How to be grateful when in reality you want to punch somebody in the face

This happened to me yesterday. I haven’t felt anger for a long, long, long, long time. That’s not an exaggeration, I’ve honestly kept a lid on it for ages.

And then yesterday… the combination of lack of sleep, a blatant disrespect towards me (or my ego shall we say), and general trashy behaviour in a space I should feel comfortable and safe – was enough to make me spring out of bed, yell profanities, slam some doors and produce some rage-fuelled tears all the way to the nearest bus stop.

It’s no surprise I ran away, heck I ran away to New Zealand when my relationship ended, but I’m actually an advocate of this method. By ‘running away’ you remove yourself from the situation, and although I did yell and shout on my way out it wasn’t directed at anyone and therefore it didn’t make a bad situation a whole lot worse. So that’s my step 1; remove yourself from the situation (try to refrain from swearing if possible).

The next logical thing to do would be to calm down, and I think one of the ingredients to a successful ‘calm down’ recipe is environment. I live near Lake Garda, so I had an abundant choice of peaceful locations to choose from. I chose a town about 15 minutes away where I knew I had a good friend. Which is bonus points for environment, like sprinkles on our calm down cake. That makes step 2: find a supportive environment, find a supportive person if possible.

Then let it all out. Your mate will listen or if you don’t have a mate go through all of those emotions, feel them all and then breathe it out. Which brings me to step 3: BREATHE IT OUT. So important. Feel the rage- then let it go. This actually took me all day (I kid you not), but lots of tea, lots of ice cream and a bath later I finally deflated a little. Deepened my breathing a little more. I didn’t meditate- but I should have, that would have reduced the ‘calm down phase’ significantly.

At this stage, this is the point where you can foster that gratitude. I truly believe there are so many things to be grateful for in any given situation, and it immediately softens my heart a little. I start off by thinking of things right there that moment I’m grateful for; health, trees, my eyesight, oxygen, friends, tea (thank the bloody Lord for whoever invented tea), water, etc. And then once I’m well and truly in the swing of things I can deal with the situation with a calm composure.

If it a specific person that has made you angry, think of the reasons why you are actually grateful for them in your life, so that when you do eventually approach them you are already on a more harmonious level. Which makes gratitude step 4. In my particular situation, I bit the bullet and apologised for my behaviour first. Even though I was the one who felt slighted, it’s easier to change yourself than to change anyone else and so I apologised for storming out and swearing; I did this via text message as I was in a different town at the time…

As for the resolution itself, I am about to face that particular issue right now… so I’ll let you know how that goes. Hopefully, steps 1 to 4 have paid off and step 5, resolution, will be easy.

To be continued…

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