Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Angry Bird Report

Like other negative reactions, anger, when under control, can be harnessed positively. Doing so fuels our sense of justice and strengthens our resolve to do right by ourselves and others, which is a key component of solidarity. However, anger when out of control, can leave us feeling weakened and needlessly depleted. 

The danger anger invites is that it skews our judgment with a bias toward general negativity, which is not energetically symmetrical. This inevitably leaves a person feeling "out of sorts" or out of balance. When this happens, it is best to reserve judgment on all matters until a positive shift can arise. Once you have returned to a state of balanced equilibrium, issues that appeared threatening may be seen from a new light of understanding, increasing the empathetic experience and value they can bring into our lives when corrected.

Just the words anger management sound negative, so let's instead choose to use the words HAPPY MANAGEMENT or POSITIVITY MANAGEMENT. Positivity management is the self-regulation of the flow of positive images, thoughts and emotions into your daily life. Focusing on positive messages and thoughts fosters optimism, increases a sense of gratitude, and minimizes negative thinking. 

Allowing yourself to focus on a positive future makes it more easily envisioned, increasing your chances of experiencing it. For example, teenagers who hang up pictures of the car they are working to buy is often times reported as a happier feeling than actually receiving the car. When focused on the purely positive, we can more easily see the benefits that achievement offers us and others. However, if or when gratitude is replaced with entitlement, it's time again to start over. Searching for the proverbial silver lining by looking for the positive in a situation may sound cliché, but even clichés are worth revisiting if we cannot internally maintain a constant state of positive well-being. 

Negative self-talk shifts our thoughts to the point that we change our brain, limiting our mind's ability to perceive positive emotions and thoughts. Running negative messages through your brain causes serious cognitive damage, which over time, separates you from your ability to feel happy emotions. Embracing positivity is not disrespectful to negative experiences from which growth may have arisen, but rather an honoring of the fact that the experience is no longer required to correct an imbalance. Once the lesson or experience is no longer benefitting us, it's time to let it go. 

If you feel justified in your anger, ask yourself if holding onto it is truly benefitting you. When thoughts of when you were disappointed or disappointed yourself travel through your brain, immediately remind yourself of a time when you were successful or felt happy, inspired, or loved because of another. 

Noticing and appreciating the people that bring joy and love to our lives is another way to avoid contracting the Angry Bird Syndrome. Thanking someone who has been particularly kind to you allows another to share in your gratitude. If you're looking for something more personal and instantaneous, consider keeping a gratitude journal. Write down what makes you smile, big or small, include crowning achievements, touching moments and great aspects or experiences of positive personal relationships. Giving yourself time to reflect on the positive aspects of life reminds you to slow down enough, even if only for a brief time every day, to stop and truly smell the roses. No wonder sending flowers to those we love has never gone out of fashion. 

Think about the advice you'd give a friend who was worried, and give yourself the same hopeful advice and encouragement. One simple rule is to ask yourself whether anger is making you feel righteous. If that sense of righteousness does not immediately lead to positive action, it's not righteousness you're feeling - it's an overinflated sense of ego. Ego causes us to take things too seriously. Be mindful of your reactions. The expressions on your face will give you away. If you're frowning instead of laughing, recognize it and forgive yourself for the infraction - then move on. 

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