GETTING THE BEST OUT OF ANGER DURING THE HOLIDAYS
The holidays are a time when we might feel we should be feeling “merry” or bright but in reality, even though these days might be filled with parties, family gatherings, sparkling lights and lots of decoration (not to mention the food), they are, in many ways, just days of the year like any other. They are days where lots of things happen around us, in our minds and where we can be accompanied by all sorts of emotions.
So just like any other day of the year there are lots of things that can push our buttons and leave us feeling angry, sad, ashamed, guilty or afraid. We might not think these are the right emotions to feel but that’s exactly it, there is no right way to feel. Actually, if we only felt merry during this time of year, that would be strange. What’s more, all emotions show up for good reasons and they just want to help us, so even though they aren’t all pleasant, they are all good.
Anger has a Gift for Us
We wouldn’t want to wish anyone an Angry Christmas, or Frustrating Christmas, but if we do feel Angry or any of it’s cousins (Frustrated, Furious, Annoyed, Irritated, Helpless, Resentful..) then it’s worth noting that these feelings might be valid and actually just show up wanting to help us out.
Say for example, you and your siblings or some friends decided to share the making of the Christmas dinner and even though you were very busy, you found the time to make your grandmothers recipes. When your siblings arrive, one of them brings a store bought alternative and the other forgot to bring her part all together. You are furious and you might snap at them, start an argument, complain or eventually just hold the anger in and become quite and cold towards everyone, which will ultimately not lead to a pleasant Christmas dinner for anyone.
So here’s the deal, Anger comes because it wants to help you to make things right (pull together an incomplete Christmas dinner) and to achieve your goals (have a wonderful Christmas dinner with your family or friends). It brings with it the gifts of Energy and Motivation and we just need to channel these gifts in the right way. So the key question is, “How can I use this Energy and Motivation to make things right and achieve my goal?” Your first answer might not be the one that brings about your most desired result. So stick with it and explore how you can use these gifts (Energy and Motivation) in the best way possible.
You could, for instance, channel the Energy into quickly finding a way to make the missing dishes or something else in their place. Or the Motivation might lead you to finding creative solutions like a spontaneous team cooking challenge, with everyones hands on deck to buy and cook what was missing. It might actually end up being a fun and bonding moment with the family and would still enable you to have the perfect Christmas dinner and a good time with the family.
How to Use the Gift in Anger
1. Get clear on what exactly you are feeling. Take a few minutes and really ask yourself what exactly you are feeling. It’s hard to find the right words just from the top of your head, so it helps to have a list (here is the Feeling Magnets list of emotions for your reference) or if you have Feeling Magnets, use them.
2. Recognise the gift in the emotions you are feeling. Once you know what you are feeling (and there are generally many feelings at once), consider what gift that emotion is bringing you. Here is a quick overview of some of the gifts in each emotion.
3. Decide how you can best use this gift. Knowing the feeling and the gift it is trying to bring you, helps you to be able to consciously choose how you want to channel each gift.
So for these holidays, our suggestion to you is to look at your feelings differently. Look at them as the bearers of gifts for you that have great intentions. Consider how you can best put them to use so that they help you instead of getting in your way. Give it a try and see for yourself what a difference it makes.
Do you feel Anger about something else and don't see how you might be able to use the gift in it? Comment below.
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