I think anger is a widely misunderstood emotion. It seems as though some tend to live their lives in a hamster wheel of anger and self-pity. Meanwhile, others shy away from anger, instead bottling up negative feelings until sporadic ‘breaking’ points. Two days ago, I felt the most anger I have in a long time. Granted, with the recent death of a family member, it makes sense that my emotions and ability to asses them have been out of whack, to say the least. However, on that particular day I felt as though everything was getting – and staying – on my nerves.
Here was my thought process…
Anger doesn’t hurt the initiating person/people/event as much as it does you.
Ok, yeah, while being angry at that asshole who gave me a $3 tip on a $60 check doesn’t affect him in the slightest, I still want to punch a wall every time I think about his arrogant puny little face.
I then thought of the book I’m currently reading, Living Beautifully with Uncertainty and Change written by Buddhist nun, Pema Chodron. Regarding anger and other emotions deemed ‘negative’, she says, “As these feelings arise…lean into them. Instead of trying to get rid of thoughts and feelings, you become curious about them.”
Attempting to ‘lean’ into my anger, I tried to question why I was becoming angry in each situation. What exactly was triggering these feelings? Where did the source of my anger actually lie? Unfortunately, I ultimately failed in my attempt to focus and be zen (sorry Pema). My inability to rebalance myself left me feeling out of sorts, anxious, and just plain bummed.
So I decided to use this as an opportunity for some self-care and rejuvenation.
Plan for Getting Said Groove Back:
I took my dog Max on a walk today. I focused on taking big belly filling deep breaths: smelling the blooming flowers, the musty notes of mulch, occasional pungent scents of my Max’s sh*t in the doggie bag, the smells of fresh, fresh air… I listened: to the sound of wind as it lightly hit my back, the sharp sounds of the woodpeckers, well, pecking, the sound of my feet walking on the pavement, Max’s rhythmic breathing… I felt so peaceful. Really happy.
Blasting Music that Understands
Records on records on tears on records on Amy Winehouse on dancing around my house like a mad woman. One of the most freeing things.
Starting the day with Gratitudes + Intentions
Everyday I aim to to write at least ten things I’m grateful for and at least one intention for the day. Apparently gratitude has many scientifically backed benefits, including increased happiness and lowered depression, improved self-esteem, and even increased ability to overcome trauma – regardless, I just find it tends to center me.
Working out can be the greatest form of therapy. Music blaring through my headphones, cranking out 10 reps (haha wow do you even lift, bro?) followed by a short rest (aka creepin’ on the hot buff gym dudes + comparing their facial hair), temporarily takes my mind off the stresses, concerns, and fears of the day-to-day. I’m completely ignorant when it comes to popular music, nor do I really like it (like, at all). Nevertheless, my gym playlist consists of current and throwback derogatory rap music as I finds it “fuels my workouts” (oh my god…the nerdiness of that sentence is truly cringeworthy). Anyways, below is a little snippet of said playlist.
Food for Thought
Dedicating time to reading (books, articles, poems). Current book list: The House at the Edge of the Night, 100 Day’s of Happiness, and finish Living Beautifully with Uncertainty and Change.
Some recent finds that I’ve found beautiful:
“Our wounds are often the openings into the best and most beautiful parts of us.” – David Richo
“As my sufferings mounted I soon realized that there were two ways in which I could respond to my situation — either to react with bitterness or seek to transform the suffering into a creative force. I decided to follow the latter course.” -MLK
We’re here to connect. Love, time, death. Now these three things connect every single human being on earth. We long for love, we wish we had more time, and we fear death. – Collateral Beauty (2016 Movie written by Allan Loeb)