Anger Management and Frustration
Imagine you had to run a race against Usain Bolt. As you know Usain is currently the fastest man on earth and an athlete in his prime. If you ran against him, you would most probably lose the race, and if you gave it everything you’ve got you would be out of breath by the end of it.
The thing is, so would Usain. It’s just that he would recover so much more quickly.
So what’s this to do with Anger Management, Stress, Anxiety or Depression?
Well, we all get angry and we all get stressed, we all get low and we all get a bit nervy, it’s just the way we handle it that differs. To use the Usain Bolt example, it’s our recovery rate that’s the most important – this can also be known as our resilience.
What is resilience?
At the time of writing, I’m having ‘One of those days.’ I had a client not show up, I had another ring in sick at the last minute, The card machine people have made an error, Google Adwords is becoming a pain, The car’s playing up, I’ve forgotten my lunch, even paying cash into the bank was a hassle with the machine not working properly – it all seems to be going pear-shaped. So, what to do?
I have a choice, I can have a whinge and a whine and decide that the world is against me or I can put things into perspective. In other words, I can learn to recover quickly and build up my resilience to the things that happen.
And no, this isn’t some “happy-clappy, isn’t the world wonderful, lets all look on the positives” post. – It’s about reality.
Will the client come back? Well yes, of course, she will. Has the poorly one re-booked? Yes, she has. Have I got the card machine stuff sorted? Yes, it took several hours, but yes, it’s in hand. Do I need Google Adwords? Not really, there are plenty of better and cheaper ways of getting the message out there. Is the car fixable? Yes of course it is. Did I get lunch, yes, I did… I even paid the money into the bank eventually… When we look at things in a practical, pragmatic kind of a way we become more resilient to life’s curve balls.
Learn To Handle the Hassle
It’s the hassle we don’t like, the constant frustrations. That’s what makes us angry and what makes us stressed. Sometimes really big things hit us one after another. I’ll write about that later, but this blog is about those annoying constant niggles that occur.
I try to put things into perspective, I neither want or don’t want the hassle. If it happens, it happens. The day will bring whatever the day will bring. It’s all about changing the things you can change and accepting the things you can’t.
I know that being philosophical is much easier to say then do so how do you learn that resilience?
The things that work for me
These are things that I do, I don’t expect everyone else to, but it works for me…
- I ask myself “how important is it? – really…”.
- I try to have a sense of humour about things – it doesn’t always work but quite often it does.
- One of my favourite sayings is “If it’s the worst thing that happens in life, then it’s not a bad life.”.
- I ask myself how important it will be in 6 months’ time.
- I go for a walk.
- If I can’t go for a walk, I sit on the loo and practice the 3-minute breathing technique that is explained below.
- If I have time (which isn’t that often) I take myself away and practice a few minutes of self-hypnosis.
- Evening time, just before bed I read a fiction book – just to switch off.
- In the mornings (time, school run, breakfast making, packed lunch preparing, and dogs allowing) I take 5 minutes just to breathe mindfully.
Three-minute breathing space
There are no prizes for guessing how long it takes to practice this technique. There are 3 separate parts of this method, each lasting a minute.
The first thing to do is find an area where you won’t be disturbed – you don’t need absolute silence – I’ve practiced the 3-minute breathing technique whilst waiting for a train at Paddington Underground before now.
For the 1st minute, it’s simply a case of saying to yourself ‘Right now I’m aware of’ and then completing that sentence to yourself. I find it easier to do this with each out-breath.
For the 2nd minute, I focus on my breath noticing all the different physical sensations as I breathe in and out, some people like to imagine waves on the seashore washing in and out as they breathe in and out, others imagine balloons or even their own lungs expanding in and out with each breath they take.
For the 3rd minute, you do exactly the same as the 1st minute – and that’s it…..
The hardest part is remembering to do it when you need to – try it – see how you feel after you’ve done it compared to how you felt before you started. You should feel calmer.
If you want to know more about any of the techniques I use to deal with anger and stress just give me a call.