We all know the story of the two wolves. A Native American legend teaches us about the battle between two wolves: one is evil, anger, sorrow, and ego, and the other is good, joy, peace, and love. This is a battle going on inside every person, and the wolf that wins is the wolf that we feed.
We face countless frustrations in our daily grind, which makes us unintentionally and constantly feed the wolf of anger within ourselves, causing us more stress. Yes, every day can be a struggle, but here’s how you rise above anger and empower yourself with optimism.
1. Dig deeper and find out what’s causing you to be angry.
Anger is the emotion we resort to when we want to avoid less comfortable feelings such as confusion, fear, and sadness. Take some time to process your emotions and find out the root cause of what you’re feeling. Give yourself permission to feel anger, pain, and resentment. Relax, then let it go.
When you’re angry, it can be tempting to lash out against someone. Stop. Make like a yogi and focus on your breathing, and take in long, deep breaths. It will help you feel calmer.
3. Don’t fire shots immediately.
Anger is an emotion wherein the tongue works faster than the mind. As Thomas Jefferson famously said, “When angry, count to ten before you speak. If very angry, count to one hundred.” If you immediately react with anger in every situation, it will lead to more trouble. Handle situations gracefully and diplomatically.
4. Get some rest.
Not getting enough sleep leads to anxiety, depression, and irritability. Stress levels go up and every negative situation feels like the end of the world. Take a quick nap to refresh your mind and reinvigorate yourself. Sometimes, dealing with negative situations requires you to step away from it for a bit.
5. Vent with a venti.
Dealing with anger by pushing these feelings aside will only repress your emotions. Repression is worse than lashing out. Seek therapeutic ways to soothe yourself by confiding in a friend, ordering your favorite cuppa, or heading to your favorite restaurant for a good meal.
6. Write it down.
While venting can have a negative effect, expressing your frustrations in writing has proven to be constructive. Expressing your emotions in a thoughtful and constructive way–free of nasty, bitter or aggressive intentions–can help you take hold of your anger. Putting your emotions on paper can give you greater control over your negative emotions.
7. Get moving!
A good way to release pent-up emotions is by exercising. When you exercise, your body releases chemicals called endorphins, which trigger a positive feeling in the body. Aside from making your body look and feel good, regular exercise has been proven to reduce stress, ward off anxiety and feelings of depression, boost self-esteem, and improve sleep.
8. Really, it’s not that important.
He who angers you, controls you. Sometimes, the things we’re angry about are not that important at all! You just need to slow it down and not be bothered or annoyed by trivial matters. Mind over matter, mind over anger. Stop, breathe, repeat.
9. Hold on to positive thoughts.
It can be extremely difficult to think positively in certain situations. If you can’t muster the energy to be positive, try to think of a happy memory. The beach getaway you went on, a book you just read, a funny movie you saw. These happy memories can help trigger happier feelings, thus help make you think more clearly without clouding your mind with anger.