Anger Is Not A Negative Emotion

Aristotle said, “The man who is angry at the right things and with the right people, and, further, as he ought when he ought, and as long as he ought is praised.”

 

Sara Shakeel

Anger is not a bad emotion. It is acceptable to be angry at wrong-doings, social injustice, wickedness, harmful behaviors, or many other forms of disappointments or hurt. Still, how we use that energy is important. Remember that anger is a feeling, and you cannot simply stifle or turn it to apathy. What you should do instead is to experience anger as part of yourself since it is another form of flight or fight response, so do not dismiss it but listen to its message.

When you stop and pay attention to your angry emotions, you will be inclined to control your behavior rather than your feelings. Simply because you do not want to be at the mercy of your anger; instead, you want to flip from putting the lid on inner pressure to be self-disciplined in your reactions.

Consequently, once you acknowledge that anger is part of being human, you will direct your attention to controlling the aggression fueled by anger. Keep in mind that emotions are signals, but the aggressive response is a behavior, therefore a choice. Plus, aggression is not always about violence. Being judgmental, excessively critical, or even passive-aggressive facial or physical gestures indicate aggression.

Consider the following aspects of anger to handle your aggression and not your angry emotions skillfully:

  • Anger is not a negative emotion is part of human experience – Accept it to deal with it constructively. 
  • Anger should not be stifled but influenced. Take a moment to identify your anger’s root cause; is it out of fear, threat, or hurt? This approach will clear distorted perceptions so that you can express your rage in effective ways. 
  • Anger should be communicated – Practice moments of silence before you respond. Remember that nobody will accuse you of how you feel, you are allowed to be angry, but you are responsible for acting upon it regrettably or unjustly. By the way, increasing your emotional vocabulary can significantly support your message.
  • Manage your behavior – Stop ruminating on whatever brought about the negative emotions since it will likely increase your anger’s intensity and cloud your judgment. 
  • Avoid using anger to address your emotional pain since it will become a habit – Learn to deal with it in healthier ways. For instance, if you are mad at someone close to you or at work, talk with them directly only when you are out of your tunnel vision mindset. 

To wrap up, step out of your comfort zone and refrain from lashing out whenever you are upset, or an unexpected has materialized. It might be painful to listen and explore your angry feelings; however, the challenge will equip you well with a toolbox for your responses and place you in a stronger position. 

 

Featured image by Gabe Leonard

The Power Of Patience – Foundation of Mindfulness #2

What patience is not is tolerance. It is wisdom to recognize that things unfold in their way, and there is always a motive or explanation behind crude incidences or maddening behaviors of people. Patience is to grasp that an act’s expediency, such as getting angry, does not clarify or resolve frustration encountered by unexpected circumstances.

The intensity of what annoys or displeases is how you perceive the intentions. Still, whether deliberate or accidental, it is up to you to fuel haste into a situation out of fear and anxiety or to realize that you will benefit from a strong pull on your impulses.

During your lifespan, confrontation happens, and on many occasions, your rage starts to mount. Although, knowing well that keeping your temper under control is the wisest choice, it is not an easy task. How can you interrupt the impatience and remain calm in the face of irritating people? Well, according to the French philosopher Emile-August Chartier (known as Alain): “Never say that people are evil, you just need to look for the pin”. Consciously assuming that some internal suffering drives others’ irrational behaviors that cause agony, surely will support your efforts to curb the anger. Switching your emotions from agitation to compassion and empathy allows you to control your thoughts and actions.

 

 

Art by Aykutmaykut
Art by Aykutmaykut

We can grow out of the habit of impatience, mindfully. Clearly, you are aware of nature, change of seasons, the harvest, or the metamorphosis of butterflies; the common thread is that the process has different stages and is on a different timetable. In nature, you wait for the full cycle with patience; maybe if you apply the same principle in all your endeavors, the course of action and the psyche during the undertaking will allow you to be in the moment and live a rewarding life.

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Art by Aykutmaykut

Try these strategies to cultivate patience: 

  • Set a rule: lean back, take deep breaths, and count to 15 if the tension is rising.
  • Scan your body and relax the tense muscles.
  • Consciously choose to be calm.
  • Act patient, talk slowly.
  • Actively listen.
  • Practice empathy the same way you offer it to children
  • Remind yourself that unpleasant, frustrating, and dreadful circumstances arise, and it is out of your control. The only thing that you have full control over is your ability to remain patient.

 

Tell Your Brain To Shut Up and Listen!

As promised, I embarked on the practice of mindfulness meditation to learn useful techniques on how to change our state of mind deliberately. The practice serves as a navigator through the ups and downs of life, transcending the fear and seeing things or the problem as they are. Meditation takes you to a place deep within yourself, a bridge to your inner wisdom that helps you stabilize distress—the optimal formula to nurture the best version of yourself.

At its core, the concept of mindful meditation is nothing more than being aware of what you are doing while you are doing it. It is not always about sitting in the Burmese position (mind you, it does help) and chanting a mantra but to be present at the moment. As Jon Kabat-Zinn writes in “Catastrophe Living,” unless you change your way of looking at things, no type of meditation will be useful in the long run. He frames a set of 7 fundamental attitudes that will help with the practice of being present. Non-judgingpatiencebeginner’s mindtrustnon-strivingacceptance, and letting go are to be part of your frame of mind to channel your energies and reach an alpha state. I will dive deeper into each of these attitudes in my upcoming “Mind Series.” 

The practice needs commitment! In the beginning, it will be very hard to include the above attitudes in your thought process, but merely keeping them in mind and applying them in small increments in your day-to-day ways, from eating habits to rituals or working systems, will eventually be ingrained in your thinking.

  • A good place to start is to take notice of your daily habits. For instance, pay attention to what you are eating as if it is for the first time that you are seeing or tasting that food. You can try with just one fruit or any other produce that you like. This exercise involves minding one moment to another and can be extended to other tasks and routines. 
  • Intentionally, build up your efforts and set aside a time during the day to quiet your mind and focus on your breathing.
  • Taking notice of the breath is the anchor that shifts our battling mind and anxieties to a relaxing and calming stage. The turbulence is still there, but even if it’s for a few minutes, this exercise enables you to reconnect to your ability to stay calm.

 

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Photo courtesy of rafyA creative art designs
  • Diaphragmatic breathing – the idea is to intentionally contract the diaphragm muscle and relax your belly during the inhalation to rise and deflate on exhalation. Lie down on your back or stretch out on a recliner put one hand on your belly. Bring your attention to your hand and feel it move. Practice for 15 minutes every day. (“The power of Breathing, Jon Kabat-Zinn) 
  • The other way of practicing mindfulness of breathing is to be mindful of your breath during the day.

 

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Photo courtesy of designrfix.com
  • Kindly observe your thoughts and emotions without judgment and turn your focus on your breath each time you start dwelling on them.
  • Note the persistent thoughts, detect the emotional threats of the self-centered sentiments, anger, hate, or different moods.
  • Recognize that what comes to your mind is only a thought. By redirecting your attention to your breath, you will detach any value to the lingering thought, and gradually, you will have the strength to intentionally let go of the negative emotions and calm your brain.
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Photo courtesy of designrfix.com

The whole process is not about pushing the unwanted emotions or thoughts away but cultivating the courage to see as they are. Meditation is about accepting the contents of your mind, regaining calm to reach the peaceful brain wave, and finding clarity.

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Photo courtesy of designrfix.com

Explore your rhythms and pulses, and in concert with your restyled thinking at the same time integrating gratitudecompassionkindnessforgivenessgenerosity, and tolerance, steadilyyou can lead a robust lifestyle.

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Art of Alex Gross