The ember of anger…and how to put it out.

Ember of Anger and how to put it out!

I am going to admit that there are times I run really hot.  There are things that other people speak about and they just don’t know the real deal.  They live in a bubble and seem to enjoy it there, and that’s fine for them, except when things don’t go their way.  They then emerge with their new mantle of indignation they have been knitting in said bubble, and proudly display it.

They point their fingers, and place blame.  Never having been the one to witness a thing.  But many think it feels good to blame so place blame they do.

I get asked all the time, how do I control my anger during times like this?

This is no easy task my friends, especially if you FEEL the anger radiating through your soul.  So let’s take 3 deep breaths and walk through a process you can use when this happens.

How to put out the ember of anger:

  1. Relax.  I know it’s hard.  You know that burning in your gut like you are about to explode?  Maybe it’s that shaky feeling that makes you almost sick?  How about clenching of the teeth?  Here is what you do. Stop.  Just say stop in your head.  Now focus on a stop sign visualization.  Everything is coming to a stop in your head.  Your body.  Your reaction.  You can control it right now and you are saying stop.  Visualize the stopping of thoughts.
  2. Breathe deeply.  Place both feet flat on the floor.  Even if you are in front of someone and you are about to go off.  Take your shoes off in front of them.  They want your anger, remember?  Breathe deeply for a round of three.
  3. Verbally tell them that you need a minute.  If they cross that boundary, that is on them, but you told them to give you a minute.  Be extra nice.  Think of a disarming comment you can make right this minute.
  4. Identify a miscommunication if there was one, because 90 percent is tone.  How did they just say something to you?  Did you take it as a personal affront?  Was it really a back-handed compliment?  Or can you pretend to misunderstand and turn it into a compliment?  When you start to use the situation, the anger is then reflected back on them.
  5. As difficult as it is, stick with “I” statements.  I recently had to do this about a situation involving someone who was particularly nasty and thought the world owed him something.  He felt entitled to something that was not his in the least and was actually breaking a clear law.  No trespassing signs all over the place.  Private property.  Some people though….feel the world owes them things and that is not on you.

What if you have done all this and the anger lingers?

  1. Hot bath at home with Himalayan Pink Salt.  <<Similar to mine.
  2. Put on your essential oils in your diffuser or roller ball.  Might I suggest this Stress Relief blend?  Keep it at work even.
  3. Keep a Yoga Mat at your desk.  Get. On. It.  Practice breathing on it and then stretch out for a minute, then pull yourself back together.
  4. When being Zen fails you, smush the crap out of this Squishy Stress Relief ball, close the door and do whatever you want with it.  Ha:)

Last resort, cue the music and go for a dance.  Or better yet, dare them to a dance off.  Humor always wins.

20 Minutes of Anger or tips for not Hulking out

Recently I was at a talk where someone said emotions take 60 seconds to pass through the brain…while that might be true of some emotions, it is not true of all.  Take ANGER for example.  Oh yeah, that bad boy throws a fit.

How does anger respond in the brain?

The bad news…when we become angry, like really, really angry, think HULK angry, our cerebral cortex, or thinking part of the brain, is bypassed. The limbic system, or emotional center, is considered more primitive.  Okay, so to grasp this, Hulk center equals primitive thoughts, rational thoughts equals Dr. Banner.  Yes, I am a geek, but this works.  Back to the brain.

The data that we get from the outside world passes through our amygdala, where it decides whether to pass it on to Dr. Banner or the Hulk.  So basically, during the fight or flight event, the amygdala goes into action without thinking of the consequences as it doesn’t have to. This reactive incident has come to be known as an amygdala hijacking…or in geek terms, Hulking out.

What happens next?

During the Hulking out, or amygdala hijacking, the hormones flow freely.  A surge of energy follows preparing us for flight or flight…and of course, during a Hulk moment, what do you think you are going to choose?  Wellll, you don’t actually choose right then.  Unless you have your anger under serious control, during those moments, what the person says or does is not controlled by Dr. Banner…it is controlled by Hulk who smashes first, thinks later.  Unfortunately, the impact of these hormones that leads to anger can last several moments…or several days.  Yup DAYS.

According to research, on average, it can actually take 20 minutes for a person who has experienced an angry state of HULK to calm and move from functioning from the emotional area to the thinking area of the brain, thus turning back to Dr. Banner.

Hulk smash?  No.  Stay calm.

As a kid growing up in the 80’s, yes, you guessed it, I watched The Incredible Hulk.  Bill Bixby and the awesome Lou Ferrigno, who as a young girl, was scary to watch on T.V.  Ha.  My dad was frequently thought of in our house as the Hulk at times too.  He never ever remembered what he said when angry.  Yes, I still love my dad, but it needs to be referenced that I did grow up with someone frequently Hulking out around me.  My brother and I both can get angry fairly fast as well.  So how do you learn to stop the immediate rush of hormones?

