cait +tiff

C / Calm down

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cherRecently, I have been writing a lot about things that are stressful or frustrating to me. I don’t usually like to dwell on negative things, but there is a lot of my plate right now. I have some massive changes coming up and I am trying to balance everything while still remaining a relatively sane and calm person. Sometimes, this can be tough to do.

Everyone has their own things that make them nuts. My triggers include pretentious, manipulative, and fake people. Another is being told how I should feel. Telling me to “calm down” or “it could be worse” while I am feeling frustrated, brings forth a very deep, dark rage, and all semblance of logic and reason escape me. It’s not my best look.

It has come to my attention that I need better outlets for my frustration. Per usual blogger-oversharing etiquette, I am turning this into a chance to change a part of myself for the better, and writing about it. Besides, I am trying to save up the real rage for the 2016 election, because Ted Cruz deserves the very worst of it.

There wasn’t a lot of conflict in my life growing up, and I am very grateful for that kind of luck. That being said, I am new to the anger thing, and I sometimes have a hard time processing it. When other people get mad and scream, I can’t handle that. It terrifies me. But anger is healthy and I think it’s good to acknowledge and process it when it comes up. There are two options for me when I’m pissed, and I have found that doing both, in order, is the best way to ease the anxious-rage-monster.

LEAN IN

1. Phone a friend. Talk to someone who won’t judge you for your flip out (and won’t tell you to calm down), and chances are things feel better pretty quickly after. Verbalizing is really helpful for me, and having it out in the world, even to one person, makes the feeling less isolating. Email if you aren’t in a place where you can speak, but make sure it’s from your personal account, and delete it.

2. Listen to really, really loud music. I opt for Florence and the Machine because of all the drums and the lady-yodel-yelling. A friend told me that she plays Limp Bizkit when she just can’t deal with people, and though I hadn’t heard that name in the better part of a decade, lyrics like “Break your f***** face tonight” really do have a nice ring to them.

3. Try to take away the power from the person that has made you angry. I thought about how little this person matters in my life, and how in the grand scheme of things, I don’t even want to remember them. No reason to let someone that makes you feel bad into your head or heart.

CHILL

1. Headspace.com. This was recommended to me by a friend, and I have just started using it. It’s a guided-meditation app, lead by a very pleasant man named Andy. He walks you through different breathing exercises and has managed to turn mediation into a game, of sorts. I have tried meditating in the past and end up making to-do lists the entire time and feel badly about not being able to not think. The verbal guide is great and does a very good job of taking me out of my head for a bit, which it great, because it gets weird in there.

2. Read good news. Reading about Trevor Noah taking over the Daily Show made me super happy this morning, as did watching an old video of my niece singing and dancing to “Call Me Maybe” and one of my nephew jumping on a trampoline and screaming “BASEBALL IS BACK.” The Onion and The Oatmeal are other solid choices.  Taking 20 min to go through things that make me happy, no matter what, are really useful in the calm down time.

3. Work it out. Stretch or run or just go walk to get a coffee. Being outside of your normal space is good for perspective and fresh air really does do wonders. So does coffee.

I realize that this, along with my other genius solutions are not revolutionary, they just work for me. I have no training in anger management, I’ve just dealt with a lot of bullshit from frustrating people. I hope some of this is helpful for somebody.

caitsig

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