When you are living by yourself, anger can play a huge factor in you happiness. It is a burden and we carry it around with us, and when we let it get the better of us we end up not enjoying our lives very much. I have been really fortunate in my life to come into contact with people ho have really helped me learn to understand and control my anger.
I’m not entirely certain how I ended up there, but in the third grade I stated going to counseling during my lunch hour, with a woman named Ms. Daily. I never learned her first name, I suppose my 9 year old self never thought to ask, and that is a shame because I have her to thank for a lot of the person I am today. At first, I didn’t particularly like going, I didn’t ever see my friends and her office was the size of a closet, lined wall to wall with pictures and stuffed animals, but eventually it grew on me and she let me invite my friends. I ended up enjoying so much that I ate lunch with her everyday until I left elementary school.–She was a great listener and she also gave me some really great advice. The the best piece of advice she gave me was a remark toward the way I handled my anger. She told me to ” count backward from 10, and if it doesn’t work the first time do it again, and again, until it does”. I know it sounds silly that I would retain such a dumb small thing but it really does work. I have been doing this since the third grade and I can honestly tell you that it works.
My second piece of advice isn’t really advise at all, its more food for thought. It came from a Lutheran Pastor by the name of Alan Field, at the time he was giving a workshop/bible study on the topic of anger. He talked about coals as a metaphor for anger. Everyone has a coal and we keep it inside us, in the pit of our stomach. Every time we get mad or frustrated we burn that coal. And we are constantly caring around this burning coal with us everywhere we go, and we just keep lighting it on fire, and the burning get worse until there is nothing left to burn, until we are numb. I took this image home with me and processed it until the wee hours of the night, and came to the only conclusion I could. I have to let go! I know, obvious right? It isn’t though, because if it were, everyone would be happy. So, I have this motto now, and it goes like this “If it isn’t going to matter in a year, forget about it.” You would be amazed at all of the things that you get angry with on a daily basis that are not even going to matter in a week, let alone a year. A year is a long time. Think about what you were doing last year at exactly this time… does it matter now?
These are not the only things that help me control my anger, but they are probably the most important to me. I can’t promise that they will work for you, but if you ever find yourself in situation where you are angry and frustrated, try them, maybe they will work for you too.