Allow Negatives Only a Short Time
"Anger is a short madness." – Horace
Anger is healthiest when it is short lived. We achieve more calm and ease when we are not scanning the environment for things we disagree with or when we are not in a prone position to defend against any perceived slight. We are much better off because our stress levels are reduced.
Frustration over people and situations which are impinging on our sense of what is right or how we think and feel things should or must be can spill into “a short madness”. Feeling our anger and letting it pass through is the healthy option when anger pops up. Develop the skill of processing and letting go without nursing the anger into justified condemnation, resentment and revenge. Acting out our anger usually makes a bad situation worse. Expressing anger aggressively may seem like it helps because it unequivocally lets someone know you have been offended. You may also feel empowered by your anger. But there is a price.
Too often families take on the style of communicating their grievances using anger. Retaliation, being it overt or covert, becomes the soup du jour. This puts families on a track of less-than-optimal relationships. Understanding, support, caring and enjoyment seems to vaporize and a thick atmosphere of negative energy takes over the living space. Clarity of thinking becomes a casualty of acting out anger. Loving feelings and behaviors disappear as well.
Even if we live alone we can get mired in the negatives we are hit with from news to politics, let alone neighbors or relatives we see seldom because of lost close connection over failure to accept differences. Sustained anger and all its accomplices don’t seem worth all the loss of a good quality of life. Don’t get me wrong. There are people, relatives or not, who it is the healthiest choice to separate from. Others who are so wrapped up in a toxic mindset will pollute your sense of well-being. Good boundaries and minimal contact can be a good thing. But staying angry with them does not do them or you any good.
Attaining resilience through life’s difficulties is our goal. To do this, focus on the good things you have and be grateful for them; laugh at every opportunity humor presents itself; and only allow negative emotions, like anger, to stay for only a short visit. This way the healing energy of positives will soak up your life.
-Mary Seyuin, M.A. LLP