Anger is a natural emotional response to difficult circumstances
GUEST FEATURE: By Heidi Bright, Milford, OH, Author of Best-selling, physician endorsed “Thriver Soup:: A Feast for Living Consciously During the Cancer Journey”
LOVELAND, OH (April 21, 2020) – There are so, so many legitimate things to feel angry about right now.
Best-selling “Thirver Sourp” was authored by Heidi Bright (Provided)
The basic, reliable structures of your life have collapsed, compounding your pain. You are locked up, either alone or with loved ones, as if a prisoner in your own home. It’s like you’re sitting in your personal pressure cooker, where grief, resentments, and blame build to the explosive point.
It’s something none of us have really dealt with before. It’s a hard time for all of us.
We want relief from that constant niggling agitation we might feel. Our minds acknowledge that life is way out of whack, but that doesn’t always translate into compassion for ourselves and each other. To cope, it seems easiest to disconnect our awareness from our bodies. We sometimes end up self-destructing with food and alcohol and maybe even lashing out at those whom we love. I find myself eating a lot more chocolate and popcorn these days, and I have been less patient with my son.
Even though our ways of dealing with stress can be quick fixes to ease our discomfort, they are ineffective ways of coping. While we might feel some sense of relief, these knee-jerk reactions usually make us feel worse in the end.
We can’t control these difficult external events, but we can control our internal attitudes, behaviors, and choices. We get to choose if we are going to be victims of our circumstances, or if we’re going to rise up and take responsibility for ourselves and our own lives.
If we look underneath our anger, grief, and sorrow, we will probably find an incredible sense of powerlessness, as if the floor is giving way underneath us. It may not feel like it at the time, but this sensation is just an emotion—energy in motion within our bodies. While it’s scary to feel these feelings for what they are, our emotions alone do no harm. They are the result of a chemical dump from our brains into our bloodstreams. For the emotions to lift—which is where we can find relief—these sensations need to be deeply felt without our minds running interference.
So have a seat, or lie down on your bed. Tune in to your body. Where is that irritating feeling of powerlessness sitting? Can you feel the rage putting pressure someplace inside you? If so, take a moment to feel it. Allow it to be what it is without any thoughts or words. Give it your whole, undivided attention without judgment. That’s all it wants, anyway.
Heidi Bright, MDiv., of Milford, is the author of three traditionally published nonfiction books, including the best-selling, physician-endorsed Thriver Soup: A Feast for Living Consciously During the Cancer Journey (Sunstone Press, 2015). (Provided)
Your emotions, if felt fully and deeply, will lift after ninety seconds. If it lasts longer than ninety seconds, you’re probably engaging your mind and thinking about what’s bothering you. That’s not helping you right now. Let the thoughts go, and if you can’t, write them down and shred them. Then try the process again.
Another strategy you can use is to breathe deeply while mindfully observing your anger, grief, and powerlessness. Just look at it. Don’t judge it or act on it. Instead, have compassion for whatever it is you’re feeling. It’s a human response to an inhumane situation; there is no logical reason to feel ashamed or guilty about your feelings.
Heidi Bright, MDiv., of Milford, is the author of three traditionally published nonfiction books, including the best-selling, physician-endorsed Thriver Soup: A Feast for Living Consciously During the Cancer Journey (Sunstone Press, 2015).
Learn more about Heidi and “Thriver Soup” by visiting online at: www.thriversoup.com
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