Sometimes it is better to walk away, relax and cool down before a confrontation escalates into something more, writes 26-year-old Commonwealth Correspondent Jennawade Pratt from Nassau in the Bahamas.
Elizabeth Kenny, an Australian army nurse once said: “He who angers you controls you”. Although these words were spoken years ago, they hold a truth so profound that the message is timeless.
For years I have heard this maxim, and in the passion of anger, honestly, it’s the last thing that you wish to hear. When venting over a situation, I would find myself seething for hours. And over the passage of days and months (sometimes even years) I would still feel a swell of anger when I saw the perpetrator again.
As I got older, I came to the realization that people sometimes forget whatever it is that has you tangled in a web of bitter emotions. How do I know? I embarked on my own personal journey to emancipate myself from the thoughts of others (I was about 21 at the time). I went about telling people who had offended me at some point in my life that I had found it in my heart to not only forgive but also to release them.
I received looks that ranged from puzzlement to total disbelief. And at times I had to further explain in greater detail what they did that offended me. So, needless to say, I would just become a tad bit angrier! How is it that after all that time of separating myself and stewing in a pot (a well-seasoned pot, may I add) of anger, only I was affected?
Deep breath in. “He who angers you controls you”. It’s okay to be upset, to vent. It’s okay to get it out of your system. But when you dedicate hours of your time to a cause that has been lost (sometimes even a moment after it happened) you lose sleep, precious moments with the person who aggravated you in the first place (if they were a friend or family member) and everyone else around you (if you’ve vented to enough people).
I’ve heard people say that it is impossible for someone to ‘control’ you when you’re mad at them. In actuality, your emotions are being controlled by that individual because they have angered you. In order to not be affected (or ‘controlled’ in this instance), you must find different ways of reacting. You can walk away from the situation so that you can take time to relax and cool down before the confrontation escalates into something more, or, you can simply let go of the situation and move on with life.
Of course it sounds easier than it really is (every character building skill does) but I promise you that in the end you will find yourself happier – and suprisingly, healthier! Pent up anger can lead to short and long term health problems. Anger that is not managed can affect your body (especially if you’re the type of person who never verbalizes your concerns and anger).
You will find it harder to sleep at night, or you may be unable to sleep at all. Recurrent headaches, depression, an increase in blood pressure and heightened anxiety could also result. I feel that the quote should actually say: “He who angers you can kill you”, because repressed anger can result in a heart attack or even stroke – which can lead to death.
However, on the other hand, if you are the type of person that explodes in anger, you stand the risk of affecting others around you. Explosions of rage can lead to physical abuse or violence. This is extremely detrimental to the health of your family and friends and your relationships with them.
Let us take the reins of our lives back, understanding that anger is a useful emotion and can actually be positive if we express it in an appropriate manner. When we have analyzed ourselves and know our triggers then we will no longer be controlled by the actions of others.
“Consider how much more you often suffer from your anger and grief, than from those very things for which you are angry and grieved.” – Anonymous
Opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of the Commonwealth Youth Programme. Articles are published in a spirit of dialogue, respect and understanding. If you disagree, why not submit a response?
To learn more about becoming a Commonwealth Correspondent please visit:http://www.yourcommonwealth.org/submit-articles/commonwealthcorrespondents/
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