Anger is Your Friend

As I write this, I’m pretty angry.  So much so I can’t relax and watch my show.

If I’m going to be successful at relaxing, I need to tend to my anger.

Before I delve into any kind of self-analysis, I do what I call the standard emotional screener, for my vulnerability factors.  I want to use reason to explain my emotions before I take my emotions at face value – a little of yang before I go all yin if you will.

You’ve probably heard this acronym before: HALTS.  It’s used in various programs and therapies.  It stands for Hungry Angry Lonely Tired Stressed.

Right now, I am aware I have a few of these vulnerability factors, and with that awareness, my anger dissipates enough to see two situations that rightfully cause me to feel anger.

First, have you noticed that I have not said “they make me angry,” or “I am angry?”

I choose how I feel and how I react to situations.  I do not give my emotional power to situations or other people, so they do not “make me feel” one way or the other.  I choose my feelings, and my feelings choose me – it’s a fine balance of paradoxical states coexisting, that I’ll get into in a future blog.

I also choose for my feelings to be guests, visitors, passing states of emotions – they do not define me, they are not “me.”  So I “am” not angry: I am hosting or having feelings of anger.

Now that I have empowered myself to regulate my emotions, I ask my rational mind, what are the causes of these feelings of anger?

Usually, anger is a secondary emotion.  To analyze it, we must uncover the primary emotion or primary cause of the anger: it could be loss of power or loss of control, betrayal or deception, for example.

For me, this time, it is loss of control over my schedule for tomorrow.  It looks like the assistant scheduled me for a very late appointment, and I am already getting to work early to facilitate a meditation.

To problem-solve, I am going to request our assistant that when I have an early start, to not schedule me with appointments later than 1pm, given that they run late and average about 4-5 hours.  This way, I reclaim some power over my time.

This appointment will include wait time in a lobby, so I am going to bring my laptop and use the time to my advantage – reclaiming some of that likely overtime to my own use.

The end result is that I’m not so angry anymore – I’ve made lemonade out of a day of lemons, and now I can watch my show.