The Bridge Between Anger And Serenity

Photo by Simon Migaj

Anger is one of the most threatening emotional states. Due to its intensity, it overclouds our judgement and leaves us bare. Once consumed by it we feel small and helpless, not to mention how anyone who sensed our rage might feel.

The bridge from anger to serenity needs to be build up from both directions – managing the external and the internal. Serenity is a self-contained state of calm, while anger is disturbance and aggressive behavior. At times of serenity we can take the opportunity and unpack triggers, understand the source of our reactions. In times of anger we need to look at ourselves through someone else’s eyes and learn how to navigate feelings that don’t benefit us.

Life is not a straight line. Anger is a sign of weakness or lack. Anger is a sign that we need to work harder to understand ourselves and others. And once we address whatever it is that anger is trying to show us, we can make room for serenity.

How to Avoid Confrontation

Photo by Trent Haaland

We raise our voice, stamp our foot and clench our fist – all signs of power that we rob our opponent from. How do we manage a conversation without feeding into this destructive pattern?

  1. We quietly listen, without interrupting our counterpart.
  2. We ask ‘how’ and ‘what’ questions – what do you think we should do next? How would you act if you were me?
  3. We treat the other person the way we would like them to treat us: with calm, respect and consideration

This is not as easy as 1, 2, 3 but I know that whenever I don’t give into the other person’s rage fit I feel better about myself. I might still not feel 100% ponies on the field tea party but I feel better than the times when I try to match anger with anger.

As a long term strategy, simply avoiding people who put all their emotions into an anger pot works better than managing constant friction. Choose your daily interactions carefully, every person we meet shapes our behavior and, to a certain degree, our identity.

Self-Pity is No One’s Friend

Photo by Bharathi Kannan

When we share disclose our challenges to someone we trust, the reaction we get doesn’t always benefit us. The classical ‘poor you’ can generate feelings of self-pity which then lead to depression. Believing that life is unjust and outside of our control leaves us no room for action.

As a generous sharer myself, it’s not always clear to me why humans choose to share the same event again and again. From a neurological point of view we can refer to the impact that the experience had on us and all the connections we kept on making post-event. But speaking about the lows of life can reflect our need for care, affection and understanding.

Reflecting love or concerns about someone can be a selfish act. It releases us from the guilt of perhaps not being present often enough in that person’s life and from a sense of duty.

But just as being in an office from 9 until 5 doesn’t mean that we’re doing a good job, so does projecting worries and victimizing our loved ones doesn’t really reflect love. All it does is generating a chain of negative reactions. Self-doubt and self-pity are often the results of misrepresented love. Don’t keep friends around who think they’re doing you a favor by taking your power away from you – the power to heal without their permission.

Self-CONFIDENCE and Being Active

Photo by Casey Horner

Are confident people busier than other people or is it the other way around?

Engaging in a high number of activities, social interaction and splitting our interest over different subjects brings together confidence in undertaking new challenges and overall self-belief.

Our brain no longer knows instinctively what’s best for us. The illusion of relaxing through passive behavior can take its toll on our body and on our mind. Passive behavior impacts our overall performance and ability to persist and succeed.

Have you ever noticed how much more energy you draw out of being active? Don’t postpone on that language class or knitting workshop. As long as you enjoy it, it is relaxing and it nurtures your self-confidence at the same time.

self-Doubt and Doubting Intentions

Photo by Katrina

We oftentimes believe that we’re doing a great job in wrapping ourselves in a shiny display of perfection until we break down at the smallest comment. More than a misplaced statements, what these reactions reveal are our biggest fears, doubts and challenges.

After soothing the wound it’s important to understand the cause. Why do we hold ourselves to standards that we are capable of achieving, without acknowledging the processes behind? For it’s clearly the fear of failure. As much as I write and talk about failure being part of success, it takes careful inner work to actually embrace it.

Adopt a practice that reminds you that you are worthy of success and capable of achieving great things. Surround yourself by people who can see you being your vulnerable self and carry on believing that you can achieving everything you set your mind to. Once the emotions are tucked in for serene sleep, analyse the situation: where do you want to go and what will take you there? Who can help you along the way and where do you have to do cut downs?

The more time you invest in planning, the less time will fear and self-doubt have to manifest itself.

Self-Care and the Question of Self-Reliance

Photo by Allie Smith

I will start this off by saying that blame is not a helpful feeling because it doesn’t lead to a solution, it leads to anger which is a safe road towards losing sight of the bigger picture.

I will also not delve into the reasons why people may or may not do what is right by them to live a glorious life in its beauty. What I am trying to convey is the feeling of personal responsibility. I was raised to trust the systems around me and to rely on them. To question the people around me and expect them to betray my trust at any given point. To trust the professionals around me – teachers, doctors, police officers.

With the twisted mantra of ‘Trust people when they are at work’ this puts me in a lonely place. Not taking control of my life because I’m waiting to be told, picked, instructed by an expert. Trusting too much and not trusting at all. If you were taught anything alike, it’s time to know that you can undo these patterns and replace them with your own.

I get excited just thinking how much more our minds and spirits can grow in power as we take responsibility of our lives and we dare to trust again.