Anger is one letter shy of danger. FEAR means False Evidence Appearing Real. We have all experienced the emotions that have the ability to cause us strife, regret and hurt as well as affect those friends and family in a confusing negative way. "The only way out is through." We must feel. How many of us really take the time to feel, and then heal?
In teaching Anger Management to a client this past month, I was reminded of my times in Ontario when I was uneducated regarding my emotions. It was a tumultous time, figuring out what was real and what was not, what caused me to feel a certain way and how to best deal with these challenges that often arose in my new found life adventure in another province.
It is not a nice place to live. When we are numb we often make terrible decisions: do drugs, drink alcohol, play tough and controlling, and have poor communication skills in relating to people. An idea to ponder: Some may say they are drinking alcohol to numb the pain, yet how can you feel any pain when you are numb.
Men need to cry more, especially when it comes to dealing with anger and past hurts. The tears the eyes do not shed the organs feel; an old philosophy that matters. Crying is a form of strength and vulnerability, not weakness. It is cathartic and one way to educate your feelings. This is one idea I teach to audiences: crying has power because it breaks us down and allows growth to happen.
Fear is another emotion that many people face. The ultimate way to beat fear is to act when you feel fear. If scared of ziplining, then go ahead and do it! Afraid of public speaking, join Toastmasters. Scared to use your gifts and talents, listen when people tell you what you excel at and then go to work on helping make a difference with your abilities. It really is that simple...if we believe.
Feel your feelings, all of them. Share how you feel with trusted friends; they will not judge you. In dealing with anger, practice the four Ds:
1. Deep Breaths (through the diaphram; 10 to start)
2. Delay your response; take time to think if what you will say will hurt or help.
3. Drink water; a great distraction.
4. Do something different, to keep your mind off of the situation for a period of time.
When you receive a nasty text or email, practice the 24 hour rule: no response until a full day is over. Feel all the feelings that this has caused you: fear, anger, sorrow, sadness, disappointment etc. Talk with friends. Respond when ready and try to attack the problem, not the person. And of course, FEEL your feelings.
When we bury our feelings without processing them, they always resurface in some way shape or form. What goes down, must come up. The feeling then often comes up in a different form, and this can create stress or uncertainty. If you were not taught to feel your feelings as a child, learn now how to let your emotions make you the best possible version of yourself. If you have children, teach them how to feel. Boys are expected to be rugged tough and masculine, but it is okay to also have moments of sadness and sorrow. What you feel, you will heal. First, however, you must feel.