What do you do about your anger?
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We all want to “put our best foot forward,” don’t we? Sometimes that foot hurts, is swollen and hot, or is causing some other form of irritation or discomfort. What if someone comes along and steps on that aching foot? Do you smile and say, “Gee, thanks for giving me more pain?” I don’t think so. A most common response is anger. We get angry at life, our bodies, other’s attitudes and our own limitations. There’s not enough room on this page to list all the reasons we can become angry. What do you do about your anger? Do you just cruise around all day ticked off and livid? Do you seethe, fume, rage and boil both inside and out? Do you recognize that particular emotion when it stares back at you in the mirror?
Those of us who live with chronic pain have our metaphorical “feet” out there all day and night long. We have physical challenges which can make our day-to-day lives more difficult, pain which distracts us and often steals our clear thinking and never goes away. Isn’t it a healthy response to be angry about all of that? We’ve lost our jobs, our money and often, our looks.
Sometimes I wonder if the cause of my anger is coming from inside me or from outside me. Am I just ticked off because so much has been taken from me, or am I angered because this “thing” has been thrust on me and not someone else? Following that line of reasoning to its natural conclusion, who would I pick to give it to, this pain? Let’s see, perhaps we could all put our pain in a very large container and deliver it to all the terrorists in the world. Wouldn’t it just make them more frightening and more vicious? What if we were to give our anger to all the criminals who are in prison for really heinous crimes? Aw, if only.
Unfortunately, but truthfully, our pain arrives at random or via our DNA. Being upset or violently angry is all part of the package, but as most of us have learned over the years, we have to eventually get over it. Anger can send your blood pressure soaring, your pulse skyrocketing and put your relationships in peril. Anger makes others uncomfortable and is a bit scary, especially when it’s directed toward them. So what do you do with it? You can’t flush it, burn it or dump it in the garbage. You can’t send it into space, mail it to the government or bury it. So, what do you do with it?
Anger can be recycled into other emotions. I’ll share with you what I do when I can get a handle on my anger. Naturally, there are some days you just have to let it have its way with you and be done with it. On those days, I tell those near and dear to me, “Today’s not a good day, so you may not want to be around me.”
I like to recycle my anger. I was very angry the other day when something happened in our family and an old problem turned up, totally unrelated to my health. I wasn’t feeling well when it occurred, but my blood pressure went up and spurred me on. I was furious. I found myself muttering and cleaning as I wiped countertops, carried laundry and set the iRobot to vacuum the floor. Using all that angry energy in a constructive way, I began to feel better. For me, anger is like a pressure cooker boiling to the top; I have to let it out or, who knows? It could fly all over the place. It also becomes a question as to how you want to spend your time, your life. Do you want to be angry all the time? What’s fun about that?
I had a friend who used to garden a lot, and when she was angry, she would write her grievance on a piece of paper and bury it in her garden. That worked for her. Cleaning house works for me. Writing works for me as does exercise or stretching, lifting light weights or pulling the heck out of those stretchy bands. I also get a surge from pulling weeds when I can find a dry enough day to do that.
Please don’t tell me you don’t have anger. I know you do. It’s allowed. It’s okay as long as you don’t let it eat away at you, boiling like a cauldron, disrupting your thinking, your relationships and your day. Don’t let it win, or you will be the loser with an empty life and misery at every turn. Don’t we have enough of that?
Video: How To Handle A Bad Temper | 9 Tips To Control your Anger
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