So I woke up this morning to the most beautiful day ever. I was on the bus writing and just basking in the joy of being alive. I arrived at work and took a few minutes to enjoy my delicious ham sandwich, chewing slowing to savour every bite. Then I ate my banana and tangerine (a citrus fruit, similar to orange but sweeter, not as round, and with soft skin that you peel with your fingers). As I bite into the soft fruit, I felt the fat juicy pulps bursting and spraying sweet citrus liquid into my mouth and down my throat. All I could think was – MMmmmm…there must be a god. Absolutely NOTHING could ruin my day.
Or so I thought.
I am at work alrighty. It is the gods’ design that I should not enjoy a single day at this place. I consider it perpetual punishment for not pursuing my passion. Until I do, the gods will send me beautiful mornings then ruin it with instant “day-mare” like these (which I will not disclose since it is about my work) that will send my happiness spiralling to the ground and splintering like broken glasses into a million tiny pieces. My first reaction to the situation was ANGER. Normally I would want to do any of the following.
- Storm into my boss’ office and tell her to go (fill in the blanks) _ _ _ _ herself and _ _ _ _ this job that I don’t need (except I do)
- Run to the bathroom and scream, break things and
cry. NO. Cry is an understatement. BAWL.
- Roll over and die in self-pity – sit and let the anger transform slowing into an ocean of depression then dive deeply and drown into its bitterly cold water of self-pity and regrets. Why didn’t I study something else at university? Why didn’t I try harder to find another job? Why didn’t I pursue writing…why, why, whyyyyyyy???
Yes, the above all seem like ideal ways to deal with my anger but I learnt quickly that when I approach anger with any of the above it takes a longer time to put my million pieces of broken happiness together. So now I share my five ways to deal with anger:
1. Vent…you have to get rid of the steam. Otherwise, it is difficult to move on to the next steps. Find a way to vent. I have a “go to” person. My sweet boyfriend (thank god he finds me sexy when I am angry – awwwww!!). So I call him and curse for a good five minutes. (If I can’t get through to him then we are always signed in on instant messenger so I will drum my fingertips hard on the keyboard trying to get all my feelings out. I know he will read it when he returns.) If you do not have a “go to” person then you can also keep a book and write all your feelings down in the moment. Just find a way to get the anger out of you by expressing it in words whether written or spoken. You will be surprised at how light you feel after you vent.
2. Make a plan that you can look forward to. For me, it’s pursuing a Masters in Creative Writing. I haven’t start as yet. It is just my plan to do so and now it is something that I can look forward to with pleasure. So yes, I have a little bump in my day that almost stole my joy, but so what? I transport myself to the future when I am sitting in my creative writing workshop and Voila!! I am in a world of utter bliss again. No one can enter my mind and steal my joy.
3. Surround yourself with quotes, cartoons, or anything that brings you a sense of joy. You need to keep these in close proximity so you can always see/read it. For me, I have a sticker from Island Company (that I made my mantra) and a cartoon pasted on my cubicle above my monitor. I can see it every time I look up. The Island Company sticker was given to me by my mentor. It says:
- Quit your job
- Buy a ticket
- Get a tan
- Fall in love
- Never return
Well I already have two of the above ticked off – I am inherently tanned and I am already in love. So I focus on the other three MY MANTRA…Quit my job, buy a ticket and never return. Also, my cartoon shows a scared kid lying on a bed. He is under a sheet that is pulled half way over his face. It says “I see dumb people”. Whenever anyone at work annoys me, I picture them as the dumb person that the kid is hiding from and then I burst out laughing. Just like that I feel good again.
4. This point is similar to my third tip but it ties with the notion that laughter frees the soul. It really does. So you need to have at least one funny YouTube video that makes you laugh vigorously and endlessly. Another condition is that you cannot get tired of watching the video. I have two:
- Fat Kid on a Rollercoaster
- Charlie Bit my Finger
OMG every time I watch these videos I literally want to be ‘ROFL’ (rolling on floor laughing). So I watch these videos when my day threatens to bring me a storm called anger. My two videos may not be the funniest thing in world to you because different things make different people laugh. Find yours and watch it when you are angry or sad. Your day will return to pure bliss.
5. Finally, if you do not know this part of the serenity prayer then here it is. Study it and know it by heart:
God grant me the serenity
to accept the things I cannot change;
courage to change the things I can;
and wisdom to know the difference.
People remember that there are situation that you can control (things that you can change). Focus your thoughts and energy on those things to make a difference in your life. But there are also situations that you do not have any control of. There is nothing at all that you can do within your power to change these things. Anger is a natural part of being human but most times, we are angry at the things that we simply cannot control. So what if the rain is falling and you had to change your plans? Can you stop the rain from falling? So what if your boss is a @itch? Can you change his/her personality? Anger utilizes a lot of energy so you would waste all that energy focusing on a situation that you cannot change. When you are faced with situations like these whisper the serenity prayer to yourself as much time as it takes to get you calm and you will be wise to know and accept that there are things you can change as well as things that you can’t.
~Tips from my now peaceful soul to yours. Hope you enjoyed!!
XOXO ~CJ ©