Tips to tame the Hulk:

  1. Stop and breathe.  Just 3 short breaths and remember you are currently NOT in control of your thoughts…which means your mouth.
  2. Use a code word for your family which seriously tells them not to push your buttons right now.  I need a moment works as well.  Or “Go outside right now.  NOW”.  I need some air.  That might work for your kids.  If it is a spouse, move away from them and tell them that they need to leave you alone to process your anger for a while, and you can revisit this later.
  3. Get some exercise or yoga.  It is well-known that exercise increases serotonin and endorphins.  Why is this important?  Endorphins and serotonin are important chemicals known as neurotransmitters. Neurotransmitters are manufactured in your brain and affect your mood, energy levels and overall well-being. remember that burst of energy you are going to get up there ^^^ as the Hulk?  Use it here instead.
  4. Stick with “I feel…” statements during this time and let people know how something made you feel…not blaming, but stick strictly to feelings.
  5. Use humor to diffuse the situation if you can…quick tell me a joke.  This doesn’t always work, but it helps my teens.  They smile and then we try very hard to move past whatever it is.  If we give the anger somewhere to go, it has less control over our brain and we return to thinking faster.

A few other tips can be found in my grounding article, as that works well with people who are processing many emotions that might not even be theirs.  Check out Learning to control your highly sensitive emotions as well.  Sometimes we realize that we are reacting to emotions or even channeling other emotions around us thus bringing us to whatever level the other person is functioning at.  Take the time to remember you are not always in control, and use the tips here to get your Hulk state calmed down.


Motivational Monday…

Last week, my friend was in a terrible car accident that could have been very, very bad.  She has whiplash, but her car was totaled.  I thanked God when I found out that she and her passenger were able to walk away.  A drunk driver did not stop.  He did not even seem to see the car and smashed right into her bumper.  I read one book nightly, but I don’t usually talk about it here.  It is a devotional book that helps me focus my prayers at night.  I reflect on things and how to proceed from there.

Last night, my friend was messaging me and we talked about her pain.  She said something that was so profound for me, that I want to repeat it, and I know she won’t mind.  She said “I want to forget it, but I hurt, so I can’t.”  Wow.  I knew exactly how she felt.  We then talked about a recent situation in my life and she said “Some people have so much pain in their life that they need to slop it over everyone they encounter.  They have to keep engaging people with that pain.  It is how they communicate.”

I then knew I had done the right thing.  I have walked away from two situations that are not mine to fix.  They never were.  It was never about me at all.  I realized that these people like to be reminded of their pain.  They like to argue.  Nothing I say or do will ever change that.  They have to be willing to fix that for themselves and honestly, I don’t know if they can.

Don’t let your words be motivated by pain.  Don’t be afraid to walk away from someone who doesn’t deserve your time.  Remember what they say about that one bad apple…it really does spoil the bunch.


“Support” groups for illness.

Many of you know that I have been in a battle with genetic illness for a while now.  Some days are better than others which is why I started “Motivational” Mondays this year.  It is not only to motivate you, oh no, it is to hold myself accountable for the advice I give.  I have a hard time doing that.  Don’t tell anyone.  Anyway, I have to take deep breaths when I encounter people who make me mad just like you do.  But last night, I jumped in a battle that was not entirely my own.

Let me tell you why.  I believe that we are all here together whether we like it or not.  You do not have to like me, but you should always show some respect when you are speaking to me or others even on the internet.  It is not an invisible wall for you to shield yourself and hide your true character.  On the contrary, that’s why I said “invisible”.  You think because you are not known and standing in front of me that you can mouth off to people and no one will stand up to you.  You are sadly mistaken my cyber-bully, no manners, wanna-be a big shot guy (random angry man, not you now).

I don’t know how you were raised, maybe in a barn, but men should be taught to respect women.  Your cussing ladies out in my “support” group was not needed even if one of them always has to have the last word.  Believe me, I know how irritating it can be when people think they are right, and perhaps they aren’t, but you sir, only called them names and provided no logical reasons.  If you noticed the long-winded rant a few weeks ago between myself and lady who has to have the last word, you will note sir that I did not cuss her out.  Not even once.  What I did instead was to use 3 articles from different journals of medicine.  I quoted my doctor’s advice, and reminded her I said this was not about other people, that this was what worked for ME.  So in conclusion, remember, this quote I posted last night:  “People do not seem to realize that their opinion of the world is also a confession of character.” ~Ralph Waldo Emerson

So thanks for leaving after I called you out on your ridiculous manners.  It’s sad you are much older than me and appear to have a granddaughter.  Not sure how you would feel if someone resorted to name calling of her, but try using research to back your intolerable rant next time.

