In an effort to keep up with my New Year’s resolution to be less grumpy, I’ve decided to do something about my overall demeanor when faced with infuriating situations. Normally this wouldn’t be so difficult, but I happen to be severely allergic to dust, pollen, pet dander and bull$#&%. The latter, which seems to be in abundance in my immediate sphere, is also the chief reason for me to lose my temper.
Now most people I mingle with have no idea that I have a temper or even any “rough” emotions at all because I’ve learned to hide it well in face-to-face pleasantries. Alas, if they only knew…
My New Year’s resolution as a result has failed spectacularly. That is until last Sunday when I had a surprise chat with an old friend from high school. You see, she too has had to put up with this issue and she has found a remarkably simple, yet ingenious way of dealing with it.
Eksith, you need a non-sentient target for your emotions.
I informed her that I’ve already destroyed the squeezy-thing I got for Christmas after a couple of 2:00AM calls, but she said the goal isn’t to physically assault anything. She recommended that I get a ring instead. Any ring (stainless, tungsten, silver whatever…) that can serve as the focus to direct all that frustration and anger. I’m to just wear it on my index finger (not the ring finger to avoid misunderstandings) and whenever I feel that temper flare up, I just look down at the ring and slowly turn it around the finger.
It’s basically a form of meditation. You’re not going to break the ring or even your finger. You don’t need to be rough with it at all, but just by directing all of that pent up energy into the ring and slowly rotating it, you’ll feel the stress start to leave you.
I’m quite familiar with meditation as I’ve used breathing focus to get ready for presentations or just calm down before bed. But this is the first time I’m using a device of sorts to accomplish this. My only concern was that people will clearly see that I’m irritated whenever I start rotating the ring, but she just laughed and said that I should do that randomly as well, just to throw them off.
So this past Monday, I ordered a plain stainless steel ring from Amazon.
All in all, I think it has started to… WHERE DID THIS BLOODY FLY COME FROM?! IT’S BUZZING AROUND MY HEAD DRIVING ME NUTS!!! WHERE’S MY SWATTER??!! AAARRRRRGGGFFFFAAAARRRRWWWW!!!!!
All in all, I do think it has started to work. I’m definitely less grumpy now that I used to be last week even with some incredibly bad decisions that I had to deal with at work and some unexpected visits. The main thing I just have to keep in mind is that the vast majority of things I do lose my temper over is best reserved for genuine irritation vs petty incompetence and silliness.
But I think the biggest lesson I’ve learned here is that it’s sometimes better to just feel pity toward your target of irritation rather than anger. After all, anger gives me heartburn.