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Ten Principles to Keep Our Anger in Check

Anger in Check

ANGER comes down to a distortion of the self in relation to the world. It is the distorted view that we are the arbitrators of truth and justice. Anger assumes privilege. Anger exercised gives us a jolt of temporary superiority.

It is fair to say that there is often much at work and the world at large to legitimately get angry about—when things are not working as we think they should. Anger always seems to be waiting in the wings. Our anger is too often out of proportion—that is to say, out of context—because our sense of self looms large. Not all anger is bad, but if we don’t deal with it appropriately, it will sap our conviction to do anything positive to improve the situation. Anger can alert us to take positive, constructive action when we keep it in check, slow down, and think. Anger is a choice we make.

In Why Is Everyone So Cranky: The Ten Trends Complicating Our Lives and What We Can Do About Them, author Leslie Charles provides us with ten principles to keep our anger in check:

1. Live with purpose. Have a sense of who you are and what your life stands for. Connect your sense of purpose with your everyday behavior to keep your life meaningful and congruent.

2. Enhance your self-awareness. Stay focused on your purpose.

3. Quit judging others. Take the energy you put into criticizing, judging, or sniping at others and channel it toward behaviors you can actually do something about: your own. Give up trying to mind other people’s business and focus on what you need to do so you can become the person you want to be.

4. Capitalize on your innate wisdom. Trust what you know and start practicing the good habits and healthy behaviors that will enhance your existence.

5. Make conscious choices. Recognize when you’ve made the choice to get upset or angry. Although you can credit someone else for being the source of your bad mood, you’re the one who’s picked up the baton. Accept that you’re really not a victim of circumstances; you’re the victim of a poor choice: letting someone else ruin your mood.

6. Think of yourself as a winner in the game of life: celebrate the positives. Study the negatives so you can prevent their recurrence.

7. Surround yourself with support. Spend your time with people who care about you, like to hear about your successes, and openly allow you to share your “boast moments.”

8. Replace negative emotions with positive ones. Quit worrying about trivial matters or running your life by fear. Assume good news unless you know better. If it’s bad news, accept, adapt, or take what you consider to be the most appropriate action.

9. Stay connected. Invest in your relationships; enrich them. Yet people you care about know they’re important in your life through acts of appreciation. Be generous with compliments.

10. Choose compassion over crankiness. Instead of getting mad at some ill-mannered person who treats you rudely, think about how miserable he or she must be; think about what it would feel like to be that person at that moment.

If we assume the best in people—positive intent—we would circumvent a lot of anger.

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Posted by Michael McKinney at 10:52 AM
| Comments (0) | This post is about Personal Development



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