Archives For March 2014

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Although in this society we’re starting to learn and accept our feelings more anger is one of the feelings that is still very taboo.

We are taught that anger is like cancer that kills us from the inside. We’re made to feel bad when we feel angry.

“You’re too angry.”

“Being angry is unhealthy.”

For every minute you remain angry, you give up sixty seconds of peace of mind. – Emerson

The truth is that anger is an emotion like all the others. It’s not better or worse. It just is what it is.

Love is another emotion that is known for getting people in heaps of trouble and yet no one would dare suggest that folks not feel love.

When we repress our natural feelings, whatever they are, we are saying that what we feel is not okay. Not only that but when we don’t find positive and productive ways to channel our anger, we hold onto those feelings and they just change into something else that is usually more toxic than just sitting with the feeling would have been.

Sometimes the best thing you can do is to get angry.

In fact being angry can actually be healthy for you. The trick is to find the delicate balance between allowing yourself to feel angry without going overboard or allowing the anger to consume you.

Holding onto angry like a friend’s hand and walking around angry with the world isn’t healthy but neither is pretending it doesn’t exist. 

Feeling your feelings — whatever they are — is perfectly okay. There is nothing wrong with you because you get angry. (Little secret: everyone does!)

But process your anger in a way that doesn’t leave you feeling worse, beating up on yourself, or shameful. Some ways I like to process anger are:

::Writing an email to someone you’re pissed at and saying everything you’re feeling::

This is one of my personal favorites. I love to open a blank email and write out every angry thought I’m thinking. I do not censor myself and really let myself go crazy with it. I say the things that I would never really say to anyone and just allow myself to feel it without judgment.

I type until I’ve let it all go and then I either save it or delete it. I never type in a name in the subject and I never press send.

There is something really liberating about being able to comfortably say and feel what you want. It’s much better than holding onto those angry thoughts and letting them plant seed in my heart.

::Get physical::

While sometimes anger makes us want to punch, hit or throw things that is NOT what I am suggesting here. What I am suggesting is that moving your body can help get you out of your head and help release some of the mad energy.

It should be intense movement like going for a fast paced walk, doing sit-up or push-ups, riding your bike or just dancing like a maniac to music that gets your juices going. The activity it to channel the angry energy by using your body as a tool. You can scream, punch the air, or really any movement that feels comfortable and good.

:: Sit with it::

It’s okay to sit with anger.

Yes, you read that right. I said it’s okay to sit with anger.

It’s okay to sit quietly and just feel it. To breathe in and out and to notice where the anger turns up as physical sensations in your body. It’s okay to notice whether the anger has other feelings that come along with it, like guilt or sadness or shame.

Sit for a set period of time (5-10 mins) and just feel it. Watch the anger float past and through you like clouds in the sky.

When you’ve reached the end of your set time, get up and shake your body and do something that makes you happy, like listening to a song, or watching a funny clip on YouTube. The trick is to leave the anger where you were sitting and not carry it the rest of the day.

::Vent it::

Normally I believe that we shouldn’t spend a lot of time complaining about stuff, and that venting can sometimes be misused and abused. But I also think that venting to someone can be helpful for releasing anger.

You can vent to a friend, a family member, a professional like a therapist or life coach, or even your pet. The trick is to have someone who is safe and who will not judge you, offer advice or tell you to “get over it,” and who understands that you need to just feel the anger to get over it.

Like with some of the other things, you’ll want to set a time limit with how long you vent so that it doesn’t become a never ending bitch-fest that makes you feel worse rather than better. Maybe ask your venting friend to set a timer for you and to tell you a joke at the end.

I sometimes think that our feelings are very much like us: energy that is moving and breathing and just wants to be seen and acknowledged. The best way to get through any feeling with a negative association is just to feel it, without judgment, and to let it go like the ribbon of a balloon and watch it float up into the air until you can no longer see it.

Don’t be afraid to be angry. Get pissed. Get fucking good and mad.

It’s okay.

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You can like the life you’re living, you can live the life you like. – Roxie Hart, Chicago

Some mornings my Facebook feed is littered with complaints. Complaints about someone’s boss, not being able to find a parking space, or going out to eat and the meal being overpriced and crappy.

And while I validate that all these things can suck they’re first world problems, you know? Problems that come with having a certain level of privilege.

I also see other posts, usually from the same few people, that are peppered with sadness.

There is a lot of talk on blogs about how Facebook can be a curated version of a person’s life. Even I have written about that and how we shouldn’t compare our daily lives to someone’s highlight reel. But, the sad posts filled with what seems like so much pain, hurt and frustration are harder to ignore. It’s the anti-highlight reel.

No matter what happens in life, we always have a choice, and I think that’s something that we forget when we focus on all the things that are going wrong, all the bad crap. We always have a choice.

You can like the life you’re living, you can live the life you like.

And that’s good. Isn’t it grand? Isn’t it great? Isn’t it swell? Isn’t it fun? Isn’t it?

If you don’t like the way something is going in your life you can trust, like the famous Coco Chanel quote, that anything you don’t like will have an opposite that you will like. You can invent yourself and your life.

And that’s good, isn’t it?

Don’t like your job? Work to change it.

In an unfulfilling relationship? End it.

Feeling off balance? Take time to sit in silence until you feel balanced.

Feel like something is missing from you life? Do some honest soul searching with your friends, a life coach, or a therapist.

On the flipside, you also have the option to like the life you’re living right now. Even though everything may not be perfect, you can make a conscious choice to like your life. It may sound complicated, but it’s really quite easy.

The first step is to make the choice to like the life you’re living, or live the life you like. Or both.

If you want to like the life you’re living, the best way to start is by appreciating everything that already makes your life so awesome. Because no matter how shitty a day may seem, or how fucked up a year you might be having, the truth is that there is something good in your life if you only look to see it.

Call me Pollyanna if you want to, but it’s just as easy to look on the bright-side as the negative side. It just feels a lot better to look on the bright-side. And, no, that doesn’t meant that you won’t have bad days.

You will have bad days, and you will feel bad sometimes because that’s apart of life. But that doesn’t have to be the overall tone of your life on a regular basis.

Happiness is not some complicated mystery that only happens when everything in your life aligns perfectly with the cosmos.

Happiness is very frequently a choice, a conscious decision to feel good rather than bad. It’s a change in perception from fear to love.

You also have the option to live the life you like.

It’s no secret that my life has not always been sunshine and roses. I’ve worked several years in a job that was not my calling. I’ve been through a difficult marriage, divorce, and being a young single mother.

I’ve battled depression, PTSD and anxiety. I’ve also had amazing experiences, wonderful opportunities, and been so surrounded by love and joy that it feels unreal.

Even though I’ve sometimes worn the role of the victim like a warm winter coat.

I’ve also worn the string bikini of “fuck it, you only live once so I’m going balls to the wall with happiness.”

The only difference between the two, is that I decided that I didn’t want to feel bad anymore.

Not like that.

Not ever again.

I took responsibility for my life and everything in it, and realized how many wonderful things are in my life and there are to be grateful for on a daily basis.That doesn’t mean I don’t have bad days: I do. It doesn’t mean that I’m 100% satisfied with every aspect of my life right now: I’m not.

What it does mean is that I’m liking the life I’m living as best as I can by making a conscious effort to see good and change my perception about “bad” things that come my way, and living the life I like by taking action to have that life.

When everything seems to be falling down around me, I can choose to let it take me down with it or I can say, “that sucks” and keep it moving. And how awesome is that to be able to have that choice?

And I’ll let you in on a little secret – you have that option too!

Isn’t it grand? Isn’t it swell? Isn’t it?