So as I was driving home from work I had my current favorite playlist on the car stereo and was singing away feeling pretty damn good. Suddenly as I was slowing down for the red lights ahead, a car sped past cut in front of me. I quickly slammed my brakes on and my car came to a holt. I felt my self-tense up immediately and before I knew it I’d shouted a few obscenities. I was so angry and my thoughts had started spinning out of control. I had gone from feeling happy and content to being angry and upset within approximately 30 seconds. I set off on my journey again this time I had turned down the volume on the radio and the song I had just been singing away to didn’t seem to have the same joyful vibe it had just a minute before, I was aware that I was holding the steering wheel rather firmly and I found my self muttering on about what a silly move that was.
STOP!!!! I told myself how can I suddenly now be so angry. At this point I started to observe my thoughts I wanted to know what exactly was going on so I could develop an insight and an understanding of how the thoughts and feelings controlling me I figured by watching the thoughts that my mind was just grabbing whatever it could to find sense to the situation, the thoughts I were having were repetitive and focused on the same thing. I was angry that the man had pulled out in front of me and my mind was finding more and more reasons to be mad at this man. This is not the first time I have been angry either I tend to do it a lot, I get angry with bad drivers, I get angry at rude people, late buses, my family not cleaning up after themselves. I don’t like feeling angry though, it feels like it’s eating me up from the inside.
Negative thoughts and feeling seem to have a habit of popping up at the most inconvenient times and they distract us from all the good things that are going on in our life. Before you know it our minds have taken us on a journey of negativity and dark emotions that we didn’t even know we had.
Anger is an issue for many of us, I think being aware of our anger is a great first step to learning to let it go. When we are angry It is important to try and spend a little bit of time to relax, put things into context and let it go. This is something that I am working on and I am happy to share with you just a couple of the techniques I am working on.
When your thoughts are spinning out of control stop and ask yourself what are you thinking about? Chances are you angry at something that has happened in the past, are you obsessing over something that is yet to happen? The key to stopping those negative thoughts is to be aware of them happening. Concentrate on Now! What is actually happening in this moment maybe you could try and think of a happy memory or look at a calming image, this can relax the mind which will help let that negative thought go. It’s a great method to calm and relax the mind.
When we are angry we tend to shallow breathe, which means the air is staying at the top of our lungs, deep breathing will allow more oxygen into our brains and the rest of our body, I have a couple of meditation apps on my smart phone that allow me to focus on breathing but you can just as easily download a meditation on you tube.
It is near impossible to smile and be upset at the same time, when we laugh or smile we instantly feel lighthearted and happy. Why not give it a go now. Give us one of your biggest, brightest smiles, and really mean it, that’s it. How do you feel? Do you feel joy? Did you forget about your problems for just a minute? Smiling will not make your problems go away however it will give you that much needed breather from all that negative thinking that you are subjecting yourself to.
“A day without laughter is a day wasted.” — Charlie Chaplain
The longer you hold on to a grudge, the more painful emotions you will experience, Forgiveness can change your life, it doesn’t mean you are erasing the past or forgetting what has happened, it doesn’t even mean the other person is going to change their behaviour. It just means that you are letting go of all the anger and pain and moving on to a better place. Forgiveness is not easy, but you can learn to do it.
Every day we have plenty of opportunities to get angry, stressed or offended. But what you're doing when you indulge these negative emotions is giving something outside yourself power over your happiness. You can choose to not let little things upset you.
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