In the eye of the storm everything is calm, clear, silent, still – how do we get this peace, this clarity in our lives without the fury that surrounds it?
We’ve been having some savage storms lately – what about that poor guy just standing on the beach beside his son when he was struck by lightning. Here one moment, gone the next second – his boy recovering in hospital although not really recovering, because how could you ever recover from that?
I’m fascinated by storms – so much pent up energy, all that electricity, wild winds, lashing rain, belting hail. It’s somehow comforting to know that nature gets that angry – my fury can’t be ‘unnatural’ after all.
Nature sure can rage. Moments before it will be calm and peaceful and then minutes later it can be all rainbows, sunny skies, gorgeous sunsets and blessed relief from the humidity – as if in apology for the devastation unleashed.
Mother Nature knows how to put on a spectacular yin yang show!
Yinyangmother sure knows how to yell with storm-like ferocity. Loud, frustrated, angry, yelling – instantly regretting my raised voice and harsh words. I can be calmly spoken and measured one minute then explode the next (in other words I’m human, although I do feel like I’m an expert in this area, sadly). My Masters of yelling compliments my PhD in impatience nicely (or not nicely at all).
I may not have any New Year resolutions as such, but I do want to yell less (or not at all really, but that may be too hard). I could say I want to give up yelling, and I do, but I’m focusing on cultivating calm.
Here are a few techniques I’m trying to a) not let the storm of anger build into cyclonic proportions, b) release the energy of frustration in less furious ways and c) find that ‘eye of the storm’ calmness in the heat of the moment and release that anger without exploding.
You might find these useful and I’d love to hear your tactics for managing storm-like anger.
1. Time out – when I can feel the tension build I’m trying to leave the situation temporarily – so rather than yelling at the kids to stop something or do something (that I’ve asked them to do several times already) I take my energy away and release it through conscious breathing not harsh words. I find it very difficult to stay in the situation and do this, but sometimes I manage to. When I return the kids have either followed my request, in which case I’m happy, or not followed it, in which case I can make it again more calmly.
2. Remembering – I try to focus on the regret of anger in the past, rather than the release of it in the present. I know that the feelings of regret are far worse than the temporary relief of letting the anger out.
3. Sitting or squatting down – we generally yell from on high – whether lording it over our kids or trying to eyeball our partner from a superior position. If I sit down, the physical act of yelling is curtailed – I may still call out a repeated request in an annoyed tone or make a snide comment in an argument, but my voice won’t reach the octave of a yell or a scream. When I bend down to my kids level, particularly when I look into my almost 4-year-old’s eyes, I can’t help but calm my voice and wonder how I could ever be angry with him.
4. Time for self – if I’ve had calm time for myself – yoga, meditation, writing or simply sitting back with a cuppa or wine and appreciating the view, I can more easily summon this feeling of calm when things rile me. The less calm we have in our daily lives, as part of our routine, the shorter our fuses are.
5. Release anger safely – storms are part of nature and frustration and anger are part of life. At the end of the day it is all the same energy. It is impossible and unnatural to feel peaceful all the time, but if we channel our frustrations into bursts of exercise, or writing (even if it comes out in vitriol on a page it is better that it’s written, not yelled out), or some other activity like cooking (think banging pots and pans) then we will have dealt with our anger in a much more positive way than yelling and screaming. I reckon crying can be a legitimate release too.
Another thing – the storm always passes. There’s always a chance to be better next time.
Love to know your anger management tips in the comments below.