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Staying Calm when Angry


Anger can have a positive side; it energizes us when we are threatened or when boundaries have been violated. Unfortunately, most of the time anger does not serve us well; anger makes a lousy servant and a terrible, terrible master if we allow it to take control.

Managing our emotions breaks down into the Immediate (dealing with the emotion in the moment) and the Long Term (what thoughts, world view created this emotion, what trigger/fuse brought it to the surface?).

First, never, ever deny the emotion. What we resist, persists. Acknowledge its existence while controlling its expression to the extent you, your intelligent/rationale side, feel is appropriate given your goals and priorities. Never sacrifice what you want most, what you want and have worked for long term, on the altar of hot, frenzied short term emotions! Misdirected anger can harm your health, mental and physical, as well as damage your relationships.

Look for the original source of the anger; cease fueling it, stop feeding it, refrain from telling yourself the stories that generate the seeds of anger, the litany of wrongs that justify your outrage. Even if true (and there is always another side to the story, other points of view), it does not serve you, it does not lead you to a better place, it does not create happiness, joy or contentment or generate solutions. If your thoughts are drawn back, simply repeat “Release! Release! Release!” or “Onward, Forward, Upward” over and over and over, as long and as frequently as necessary. Physical activity or movement of any kind or change of location all help re-focus your thoughts and energy.

The story of “The Two Wolves” is a Cherokee legend of that uses the metaphor of two wolves fighting, one of Light and Hope, the other Darkness and Despair, to explain our inner conflicts. Which one wins? The one we feed. Which do you feed most?

Closing Quotes:

“You will not be punished for your anger, you will be punished by your anger.” – Buddha

“The best remedy for a short temper is a long walk.” – Joseph Joubert, 1754-1824

“Anger is an acid that can do more harm to the vessel in which it is stored than to anything on which it is poured.” – Mark Twain/Samuel Clemmons

“When angry count to ten before you speak. If very angry, count to one hundred.” – Thomas Jefferson

“Getting angry is punishing yourself with the mistakes of others.” – Ritu Ghatourey

As always, I share what I most want/need to learn. – Nathan S. Collier


Micro-Moments of Positivity: One Secret to a Long Life

glass half full empty

All else being equal, the happier you are, the longer and healthier your life. Anger, stress, gloominess, melancholy, downheartedness, the blahs, the funk, the blues: they all impact you, weigh your body down, create reactions which reduce the effectiveness of your immune system. Fortunately, there is a cure and a relatively easy one at that. We all have the ability to manage our moods! Like any skill, directing your emotions (and the thoughts/stories we tell that generate them) may take time to develop fully but self-direction, self-motivation is a powerful tool to have in our life management toolbox.

We may not always be able to control the thoughts that come to mind but we CAN control the thoughts that stay in mind! We can choose where to focus our attention, where to direct our energies. When you make the effort to consciously look for the good, you see things for which to be grateful, small acts of kindness or goodness to appreciate and compliment, chances to smile, to laugh, to feel joy and contentment. These small moments of bliss add up quickly, generating a sense of peaceful contentment and serenity. Plus micro moments of positivity add up: the “extent to which we can generate positive emotions from even everyday activities can determine who flourishes and who doesn’t.” (NYT: Turning Negative Thinkers Into Positive Ones 4/3/17)

 Closing Quote:

“Man is made or unmade by himself;
in the armory of thought
he forges the weapons by which he destroys himself;
he also fashions the tools with which he builds for himself
heavenly mansions of joy and strength and peace.”
– James Allen, As a Man Thinketh

As always, I share what I most want/need to learn. – Nathan S. Collier

Your Inner Life is Your Greatest Source of Strength

Positive vs negative thoughts

There is a voice inside your head that is constantly “on”, chattering away, talking to you. This voice has a personality, a world view, tendencies, inclinations, and biases. This chatterbox can be your best friend or your worst enemy, your choice. After all, this voice is you! The talk going on inside your head springs from some combo of your unconscious, your past experiences and role models, your fears and dreams. 

You CAN get control of this voice, use it and direct it. At first, you may have trouble directing the thoughts that come to mind but it always your choice about the thoughts that STAY in your mind. This voice can be your greatest cheerleader, your finest coach, your best friend or it can be your worst enemy, your biggest critic, an energy vampire, a slayer of dreams.

To gain control of your inner voice, first decide what you want, who you want to be, what type of person you want to grow toward being. Then write yourself short scripts that support this enhanced view of yourself, focus on the positive, on where you want to go. Negatives, if any, should be in terms of the “past” or of “releasing”: “I release all thoughts that hurt” or “That was yesterday, today is a new day and I am free to make new, better, more powerful decisions” or “My tendency does not have to be my destiny”. “I am a child of the Universe. There is great potential within me; I will develop it fully through intense focus and hard work.”

Observe your inner voice; it’s choice of topics and tone. If it heads off into “stinking thinking” use your scripts or positive affirmations to redirect your inner voice. It takes time and effort but if you persist, you will find no greater ally. (“Learned Optimism” and “Unlimited Power” and “Awaken the Giant Within” are all powerful sources of techniques on personal change.)

Closing Quotes:

“You are not responsible for the programing you picked up as a child. However, as an adult, you are 100% responsible for keeping it.” – Ken Keyes, Jr., 1921 – 1995, author, Living Love

“Habits of thinking need not be forever.  One of the most significant findings in psychology in the last 20 years is that individuals can choose the way they think.” – Martin P. Seligman; “Learned Optimism”

“Most people carry a large amount of unnecessary baggage. They limit themselves through grievances, regret, hostility, guilt; an accumulation of old emotional pain called the ‘pain body’.” – Eckhart Tolle

“You can never succeed in realizing your highest dreams and ambitions if you do not strive for them with all the force of your personality.” – John R. Silber, Boston University 1996 commencement speech, 1926-2012

As always, I share what I most want/need to learn. – Nathan S. Collier