I have the temperamental gene (ha, what, really?!). I also have clinically diagnosed pms issues and this happy combination manages to turn me into a horrible bitchwomanfromhell for a few days a month every month. (I am aware of this and have been working on it for years.) My anger issues are compounded substantially, by lack of sleep and a number of niggly worries which my regular readers are aware of and which I won’t go into here, but today I made an observation. It was probably the most blatantly obvious of revelations I have ever had, but I was still quite proud of it and so am going to share, for the benefit of anyone else who has not had it yet and who could do with a little ‘calming’ every now and again. (I’m blonde so please bear with me).
So this morning I was Ms Angry. I yelled before Kindergarten and I yelled all the way there. However, being firm in my philosophy of “Never leave / go to bed on an argument without a cuddle and saying I love you”, I made it up to my child … and then got back in the car and seethed all the way home – at myself.
I was absolutely furious, again, to the point of tears and hitting things and hitting myself …
Once home, I threw a load of washing on (‘threw’ probably being the operative word) but, while stomping back up from the cellar, I passed the old man’s door and remembered he had been quite poorly yesterday, so, hearing him move about inside, I buzzed to see if he needed anything. We chatted for 5 mins. – about him.
I then left, came back upstairs and logged on to start work. Whilst I was working I tweeted intermittently with @fleetwoodboy, a good friend I have made on Twitter and who has become very dear to me. He initiated the conversation today and I didn’t tell him how I felt. After an hour or so, I realised I didn’t actually feel angry anymore and I started to wonder:
Do we really have the ability to flick a switch and turn our emotions on or off at will?
Does anger only exist longterm if propogated … ? Instead of screaming at someone else, or even just brooding to myself, I had shelved my mood and put on a smile the moment I buzzed at the old man’s door and, because it was an action I had initiated myself, the will to be ‘smiley’ actually took over and I was. Again, in my tweets to @fleetwoodboy, I was genuinely interested in the conversation and didn’t want to bring it down by letting on that I felt pants … but in effect, despite being in horrible pain, and feeling totally washed out from the ‘monthly syndrome’, I actually started to feel a hell of a lot better. Not rocket science, I realise this, but having suffered from anger issues for many years, I do wonder what is at the bottom of it and how much we really can change. Is anger a chemical reaction? … a physiological response to something which affects us … and if it is, it blows my mind to think that we have the ability to actually change that with an emotional one.
I know there have been thousands of studies performed on the root cause of anger and how it can be treated, but wouldn’t it be great if there really was an inbuilt remedy .. called “I can stop being angry right now so I will.”
What do you think?