The benefits of anger

Anger is generally viewed as harmful, damaging, and destructive. But I’d like to take another perspective- anger is motivating, energizing, and your mind telling you to take action because things are not right.

I’ve struggled with managing anger my entire life. At times it has gotten me in some fairly serious trouble. However, it has also helped me tackle problems, get stuff done, and stick up for myself and others when needed.

Self-mastery is the key. It is difficult to master your emotions, especially one like anger that at times feels like a train rolling downhill. By applying mindfulness and the principle of detachment, there is an opportunity to redirect that anger towards useful purposes.

It’s not easy and it won’t happen overnight, but slowing down and recognizing the source of that anger may help you channel it towards something positive. Something like hitting the gym or signing up for a boxing class.

Either way, don’t beat yourself up for being angry. There is plenty to be angry about. Just don’t let it cause you self-destruction.

7 Tips to Manage Anger

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All of us struggle with anger to some degree or another, however, the feminization of society is making all anger- even the anger of hockey players- increasingly unacceptable. Here are 7 tips to help you manage anger in a soft, feminine world:

  1. At the moment of anger, meditate, say a prayer, and take a few deep breaths. This can save your hide and perhaps the life of someone else.
  2. Exercise regularly and consider an outlet like martial arts or boxing. Men were evolved to have the capacity for violence and yet we have so few acceptable outlets for it in today’s world. I recently started a boxing class and I’m having a blast.
  3. ALWAYS get enough sleep. I think for most people this is a necessary condition for decent behavior. I know that my anger is like a Porsche versus a Volvo when I’m not well rested.
  4. Get to know any other triggers. Self-awareness is so critical to growth. There are many ways to do it, figure out one that works for you.
    There are a number of tests you can take to get a better understanding of yourself- Johnson O’Connor Research Foundation, Jordan Peterson’s Self-Authoring program, and Myers-Briggs are some of the countless options out there. 
  5. Leave the room, take a walk. With some people you just have to do this.
  6. Splash cold water on your face. This is known to work, but requires extracting yourself from the situation somehow.
  7. Try to remember your values at all times. If you are a Christian, try to see the face of Jesus in your enemy or if not or you prefer, the Buddha or Gandhi or MLK.

A mindless moment of anger can ruin your life in 2019, seemingly like never before. Protect yourself.

Why I Quit Cussing

After four decades of cussing people out, I’ve decided to stop. I used to be a road rager, an f-bomb-dropper, a middle-finger-raiser, but no more. I’ve decided to exert some self-control and do better.

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Believe me, I see things all day long that make me want to pop off. But over time I’ve learned the best way to influence others is by modeling good behavior. Showing, not telling. So I’ve tried to eliminate profanity from my life, something which has the added benefit of eliminating it from my son’s life and the lives of others around me.

I also know that profanity is a sort of temperature of my mood. If I start cussing, it means I’m getting pretty angry about something. Anger is another thing I’m trying to eliminate from my life.

Call it the Broken Windows theory of crankiness.

Pablo Escobar and the Male Archetype

Pablo Escobar from Narcos.

I’m currently watching Narcos on Netflix and finding myself in the strange position of being both repulsed by and kind of liking the character of Pablo Escobar. He is, of course, a horrible man. But he also is a good family man. He’s much like the Tony Soprano character- a likable, but pretty evil guy. He takes care of his family and he takes care of his crew members (for the most part). He is a provider and a protector, admirable traits to men.

This is why our culture needs stable, admirable archetypes. Without them, we start to gravitate away from the proper role model, JC.

We Are All Spiritual Beings

You can distract yourself and pretend otherwise, but the need for spiritual connection is so entrenched in the human that it is dangerous to suppress it. It will come out in you raging about your bullshit job or complaining about your life. Unless we nourish that need constantly, we succumb to the dull, earthly pains and occasional pleasures that deny us true happiness.

But have at it. Pretend we are just founts of logic and reason who just need to grasp our shared humanity. And see where that gets you.