Holding Onto Anger - How Do You Want to Spend the Rest of Today
When I was in my office last week, the manager who sits in an office next to me was livid about somebody dropping the ball on an aspect of a project. He was angry, loud and had no problem expressing to anyone within earshot about the details of the situation.
He held onto that anger ALL DAY LONG. He had resentment and every re-telling of the story had him louder and louder. I’ll be honest it was difficult for me to do my work because he was loud.
As I listened to his anger increase; I couldn’t help but think “That use to be me!” and how grateful I am that today I don’t hang on to the anger like that.
I don’t want to make it seem like my life is Pollyanna; there are people that piss me off when events don’t match my expectations. What I have learned is that holding onto my anger or resentment all day (or week!) is MY CHOICE.
When I was younger, I didn’t know that I could restart my day at any time. And by restart I mean, I didn’t wake up pissed; so therefore I don’t need to stay pissed.
What I have learned is when an event happens that sends my blood pressure through the roof. I need to let that initial emotion roll through me; that doesn’t mean yelling, that doesn’t mean firing off blood curling e-mails and it doesn’t mean throwing things. Most often, I find I just need to physically leave my present place and get a change of scenery to think myself into calmness.
At the office, my top three spots is to head to the cafeteria, head to the restroom or take a walk outside. For me, I often times just taking a brief walk with a change of scenery is what I need to put calmness around me. Today, I find between 5-10 minutes will take the initial BIG emotional edge off the situation. And I need to ask myself “Am I going to allow this situation to OWN my emotional state for the balance of the day?”
I have learned that emotions around events don’t need to control me. I choose to allow them to control OR I choose to let that emotion go and make the conscious choice to have a better day.
I can tell you that like any new habit; it takes persistence and awareness to make the mental shift. If you are someone who gets pissed all day long; your first time doing it, you may find your hanging on to your anger for a few hours … but a few hours is better than all day long. And know that you’ll get better over time the more you use this technique.
As far as my office neighbor, he was fine the next day … that was until someone asked about a status update on the situation. All I could do was smile to myself and say a prayer of gratitude as his cycle of anger repeated.