Monday, October 3, 2016

That Makes me so Angry!

By Caitlin Sosta, yellow belt


We’ve all gone through those moments, or even days, where something or everything makes us so mad, we can’t focus on anything else.  Anger is a natural emotion, and it would be unreasonable to say we never have a right to be angry in certain situations, but learning how to control and channel your anger in a positive way can change your entire perspective on life.  Here are three easy ways to begin rethinking and redirecting your anger when you feel it coming on:

Taekwondo girl getting ready to run a race at a martial arts convention1. Change your perspective. There are many times when another person may make you angry with their words or actions, but putting yourself in their shoes may make you pause to reflect on the reasons behind their behavior. An irate customer in your store may have just had a fight with their spouse before leaving home, or your coworker who ignores you when you wave and say hello may be dealing with immense financial stress that’s taking all of their concentration. Simply remaining calm and remembering that you don’t always know what’s going on in someone else’s life can change the way you feel in dealing with them and help you to be positive and kind in your daily interactions.

2. Consider whether or not anger is a productive response. Sometimes things make us angry that are completely out of our control —another driver on the street, a story on the news, a delayed flight.  The only thing we can control in these situations is ourselves, and our actions can affect the safety, environment, and emotions of others.  Anger alone is unproductive, so focusing on productive reactions helps motivate us to be a positive presence in the lives of those around us.  Always ask yourself: is there something I can do about my anger in this moment?  Can I use this emotional motivation to teach, help, speak out for, encourage or support someone else?  If so, do it!

3. Focus on the good! If nothing else succeeds, one of the best ways to overcome anger (or any other negative emotion, for that matter) is to focus on the good things in your life.  Write a list of the blessings you have, and you will be surprised how your entire mentality will change.  Can’t think of any?  Here’s a start: Taekwondo! (And most likely the physical and mental health to participate in martial arts in the first place).  Be creative—we all have things to be thankful for in life, and anger can easily become poisonous distraction from these things.

There are many more ways to deal with anger, but the real key is to reframe your mindset.  Like any other personal “makeover,” it won’t come easily or quickly.  You will fail sometimes, but your effort will certainly be rewarded with a noticeable change in your happiness, your stress level, your relationships, and more!

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