Helen Keller is quoted as saying, “Although the world is full of suffering, it is also full of the overcoming of it.” When we are feeling angry some of our needs are not getting met, or our situation is not going the way that we had hoped that it would go. After asking ourselves the question of focus, “In the grand scheme of things how important is this issue?”, we may have to admit that we need to look for some help.
It is in the overwhelmed feelings that we quickly go into a “fight, flight, or freeze” defense, resulting in those around us feeling the brunt of our actions. It might very well be though that the support we need is right there for us. We may only need to ask ourselves,
- What resources do I currently have to deal with?
- What resources do I need to develop to better cope with the stressor?
We will call this the “resource principle”. When there is a stressful event in your life, ask what resource do I currently have that may help me? If we just explode it is likely that we have not asked ourselves about our current resources.
If you are a parent or a teacher and your child or students are pushing some buttons for you, you may have forgotten your love for exercise, meditation or you may have forgotten that you have friends that might be able to help you see a solution. It could be you have a coach in your life to turn to, but have not done so out of feeling that you should be able to handle this yourself.
You may ask the second question, “What resource do I need to develop to better cope with this stressor?”. Do I need to ask for help? Do I need to improve a skill like assertive communication, humor, or not taking myself so seriously, to deal with this situation. Or we may combine “what will this matter in 3 years” with a new resource to be developed.
We may be stressed at work, and really the answer is just asking for the help we need from a co-worker, employer, or an adviser friend. Many times the help is right there if we can take a deep breath and see it and ask for it. Doing these things will take a lot of the power out of the stressor, resulting in the anger subsiding.