How many people do you know who appear zen on the surface but are absolute nutters (and not in an endearing way)?! I actually decided to write this after recently spending some time in wellness, supposedly zen-type environments. I’ve noticed that while there’s more choice than ever of things that promise to bring calmness, there’s still so many people who are feeling so angry. So, what’s going on?
How do you order up a slice of calmness? Colouring books, ‘positive vibes’ homeware and stationery or a relaxation app, maybe? Commercialised calm therapy, is everywhere.
It’s generally accepted that being calm is a good thing and the things that promise to help bring calmness are packaged in a variety of ways. Generally, people pride themselves on being calm. Unfortunately, calmness isn’t a buy in a box type thing. The different offerings of calm therapy may help, especially momentarily but unless the calmness becomes a part of your everyday living (which I’m dubious as to whether surrounding yourself with ‘happy vibes’ notebooks does), the impact will only be at best, a fleeting encounter.
What about help for the times when you feel or are losing it?
As anger is often regarded as negative, and increasingly perceived as weak, maybe this is a less comfortable topic. So, no wonder anger management isn’t quite so celebrated; the anger is often shamed and the help is masked. Common advice for dealing with anger is to stay calm, bite your lip, grin and bare it but really this isn't dealing with the issue. While ‘Keep calm and carry on’ was maybe very appropriate for the nation’s morale during The Second World War; as an everyday and long term strategy, I don’t feel that it’s working out for us. I believe that this is pushing people to lurk in a place between feeling anger while portraying an image of calm; characterised by muttering under their breath, aggressive driving behind the comfort of the wheel; and an acceptance of passive aggressive behaviours.
Being angry is a natural emotion that we’re all familiar with. Although we all experience it differently, addressing your anger in some way is a win. This does not need to be revolutionary; some of the most effective ways are the most simple: for example, talking and communicating. We need an avenue for our anger to be released.
Just as you decide to stay calm, bite your lip, etc, it’s your choice whether you choose to do something to release your anger with control (or not). You can nurture your calm side with the help of all the calm therapy in the world, yet still lack the control over your angry side and experience temper, anger and rage, or maybe just jump straight into a rage. By not shaming anger, I’m not wanting to glamorise it either, it’s often not pretty. I do feel that it’s so important to give attention to all your emotions though and help for temper, anger and rage is mistakenly being neglected as we buy into all things calm on a grand scale.
I’m working on growing what I offer for Temper, Anger, and Rage Management.
I’ve put my most practical tips into a concise Ten Tips for Anger Management. This is a set of quick and practical ways to approach anger management, be if your own, or someone else’s. Feel free to check it out and do something that your future self, your colleagues, partner, family and friends, neighbours, fellow road users, (I think you get the jist,) will thank you for.