Has your lack of anger management ever kept you up at night?
Have you ever stared at the ceiling in the dark thinking about what happened at work today?
Are you wondering why suddenly something from ten years ago is nagging you out of nowhere?
Me, too guys. Me, too.
Pretty sure it’s happened to most of us.
I hate losing sleep. I especially hate losing it from this kind of hamster wheel turmoil.
Not being able to recover from past anger can be more than annoying.
Sometimes it can be debilitating.
I want to give some practical tips on anger management.
It’s never too late… or too soon. I always like to remind myself that sometimes the past is ten years ago. But sometimes it’s ten minutes ago.
Learn tools to recover from past anger and you will be able to examine your emotions in the moment more effectively.
Anger Management Starts With Acknowledging It
I have said for years that emotions are like radar for my life. Others suggest that feelings aren’t real and should be disregarded. I used to play off anger or sadness as me being silly. Even worse, calling myself crazy.
Now I disagree. Even if sometimes my emotions may be displaced or seem disproportionate, they are still valid. They mean something. We need to acknowledge our emotions and name them before we can begin moving forward.
Having trouble identifying emotions? Find an emotions chart and start there. I know how trivial this sounds, but there is power in knowing how you feel. Don’t push it down. Look at it and give it a name.
Pro Tip: Almost All Of My Anger Is Rooted In Fear
Identifying the fear under the anger is 90% of the battle. Anger management today often involves uncovering fear that was caused by something in my past. Sometimes it’s unveiling a false belief that I developed.
We all have maps for our lives shaped by our experiences. But the map we developed in the past, like childhood for example, does not always work so well today.
Fear develops because we are afraid of losing something we have or not getting something we want. It grows out of expectations or past experiences.
Here’s an example of anger stemming from fear: I get angry at my kids when they jump off the furniture. But my anger stems from fear that they will hurt themselves.
My anger and my emotions need to be shared. I can’t keep it to myself. If I isolate, I run the risk of webbing inner lies. I need perspective outside my sometimes irrational brain.
Get outside perspective two ways. Both are vital for me to recover from past anger.
- I pray. I am a Christian and I believe in the supernatural. It is as real as the screen you are reading this from. I pray for the anger to be removed. If it’s not, it means there is more I’m supposed to see. That I might have missed something. But I ask and I believe. If you are not religious, find a way to acknowledge this process in a spiritual way. I know a lot of people who pray that do not believe in a formal religion or traditional idea of God.
- Talk about it with a trusted friend or adviser. Share your life with another human being. If I only pray, I am still susceptible to my own delusions. This is just my truth. It’s important I talk about my emotions with other people to recover from my past anger.
Clean It Up
In order to recover from past anger I need to clean up my side of the street. The reason why this is effective in anger management is because seeing my own faults enables me to seek forgiveness for others.
It’s easier to forgive the world around me when I recognize that in my imperfection I need forgiveness, too.
How did my decisions place me in a position to be hurt? What could I have done differently so I can do better in the future? How can I seek guidance and direction better moving forward to not repeat the same mistakes?
Answer these questions, and don’t rush. It’s important to see the truth. It takes some humility and is usually painful, but I can’t recover from past anger until I see how I have a part in my anger.
We are not victims. Free yourself from the mentality that you are a victim of others. You cannot recover if your pain is always someone else’s fault. We’ll never be able to control the world around us.
Pass It Along To Help Others With Anger Management
The best way for me to get out of self pity is to help someone else. Tired of ruminating on the past and the anger? Think of someone else instead.
Volunteer. Donate. Be anonymous when being charitable as often as possible. Love someone who needs it. Hug someone who is lonely, even if they smell bad.
Did someone help guide you in mastering anger management? Pay it forward and help someone else with the tools you’ve learned.
Minimizing The Baggage
Let’s stop losing anymore sleep over ten years ago. I don’t want to not be present playing on the floor with my kids because I’m stewing over what a coworker said a couple hours ago. Let’s master anger management. I want to rise above the circumstances around me.
Minimizing is all about getting rid of the clutter so we can enjoy what’s really important. This includes emotional clutter, too. Let’s apply minimalism to all aspects of our lives.
Don’t let something from the past, even earlier today, stop you from enjoying Now.