13 Feb 4 Step to Calm Down When the World Is Firing You Up
Sometimes I get angry. Most of the time it’s not because whatever I think I’m angry about, but some incident from earlier in the day or week. Whatever the cause it’s best to get to the bottom of it as soon as possible, but that typically isn’t an option while in the grasp of anger.
Here are the steps I take, when I can remember, to calm down when my negative emotions are flaring up.
1. Breathe deeply (with eyes closed if possible)
If you can do this the battle is halfway won. Bringing attention to the breath is a quick and easy way to get you back into the present moment, and into your body instead of focused on the situation that angers you.
Close your eyes, inhale deeply. Hold it for a second. Then let it all out. Repeat this 2-5 times.
2. Identify the situation
What is it that’s bugging you?
I get angry often at inanimate objects, or things like my computer (I just know at times that it is conscious and purposely keeping me from getting done what I need to get done). But seriously, that’s a sign that something else is sitting under my awareness that I haven’t dealt with.
So ask “what person, place, or thing seems to be the source of my frustration?” Maybe it’s extra tasks piled on my shoulders at work. Maybe the woman I’m dating is non-responsive and seems like she’s moving on. Maybe my neighbor in my house I live in just used most of the hot water.
When I can clearly identify it, I can move onto number 3.
3.Identify what you can do right now
Once I’ve figured out what it is that is causing the anger or frustration, I can then move to thinking what actions, if any, can be taken now to change the situation for the better.
Talking with close friends helps me if nothing comes to mind quickly. But most of the time sitting for a few moments and breathing slowly and steadily will allow creative, or obvious, solutions to come to mind.
Bringing out pen and paper and writing things down can also help. I find this highly effective when I’m having trouble getting to the bottom of things, or am so frustrated that my mind is not able to think straight.
4. Take action and forgive others
Once I’ve figured out the best action to take, I do it. It may not have anything to do with the issue I thought was angering me, or it may mean restraining from lashing out. If there is a person who has wronged or hurt me as the cause, then I need to do my best to see they’re doing the best that they can.
Strangely, as I’m writing this I’m having a bit of an incident of my own and had to take these steps. A person acted in a fairly thoughtless way toward me, then acted as if nothing happened. I often have to remember that we are all the center of our own lives, and someone’s actions, even if they are hurtful to me, may not have anything to do with me at all.
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