“It takes 20 years to build a reputation and five minutes to ruin it. If you think about that, you’ll do things differently.”  ~Warren Buffett

Author’s note:  this was long-ago and I have since left all of these types of groups as I personally found it did not help me.  These groups actually kept me well aware of the pain, which was not what I was trying to do.


The Squirrelinator…

5a.m.  Early.  Dark.  Need to still be asleep.  Scratch.  Scratch. Chew. Chew.  No, this was not my husband trying to wake me up.  It sounded like something was above me in the ceiling.  The only problem is, there shouldn’t be anything above me but attic space.  Gnaw. Gnaw.  Chew. Chew, chew, chew.  More creepy annoying noises followed.  I jumped up out of bed and went in my daughter’s room to grab a stool, ran back, grabbed a cowboy boot off my floor, and beat the ceiling.  This did nothing really, but leave a scuff on my ceiling.  Ha.

IT IS 5 A.M.  I am awake and angry.  I beat some more.  Eventually the noise stops.  The next night, the same thing happens at a different time.  Not sure if maybe it thought that time would make me less angry, but since I had been reading about possible reasons for this noise, I was prepared.  I ran and got the foul-smelling bottle of some ridiculous spray, maybe Dr. Doofenshmirtz has invented a squirrelinator gun, but I didn’t currently possess one, put a ball cap on, screamed a battle cry and banged on the attic door to let it know I was coming, busted up the stairs and said “take this” and sprayed this mock-animal pee smell in the direction of the noise.

It got quiet.  Mu ha ha.  I smelled gross.  Ha.  That was a tie.  The following night it was at it again.  Clawing.  Creeping, Chewing its way through my house.  This was not happening.  I am going to get you.  Unfortunately, none of the “Turtle Men” type services had called me back.  My husband finally found a service that could come out the next day.  That meant one more night of the noises.  By the time the guy arrived the next day, I was willing to offer him a cobbler and some sweet tea just to get this thing gone.  He was only going to do an “exterior” check and offer 3 different solutions, all at different prices.  I said how about this, go in the attic, get to where it really is, and then we’ll see.  He did NOT want to go in there, but I shamefully batted my lashes and said please.  He went.  I went.  I showed him where I thought it was playing.  Ick.

That night, I slept peacefully.  It did not make a sound.  It was caught in a trap on my roof.  A humane trap.  He came the next day and took the thing away.  He has to come back next week and do the same thing “just in case” there are more.  Let’s just say it made me want to clean out the entire attic, which will be the next step.  Sigh.

“When angry, count to four; when very angry, swear.”  ~Mark Twain

Mind your hissy fit…

Sitting in the doctor’s office thumbing through a magazine I absorb the conversations around me.  I was there quite a long time, so several sets of people came and went.  An elderly couple were discussing how someone they knew needed a job.  They hoped she would find one soon (I did too even though I have no idea who they were speaking of).  Then a man came in and sat by himself.  A woman in a red top came in and loudly checked in and then greeted the man and sat by him.  Immediately they began talking about a company that she presumably worked for and she began using stock market terms, so I tuned them out.  Every now and again she would whisper loudly about capital, overhead, and some other nonsense while I read about the most delicious fig recipes.  Another couple came in and sat near me who replaced the one talking about a job.  This couple was funny in an odd way.  She was staring daggers at him while he tried to be funny.  Her hands were bruised and she was older, and he said she made him sick with the flu.  She told him it was his own fault.  He said something about sharing things and she gave him the “you need to be quiet now” look.  She mentioned the name of a doctor and it took me a minute before I realized he worked with the local oncology practice.  I flipped through my magazine as loud money couple continued to WHISPER so loud I wished they would call me.  Nope.  They called him.

Loud woman got up and said I am Mrs. Loud, so I get to come with him.  The girl behind the door politely said, we are just getting vitals, but you have your appointment after Mr. Loud, so you have to wait here.  She said, no, I want to come now and I get to come in with him for his appointment anyway.  Girl behind door politely said, you have your own appointment, I have to ask my office manager.  Mrs. Loud started making a scene.  I know my rights and I am not breaking hippa or anything as he wants me there.  Girl behind door politely says, have a seat Mrs. Loud, my office manager will be out in a minute.  Mrs. Loud screams at the girl that she better get to go back there, kicks up her foot at the door and slams it in her face, all the while mumbling under her breath about “the nasty little girl” or something to that effect.  It was all I could do to continue to thumb through my magazine.  Breathe in, breathe out.  This is not your plaaaaceee.  Breathe in and out.  She will get herrrsss.  In my head it sounded like Eddie Murphy in The Golden Child.  You know the scene in the temple?  Yeah.  That’s what I imagine when I repeat a mantra.  Ha ha.  Sorry.  I find humor in odd places.  I peek up at the odd couple near me.  Quiet.  Wonder what they are thinking?

