So why this focus on anger in a blog about international work and living? I’ve found that crossing cultures just by its nature brings out anger – just a way to assert the self against change and difference. It also seems to be a feature of working in large organizations. Sometimes it seems to be the unspoken “shadow” or “elephant in the room”. So I’ve been looking at it more.
Over on Tiny Buddha, Sandra Pawula has an interesting post on dealing with anger.
She sums it up this way:
“HOW TO TURN ANGER AROUND
Once you’re already caught in anger’s snare, what to do? When I lose it, like I did today, this is how I intentionally turn anger around and sculpt a new route of joy and happiness in my brain.
1. Take responsibility.
Whatever the circumstances, anger comes from within. I take responsibility for my emotion and don’t try to pin it on anyone else.
I allow myself time to calm down. I don’t re-engage until my heart and mind feel steady and clear.
I backtrack and apologize for my errant words. Harmful words endanger trust in a relationship. An apology may not immediately repair the hurt that’s occurred, but it’s the right thing to do and creates the space for healing to take place in the right time.
4. Transform the Negative Energy.
Think a positive thought. I try to put myself in the other person’s shoes, understand their perspective, and counter my anger with love, patience, and tolerance.
I resolve to never express another angry thought in words or deeds. Not to even let an angry thought tumble around in my mind endlessly. I know I can’t stop difficult thoughts or emotions from arising in the mind because they are the result of long entrained habits; but I don’t have to fuel or act upon them.
Realistically, I will probably trip up again, but setting a positive intention steadily reorients my behavior in a positive way.
6. Forgive Yourself.
I’m only human. I forgive myself.
7. Move On.
I let go of any thoughts about the event. It’s over and done. Better to stay in the present moment than rehash the past or artificially construct a future, which may never come to pass.
Her advice seems sound – I’m working on just staying in the present. Self-forgiveness is a practice I have way too many occasions to exercise.
For her entire article, check out:
Elephant Journal also has a post by Chris Grasso, outlining a visualization exercise on calming anger from Buddhist teacher Thich Nhat Hanh. I’m using it – so far not sure of any change, but just doing it breaks the state of anger a bit.
Here’s the post link:
To be beautiful means to be yourself. You don’t need to be accepted by others. You need to accept yourself.
~ Thich Nhat Hanh