It’s So Easy to Stay Mad: When You’re So Done With Everything.

When you’re so done with everything.

These days, it’s so easy to get mad, and stay that way.
I was just thinking this after an intense Labor Day weekend. Most of it was fun.    My family and I went hiking to forest preserves and biking around town. Hints of Fall are creeping in, with shadows getting longer and a slight chill in the air in the morning and at dusk.
The weather is getting more tolerable, now that it’s a wee bit cooler. The Pumpkin Spice Latte and those good caramel drinks are back at the coffee places.  
School is on again . In Northern Virginia, kids are mostly going online.  We’re six months into the pandemic and it’s getting old.
Opinions differ on what we should do, how much we should worry, when and how to go back to work and socializing.  Sometimes, we get unsolicited opinions and advice, and we feel invaded or judged.  And, well, tensions build. I was driving down my street on the way home yesterday and passed a neighbor’s house. The guy outside turned toward my car, looked at me, and gestured with his hands flat, pushing downward. I waved at him. A minute later, I realized what he was signaling. It looked like his gesture meant, “slow down”.
And I got VERY annoyed. After I pulled my car into the driveway, I had an urge to storm over there on foot and start lecturing him about who does he think he is, telling me to slow down, when he and his family and friends are always out there without masks, but of course it’s all about them, etc. Words to that effect.
I’m glad I didn’t actually do it. But I did envision it. In that moment I was aware of my anger, accepted it, sat with it for a minute…But thankfully, I didn’t act on it.
So maybe he was being annoying. And maybe I was driving a bit fast for our relatively quiet street. It didn’t hurt me to slow down.  But, still.
 Do you feel sometimes that your moods are swinging more?  Like even if you are overall doing well, having a good day, but then something happens, your mood takes a nose dive? If so, you’re not alone.  Whatever life concerns we already had have been exacerbated by working at home (that is, if our jobs and school even allow us to do that) and being with our families or roommates almost constantly. We are saving lives and health, but it’s hardly ideal for our kids to be learning remotely. And to top it off, it’s an Election Year. Not exactly things that contribute to calm and cool living.
It’s understandable that you feel on edge.
There’s a whole lot of stuff to be charged up about.
So what can you do?

The things you read about with unplugging from news and social media?  They really help. The internet can be a double-edged sword. Right now, we are relying more on these outlets for resources, work, and social connection. But they can also be hotbeds for angry discourse and hurtful statements.  The psychologist

Brene Brown

 once aptly referred to the “comments” section of something she posted,  “the cesspool.”

I find that if I spend too much time scrolling through social media and news, my mood starts to tank. So, its really important to limit screen time and keeping interactions this side of civil. I have a better day if some chunk of it is spent in 3-D.

Here’s a good adage that helps me when it comes to potentially tense interactions: 

Is it kind, necessary, or true?

 

It should ideally be at least 2 out of these 3 things if you engage with someone.  I don’t know who said it. I just find it helpful.  
In the moment, I could really have let off steam by snapping at my neighbor. I could maybe have said things that were true (at least from my point of view), but they wouldn’t have been kind or necessary. And there are times when these folks have done me good turns.  It’s been years since we’ve chatted, but that counts for something.
And even if they hadn’t….What would I have added?
I haven’t always responded mindfully. None of us are perfect, and we get mad and let it out sometimes. The issue is, is it getting to be your modus operandi? Does it help?
But pushing your feelings down only helps for so long. So, what do you do with them? They are still there. They came from somewhere, and they can still take up time and energy.

As I’ve discussed on my videos, it always helps to just step back and observe your thoughts and feelings. 

Tara Brach

describes a nifty process to work through difficult feelings with a technique called R.A.I.N. 

We need to first know what’s there, before we can work on it.  This can be true of just about anything that is causing you anger, hurt or pain.    And sometimes, we want to talk to someone. The main thing is, even now, you don’t have to go at it alone or bottle it up.    
But you also want to talk to someone who won’t judge you. You want to let it out, but be understood. You want change.
This is where therapy can help. Especially if you find yourself with thoughts and feelings that are so powerful that they are getting in the way of your functioning, and they make it that much harder to be in the present. I’m especially big on the kind of work that I am doing, LSR and TIR. We start with what is charged for YOU. It might be something recent, or something from long ago. If your attention is on it, it’s important.
I don’t challenge your viewpoint. I help you look at the stuff that is charged in a way that will bring you relief and resolution. I believe in this method, not only because I’ve been trained in it, but I’ve been on the receiving end of it, too, and I can tell you that it works. It has helped me.
Sometimes, we just get plain tired of pushing things down that are charged. It costs us. We need to work through these things, but in a way that helps. This work gives you an opportunity to bring it up and look at it in a contained, guided way, so you get relief without all the fallout and kickback that can happen of we just react in daily life.
And this can lead to a better, more self-aware existence.   Yes, even during a pandemic and an Election Year!  To me, that’s totally worth it.

What can you do?

Call me

I’ll give you a free, 10-minute consultation.  If we decide to go ahead and schedule, we”ll  work together to bring you relief and resolution for a better quality of life.

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“Sometimes, we want to talk to someone. The main thing is, even now, you don’t have to go at it alone or bottle it up.”