I have a confession: I recently lost my temper. Like, I completely lost my cool. Straight up red faced, raised voice, fuming: the whole nine. And I honestly don’t remember the last time this happened. It has easily been over a year since anger of this nature paid me a visit.
I allowed anger, frustration, emotion and worry get the best of me. I’ve been thinking in hindsight as to what happened and realize that I clearly fell off track from my spiritual walk in these moments. It happens. Yes, even to me.
When we’re off track, that’s when we allow emotions to get the best of us. That’s when we allow the devil and his schemes to infiltrate our lives and our thinking. Anytime we’re not doing things we normally do to keep our peace and calmness, that’s where the cracks appear. That’s where the holes emerge. And that’s where anger can seep in.
I have been in prayer and observation as to what I could have done differently while also giving thought to the triggers in this recent situation that led me to being temporarily captured by anger.
I am human and even though I write about positivity, spirituality and living a positive life, sometimes I make mistakes. This confession comes from a place of hope in that my revelations about anger and a lost temper will help you in your own struggles. We’re all in this together, right?
We know that negative emotions are prevalent in our daily lives. It’s how we deal with them, how we react with them and how we realize what we could have done better that helps us to grow. In retrospection, I arrived at:
6 Ways To Handle Anger
1. Reconnect to what is important and realize where you have been out of balance.
The first place we to need pay attention and observe is where have we allowed ourselves to get out of balance. For me, I wasn’t in my spiritual practice. I wasn’t reading or having my quiet time in the morning. My entire spiritual routine was out of whack.
When we are not taking care of our side of the street, we are eventually going to lose our cool because this is an integral part of our happiness. It’s part of what we need to stay grounded, stable and peaceful.
When you catch yourself getting angry or emotional, ask yourself: Where are you out of balance? What are you doing and/or what new factors are present that could be causing your frustrations to rise and your balance to falter?
2. Return to what grounds you.
After the storm passed, I realized I not only needed to get back to my balanced routine, but to also get back to what grounds me.
One of the first things I did was a reset with deep prayer and meditation work. I went to a float session, which is complete sensory deprivation. It allows you to be at one with your thoughts and helps with internal resolution and clarity. I prayed for forgiveness and I took mental responsibility for my part in the situation.
The next thing I did was head to the beach to watch the sunset. I put my feet in the sand, sat there quietly and just watched God’s beauty unfold in front of me. This is something that’s always grounded me. Growing up in Florida, sunsets were something I’ve always found beauty, peace and stillness in.
I immediately got back to my yoga and prayer practice. I went back to church. I got back to my daily electronic music voyages. (For anyone that really knows me, you know what this means). These are things I need in my life to keep me grounded. Sometimes, we don’t recognize how important our grounding work is until we allow ourselves to compromise on it.
We don’t realize that the foundations we build with our practices and routines are imperative for our happiness. So, the next time you allow anger or emotion to get the best of you, remember to always get back to what it is that grounds you. It is there you will find solitude and peace.
3. Practice what you preach.
This was a huge one for me. I felt guilty about losing my temper and letting my anger boil up into a state of overflow because I wasn’t practicing what I preach. I wasn’t walking my talk. All of the things that I write about and I’ve worked so hard for seemingly fell by the wayside.
I realize that I have to hold myself to a higher level of accountability. The details of the situation are irrelevant because I should be able to disconnect from anger and negative emotions after the work I’ve done.
Thankfully part of practicing what I preach also lends itself to forgiveness, self awareness and acceptance. This is just another opportunity to practice these principles and get back to walking my talk.
So, the next time you find yourself feeling frustrated or angry ask yourself: Am I practicing what I preach? Would I want to be treated the way I’m treating the other person? Is this an accurate reflection of who I really am?
4. Realize that emotions are our guides even though they may evoke anger at times.
Although, my anger was coming from a passionate place because I cared deeply about the situation, I understood I needed to give some assessment to it based on what was coming up by listening to my emotions.
Our emotions are indicators and precursors for change. They are our underlying guides. If we are happy, peaceful and calm, we are usually moving in the right direction. If we are feeling angst, anger or frustration that’s a sign we need to take a pause. It doesn’t necessarily mean we’re not moving the right direction, but we may need to adjust our sails.
Emotions are part of life. We all go through them and tuning into what those emotions are trying to tell us is the key. Whether it be about yourself, the situation or your direction, ask yourself if you are truly hearing and interpreting them as the guides they were sent to be.
5. Think before you speak.
One of the reasons we lose our temper stems from our lack of thinking before we speak. I’ve done extensive work in this area, and yet in this particular case it’s something I was not practicing. I was not thinking before I was speaking. I was letting my anger drive my responses.
When we let our emotions command our responses without giving some thought to them, that’s where we get ourselves in trouble.
The next time you feel emotions coming up, make sure to take the time to think before you speak. Remember, once we speak words into the air, we can’t take them back. Not only that, but once we put them out into the world, sometimes the negative energy that accompanies them goes against the grain of what we truly wish to express.
6. Take a step back when you feel anger coming up instead of reacting.
This is definitely one thing I did not do in this case. I was being very reactive in my responses and my actions were undeniably fueled by my emotions. Had I taken a step back, I don’t think I would have lost my temper. I would have had a more controlled, peaceful and authentic response that better represents who I am as a person.
This goes hand in hand with thinking before we speak. Instead of reacting emotionally, when we take a step back as we feel negative emotions on the rise, it allows us to gather our thoughts and formulate a better response to the situation.
So, next time anger or frustration is heightened, give yourself, 30 minutes, an hour, a day; however long you feel you need to get to the point where your emotions are not running on high. This way they do not dictate your response or cause you to react in a way that doesn’t demonstrate what you actually desire.
Negative emotions, especially anger, can really eat at our core if we allow them to. One of the most important things we can do is realize that we do have a choice and although our emotions can take over our thoughts sometimes, we still have the ability to choose peace if we work these techniques into our lives and our response patterns.
I can only hope that my rawness and uncut example has offered a chance for your eyes to open to some areas in your life where you could improve on how you respond to people or how you interact with your emotions. I hope that you find these tips helpful. May they help you to authentically reconnect to who you are and ultimately help you find your way back to your happy place when you have lost your way.