serving.

We talked about how anger can protect, and it is important to note that anger also helps us push through obstacles. Anger gives us a boost of energy by redirecting blood to our muscles, increasing our respiration and heart rate, and flooding our system with adrenaline. All of these things increase our physical strength while decreasing our mental ability to problem solve. This means that it is more accurate to say that anger creates the illusion of helping overcome mental barriers, because anger is not effective in helping us think. That’s why it is important to actively focus on what the obstacle is. Once we identify the obstacle, we can work on dismantling it. If the obstacle is that you do not feel heard, you can craft a new way of presenting your side of things. If the obstacle is that you do not feel respected, you can reflect on what would help you feel respected. You can also reflect on whether the situation is fixable or whether it is time to walk away.

Giving yourself permission to create space when feeling anger allows you time to process, to look at what’s beneath the anger, and to determine the purpose of the angry feelings. Taking space may not feel as gratifying as yelling or expressing the anger in the beginning but, over time, it will feel a lot better than the anger. When we get angry, we suffer. The fallout from angry outbursts rarely ends when the outbursts do. Usually, post-angry outburst there is guilt, shame, and consequences. By taking space, you minimize the damage to yourself because, in contrast, the feelings after space-taking are usually pride, understanding, and boundary setting. This work is about what’s best for you and what will make your life more peaceful. This work is about having more good days than bad.

Posted on 17 Jun 2019 09:17

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