Keeping our cool
“How much more grievous are the consequences of anger than the causes of it.”
- Marcus Aurelius
Life is always giving us reasons to become upset. We get mistreated. Things don't go our way. Culture wars. A global pandemic. It's all part of our current human experience. At times, it can be enough to make us angry. It may even cause some of us to fly off the handle and overreact in ways we may end up regretting. I have my share of regrets from times I allowed my anger to get the best of me. It took many years, but I eventually learned to address my anger in a way where I don't have to respond so negatively to my negative emotions.
The biggest factors helping me keep my cool are practicing patience, acceptance and forgiveness toward others and myself, which can both be a struggle sometimes. By incorporating mindfulness and breathwork techniques, I have managed to address negative emotions head-on and make peace with them relatively quickly. Letting go of unwanted drama is a very freeing sensation. The more we can learn to let go, the more we can improve our quality of life.
Photo by Dương Nhân on Pexels
Having made big blunders in the past due to my overreaction to the actions of others is the best reminder of what not to do and why not to do it. Learning from our past is what life is all about. It's how we grow. It's how we improve our quality of life. We learn that the negativity does not serve us well. It's part of living the golden rule and taking the high road. The same applies to how we treat ourselves as well. We should aim to treat ourselves with the same level of respect as we treat others, practicing patience, acceptance and forgiveness.
Keeping our cool and not allowing negative emotions get the best of us can be tough when we hang on to arguments and hold grudges. If we choose to harbor any anger or resentment inside of us, it can affect us more negatively than the people we are upset with. Nelson Mandela famously said, "Resentment is like drinking poison and then hoping it will kill your enemies." He also said, "If you can learn to hate, you can be taught to love." It all stems from living life with our hearts and minds open. We just have to choose love over anger and hate.
Healthline: How to Control Anger: 25 Tips to Help You Stay Calm
Medical News Today: Feeling angry: Mental health and what to do
Positive Psychology: Your Anger Management Guide: Best Techniques & Exercises