Psychology

5 Shifts about Anger You Need to Make for a Calm Life

Written by Alden Tan

For a big part of my life I always had a problem with anger.

Particularly, what really got to me was the idea that my wrongdoers got away with it despite me doing the right thing.

I’d walk away from fights. I never talked back. I never stood up for myself.

5_shifts_for_a_calmer_lifeBut all the “right” things in life guaranteed me going home pissed off. I’d start ruminating over and over about what I should have, could have, would have said or done.

I would even create whole scenarios in my head, like how I’d fight my bully, win the fight and end up being arrested.

Crazy huh?

Do you have a problem with anger?

A lot of us misunderstand anger for what it is.

We think it’s a disease that makes us think that there’s something wrong with us.

What more, we usually seek surface-level techniques like meditation, screaming into your pillow or counting to ten that only serve to repress anger for a little bit.

No, we need to find the root cause of our anger. Anger after all, is a secondary emotion, not primary.

Then we need to make several shifts to change the way we see ourselves and the world to slowly quell the anger.

Eliminate your SHOULD rules

Many of us are angry because we believe life should work a certain way. We think people should be nice. We think that as adults, we should have gotten over our anger by now.

Unfortunately, reality will always say otherwise. People will do things to upset each other. You also can’t control your thoughts fully.

As cynical as it may sound, we need to play by reality’s rules. We can’t expect people or even us to work a certain, logical way. This is how you loosen the grip you have on life and relax.

So get rid of your SHOULD rules. Tell yourself, “Things WILL go wrong” or “It’s just how it is.”

If life wants to behave in a bizarre manner, so be it. You’re not suffering from bad luck or karma or anything like that.

Find the root cause of your anger

As said, you need to find the root cause of your anger if you want to start getting better. Otherwise, you’re just mad for no real reason at all and the anger will keep coming back in large waves even if you force it back in somewhere dark.

So what is it? Fear? Sadness? Guilt? Rejection?

For me, I realized that when I kept thinking scenarios of getting into fights (and winning) is because I actually feared losing one.

I’ve never gotten into a fight before and I was afraid I was not a real man that way.

I then got honest with myself and started asking the bigger questions.

Yup. You’ve to be honest. You’ve to ask the big questions. It’s not going to feel great. It can be terrifying in fact. But it’s something you have to do.

If you don’t, the anger will keep coming back without you understanding it.

Know that everybody is doing the best they can with what they have

If you’re like me, you’d be angry thinking that your wrongdoers or bullies get away with it, like they won over you.

But really, they don’t.

Now, it’s easy to start telling yourself that these guys are nothing but losers and that they’re suffering deep down. But both you and I know we can’t know for sure.

So look at it this way: Everybody is doing the best they can with what they have.

Some are self-aware of their problems and are ahead of others, while the rest are still searching.

This is where you simply focus on your own journey. Others’ problems are not yours.

Let loose a little and know that your wrongdoers will never win.

Anger is good

It is. Anger is a force for positive change. Many iconic people used anger for good, like Ghandi, Rosa Parks and Martin Luther King.

But yes, anger cannot sustain you, that is why you need to start experiencing life and utilizing other emotions.

More importantly though, this is the foundational shift you must make to know that there’s nothing wrong with you even though you feel angry a lot.

You’re not a monster. You don’t have a disease. There’s certainly no parasite eating away inside of you.

Anger is only bad when it makes you a hypocrite, aggressive or violent.

But essentially, anger is a good form of energy and fuel.

Make this shift and start embracing a positive change.

It’s extremely okay to feel negative

I get it. Anger doesn’t feel great huh?

It makes you frustrated, stressful, anxious and full of rage.

But… that’s the point.

Look at it this way: It’s extremely easy to get angry, break things around the house, shout at somebody or get into a fight.

It’s not easy however, to stay calm, walk away from a fight and ultimately become the master of your own emotions.

And you can’t be a master without struggling a little.

So whenever you feel anger and all its undesirable minions, know that it’s normal. It’s expected you feel that way. It’s simply a challenge you have to take on.

Don’t take the easy route. You won’t get anything out of it. Take on the challenge and you’ll get results.

Thanks for reading.

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About the author

Alden Tan

Alden Tan writes about honest and real stories at his blog. His stories sifts through the drama and fluff to give you the real goods. Check out his free book: 12 Things Happy People Don't Give a F**k About!