My Question 2

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17 Jun 2020 15:13 #352795 by
Replied by on topic My Question 2
I'm replying to this a bit later than everyone else-- but I have struggled with anger too--rage even-- and mostly conquered it. Mostly. I'm pretty good at keeping it under wraps these days and redirecting it into something more productive.

A way to think about anger is that it's all feeling, not thinking. When you're angry, you're completely consumed by it and you're not thinking about much else. Anger is ultimately not terribly useful unless it can draw your attention to a problem that you need to resolve somehow. So when you start to feel anger, a relatively easy habit to get into is to simply acknowledge that you're angry. That starts you thinking and not feeling. I'm not suggesting that you simply ignore your emotions, merely to acknowledge them for what they are.

Recognizing that you're angry is huge, because the next step is asking yourself why you're angry. Is your anger reasonable? Be brutally honest with yourself. If it is, then you can take control of that and make appropriate steps-- but you must be in control, not your anger. If you deal with what's making you angry from a place of reason, you can make much better and more productive decisions and actions that will resolve the reason(s) why you're angry in the first place. I say a place of reason deliberately-- you should probably act calmly, you don't have to feel calm right away, because you probably won't. And that's okay. What matters is what you do with your anger, not that you have it.

And if you're able to recognize that your anger is not reasonable, you have to force yourself to think of a reasonable response to what made you angry. This takes some practice, but by acknowledging that you're angry and why in the first place you've created some headspace to think and not give yourself to just feeling the anger. And in deciding that your anger in that particular situation isn't reasonable, you can still make better decisions about how to address it than you would if you just gave yourself over to being angry-- and there will be much less mess to clean up. Try to talk about how you feel in the moment from that place of reason. Unchecked anger, as you probably already know, can be very destructive to relationships, sometimes to things around you, but most of all to yourself.

By recognizing that you're angry, you can give yourself the space to decide who to react, rather than to just react.

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