Strategies for gaining control of your anger at work
News Desk || shiningbd
The place we always start with our work together is with what we can control. The emotions.
You see, emotions are like a diagnostic light on a car dashboard, but the messages are from your unconscious/subconscious mind. This is the place where all of your juicy wisdom is stored, where your highest and best self sheds light on how it could be instead.
First, they come on yellow. This is a sign from your unconscious that, "Hey. I'm just popping in to let you know that I really don't think this is what you want, so you might want to do something about it." The emotion you are experiencing is a warning that something needs to change due to what you are feeling.
Emotions are energy in motion. They are meant to move someone or something toward something different.Next, the warning light turns red. Things are getting more serious, and your unconscious pops in to say, "Um, ok. It's been a little bit, and I've been trying to help you deal with this, but I don't see that you've made any change." The emotion you feel gets more charged, and you are feeling it more deeply and more often. At this point, this person or situation is on your mind a lot. You get steamed about it. You daydream of awful (but maybe perfectly appropriate in your mind) things happening to this person. You rehearse the script in your mind of what you would say to tell them off.
Finally, the car quits working because you've ignored the lights telling you there was a problem. This is when you are saying something out of frustration that you shouldn't have said. You're reacting in a way that wasn't appropriate, and instead of the other person getting their just reward, you're in the doghouse instead.
As long as you are being guided by emotions, the people and situations that trigger them have control. You are putting your focus and energy into that instead of what you want and deserve. So how do you change that?
Here are three strategies for gaining control of your frustration and anger at work.
1. Catch it. Be aware of when you are triggered by someone or something. That awareness will allow you to get ahead of the situation and avoid going down a long, slippery path of steaming, rumination and generally feeling out of control with your emotions. No change can happen without awareness. So, even if you get pissed off but become aware of it after, that's still a win.2. Challenge it. So often, we push it down, tell ourselves to power through it, or to get over it. That is the opposite of what you want to do. What that does is twofold. One is disrespecting the wisdom and guidance coming from you at the core of your being. You are essentially disrespecting yourself and what you feel authentically. Two, it puts the energy somewhere in your body. Remember, emotions are energy, and when you stuff them somewhere and don't deal with them, it can get ugly in a hurry. Especially with frustration and anger, two very strong and powerful emotions that can physically harm the body when held onto for too long.
What benefits you to do instead is to dig into the problem with the person or situation. What is under the surface of it? How is this a problem for me? When you get an answer, ask it again. How is this a problem for me? Keep asking that question until you get to some "aha!" Pay attention to the "stories" that come up from your unconscious due to this inquiry. This will allow you to get to the heart of what it's about so you can do something about the root cause instead of wasting your energy on the surface level irritation, frustration and anger.
Once you've discovered the root cause, there are ways to release emotions, such as journaling, talking it out, exercising, doing forgiveness work and more.
No matter what technique you use, it's a process of discovery that allows you to tap into your own internal wisdom; your answers, which have just been waiting to come out.
3. Change it. Once you start digging into the real reason you are so triggered and begin releasing the stuck negative energy, you can show up and take action differently. You begin to respond, not react. You have control of how and where you expend your energy instead of it having control of you. You get a chance to choose how you interact with the person or situation, instead of it dictating how that will happen for you. You no longer get hijacked, or at least it happens less frequently.
And, you, having gone through this process, can now help others to do the same and show up as the leader you are meant to be.
Until next time, here's wishing you all the clarity you deserve.