Don't get angry!
Laugh instead as you move ahead
Recently I saw a toddler fall over then look to its father before responding, the father laughed and said, “that was funny”. The toddler smiled and got up. Equally, the father might have looked concerned and the child might have cried feeling it was hurt. In either case the child was learning its response to its internal feelings from the key adults around it.
Somehow, we have learned that when something inconvenient happens, we ‘naturally’ respond in a variety of ways:
Catastrophising – this event will ruin my whole day!
Misattributing causation – look what you made me do!
Over generalising – this is always happening to me!
Over demanding – things like this just shouldn’t happen!
Inflammatory labels – only a complete idiot would have done it like that!
Each of these provides a self-justification to get angry about what has happened and will often appear in a cascade (in any order) leading us to feel ever more righteous in our anger.
Yet, the reality is that something has occurred – fact - and life will go on more easily without any of these internal processes taking place. They do not add to our wellbeing, nor to our ability to move ahead, nor to our ability to get on with those around us. The opposite, in fact.
Better would be immediately to seek a solution or workaround to move forward to an improved outcome.
The first set of processes lead to red brain triggering, seeking a solution uses the blue brain.
The only justification for anger seems to be the presence of injustice and even then, the momentary flicker of feeling is to motivate us to act to find a better outcome.
Most of the time stuff happens, no big deal, just get on with it – laugh at the things that happen to you, much better than getting angry.
John Corrigan is an expert in helping individuals to bring their whole of mind to their daily life and increase their effectiveness and the effectiveness of those around them. This expertise scales from the individual to the team to the organisation. At the core of this work is the practice of encounter. Earlier blogs can be found here.
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