I get called next.  Yes, an hour later.  I calmly tell the nurse hello, and as we get in the room I tell her not to pay the lady any attention who was rude.  She says she will let her wait as she is the office manager and the lady just wanted in on her husband’s appointment because she thought she could bump up her own time.  It didn’t matter that other patients were waiting.  Mrs. Loud was ready to be seen.  The quiet girl comes around the corner and heard me telling her it was okay.  She asks if I heard or saw the whole thing.  I said yes, but don’t you worry.  There is one word for her.  Karma.  That’s all you have to know.  She will get back the hatred she just put out there for you.  That was uncalled for.  The lady next to me has cancer, and some people can barely make it in the door.  Mrs. Loud saw only what she wanted to see.  She saw that you weren’t giving her what she wanted so she threw a loud fit.

Heart Shaped Medicines

Attention seeking behavior in adults is just plain sad.  It is one of the unhealthiest dynamics in an adult relationship.  These types of people seem to thrive on being loud and being heard.  There are lots of different reasons why these people do this, but quite frankly, I don’t have time to figure out why.  They need to figure it out for themselves or they will never change their ways.  It is damaging to everyone around them.  Some of them are jealous, some suffer from self-esteem issues, and others are just plain arrogant like the woman today.  The best thing to do around these people is to continue to be positive.  I know, it sounds crazy, but if you indulge them, you are enabling.  If the behavior worsens, usually this means the person is really seeking attention in any way they know how, and unfortunately for them, it is in a negative way.  Once you acknowledge what is going on with them, it should help until the next hurdle arises.  Here is a small article to help your loved ones stop the cycle.

“Those who are unhappy have no need for anything in this world but people capable of giving them their attention.”  ~Simone Weil

Stop the madness…

A friend told me a story the other day and I gave her bad advice.  Oh, not on purpose of course, but even as I said it I knew I was talking out of anger.  It’s not the first time that has happened and it won’t be the last.  I also prefaced it with you probably shouldn’t listen to me as this makes me really mad.  I’m not sure that helped, but maybe it did as she did her own thing anyway and it was the right thing to do.  She accepted the apology of someone.

You see, I am a very protective friend, and as I have gotten older, I am not afraid to tell people how I really feel.  The problem is, I have developed a bad habit lately.  If I don’t like what is going on in my life I basically leave the situation.  I stop talking to the person and move on.  The reason I have started doing this is because the only reaction I can control is my own.  I can’t control what the other person does or says, but I can control how I feel and I feel like I don’t have a great deal of time for bullshit quite frankly (I cuss like a sailor when I am mad, and I am working on that too.).

The truth is in the quote that I am ending with tonight because each day the pain of whatever you are going through will ease up until one day you might actually reflect back on something and realize how dumb the argument was to begin with.  You have two choices…you can own it or let IT own you.  Yes, that’s my quote.  So here is the lesson for today:

“That’s the reason they’re called lessons, because they lesson from day to day.”  ~Lewis Carroll

Anger can be useful…

In the spring, I was in the worst pain I have ever been in.  It started last year, and continued for many months.  Since I already have Porphyria Cutanea Tarda and Hereditary Hemochromatosis, I spent 8 months trying to find a doctor who believed that my pain was indeed getting worse.  When I finally found someone to listen, it was what I had researched.  See earlier posts under the search title of health to follow that thread.  I was then diagnosed with Hashimoto’s disease, and had every symptom listed.  The problem is, once you have gone through so much pain to get to a diagnosis just to help you understand how to manage what you have, you start to get angry.  Anger can be useful after going through pain.

I started working out and it really helped me for a while.  Then I went to an endocrinologist who suggested I take a smaller dose of the pill I was on that seemed to be helping me.  Now my thyroid was working overtime.  I was “hypo” then it went into “hyper” mode (friends may joke now and say I was already hyper).  I started feeling the pain come back.  I haven’t spoken of it to many people because I don’t think they understand what it feels like to be me.  That’s the honest truth.  Someone said hi to me by patting me on the back and I thought I was going to jump out of my skin it hurt so bad.  They happened to get my shoulder blade.  The other day, someone else patted my arm and it hurt for a long time after.  I started to get discouraged again.  Sometimes its hard fighting the same fight over and over.

Then I remembered to get angry.  I can use that to my advantage.  I also know that there are many people out there just like me.  Even if we have never met, I know you are with me in spirit just as I am with you.  When you get discouraged, hear negative things from the doctor, or just want to give up, remember to get angry instead.  I’ll be mad right along with you.  I will also go to the gym and race the elliptical machine to some angry music.  So, come on and get mad with me.  We can beat this.

“Anger is not bitterness. Bitterness can go on eating at a man’s heart and mind forever. Anger spends itself in its own time.”   ~Madeleine L’Engle, A Swiftly Tilting Planet