ATTITUDE RECONSTRUCTION: A BLUEPRINT FOR BUILDING A BETTER LIFE
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It’s normal to procrastinate at work. Usually we do it because we’re avoiding a task that’s unpleasant or daunting.

And, in truth, procrastinating isn’t really a serious problem until it starts to interfere with your performance at work. If you’re feeling worried, fearful and stressed out, or your behavior is causing others to feel anxious because you’re holding up progress, then it’s time to take action!

The good news is that anyone can crawl out of the quicksand of procrastination and enjoy increased productivity, enhanced mood, less stress, better coworker relationships, a sense of accomplishment and a restored reputation at work as a “doer.”

Sound good? Here’s how according to Attitude Reconstruction.

1. Name the challenge and the goal

Writing down the specific task you’ve been putting off helps you get focused. For example, “I have to convert all of my client contacts and notes into the new CRM software system and learn how to navigate its tools and folders.”

Now, elaborate on that task. What’s your goal? For example, “I want to be familiar with this new software so it’s a useful tool, not an impediment to my progress.”

Having a precise goal will help you get motivated.

2. Pinpoint your emotions

This step helps you understand the act of procrastinating for what it truly is: an emotional reaction. What’s really preventing you from diving in to this task?

To use the above example, maybe you’re intimidated by all the new bells and whistles you’ll have to learn (fear). Or maybe you’re cranky about having to do this when the old system wasn’t broken and worked perfectly well (anger). Or perhaps you’re bummed that you’re just not tech savvy (sadness). The emotions behind procrastination usually fall into these three categories.

3. Let those emotions go

Okay, here’s the fun part. Many people don’t realize that emotion is merely a type of energy. Pent-up emotions and energy need to get released, like letting steam out of a pressure cooker. If you’re sad, go watch a sentimental movie and cry. If you’re angry, try stomping around the room and shaking your fists. If fear is your driving emotion, then do exaggerated shivering.

Believe it or not, giving yourself permission to let these emotions out will release that trapped energy, and you’ll instantly feel “unstuck.”

4. Counter defeating chatter with truths

When tackling a dreaded task, it’s common to have self-sabotaging thoughts like, “I’ll never be able to learn all of this.”

When chatter threatens to drown out your motivation, try this simple technique. Find a positive statement that is simple and true. For example, “If others can learn this, so can I.” To neutralize your frustration at having to do the task, you might say, “I’m doing this because I want to be a team player.” Say these truths over and over until they are louder than your negative internal chatter.

5. Break it into a small, doable steps

You’ve envisioned the task, dealt with what’s been holding you back and fixed your destructive thinking. The next step in completing the task is deciding when you’ll get started and figuring out a doable step-by-step game plan. Write it down, schedule it and commit to it.

Then go on a mental journey, plotting out each part of the task, including details such as where and when you’ll be working, who you will talk with and what you’ll talk about and how long you expect each part to take.

6. Anticipate roadblocks and plan tactics to deal with them

Imagine challenges and obstacles that are likely to pop up along the way. For example, other projects with shorter deadlines might land on your desk. How will you tackle such challenges in order to keep moving forward with the big task at hand?

For every such scenario, have a tactic ready for sticking to your original plan. You may also want to find someone to support your efforts or to mentor you on a regular basis.

7. Resist and be resilient

As you move through the task, you’re likely to meet with resistance in the form of excuses, bad moods and discouragement. Battle resistance with tenacity and stubbornness and continue to deal with any emotions that surface. Remind yourself that you can do this, and you’ll feel better once it’s handled.

Accomplishing what you’re avoiding will simplify your work life. You’ll feel more energetic. You’ll even sleep better at night!

Before anything new can be created, something must be left behind. But many endings aren’t the ones we wanted or expected. Many of us are still left holding an empty bag of dreams; jobs lost, ‘forever’ relationships abandoned, or loved ones who have passed on. Losses are as much a natural part of life as your breath or the sunset. Somewhere, we got the idea that loss should be avoided at all costs because they are too painful. The result: no one’s taught us to effectively mourn when a significant ending occurs so we stay stuck in a flat, gray place.

Loss is a double whammy. There is the loss itself, but also when you don’t deal with important endings effectively, your ability to feel open, safe, and vulnerable vanishes. You carry around your emotional wounds like 100-pound weights strapped to your back. Confidence to climb out of the abyss shrinks. “You’re forever shattered,” your mind says. “The world is cold, cruel, and unfair.”

Life’s colors fade into monochrome as you lose interest in everything. No motivation, meaning, or sense of belonging. Or you can take the opposite coping strategy and just carry on as if nothing significant happened. Handling losses can feel like an impossible assignment.

And sadness and flatness won’t be your only companion. Fear edges you out of meaningful interactions, keeping you to itself, for worry you’ll get your tender heart broken again. Anger equally vies for occupation, turning you against everyone– yourself, others, and the universe.

These dark visitors make sorrow and grief feel bottomless with no end in sight. But facing your emotions will push them out of your body and out of your space. Whether you’ve been laid off from the job you’ve had for the last 20 years or your sibling unexpectedly died, here are five tips to help you move through, according to Attitude Reconstruction:

1. Freedom comes from facing your loss and crying. Tears are nectar. Crying is healing. It’s the body’s natural reaction to hurts and losses. Acknowledge your loss and cry it out. You can be alone, or with someone else, in therapy, or with a friend or partner.

The listener’s job is just to provide a safe place — not offer “wisdom” or personal experiences. As the silent witness, lovingly keep offering a safe ear. Keep offering. Often it takes repeated respectful invitations to venture into this painful domain.

When you do talk, voice what you miss and what you appreciated most about the person. Talk about and relive the wonderful memories. Speak about all the qualities you loved, what you won’t experience any more, and all the adventures you had together. After each memory or quality, over and over, say “Thank you” and allow yourself to cry when the tears surface.

2. You also must say the “dreaded” G word — good-bye — to fully acknowledge the ending. Saying “good-bye” can be incredibly hard and usually brings up tons more sadness. With the loss of a subling, say good-bye to your dreams of growing old together and doing fun things. It’s painful but necessary in order to heal. Say, “I miss you. I love you. Good-bye. Good-bye.”

3. Express any fear or anger that surfaces physically and constructively. If you’re left feeling anxious, shake and shiver that fear out of your body while reminding yourself, “Something greater than me is in charge. This is not in my control. Anger will also rear its ugly head, reminding of you how unfair this tragedy is, so find a constructive way to pound, push, shout, or stomp out the anger energy – hard, fast, and with abandon — where no one or nothing of value is destroyed. While moving the anger energy, remind yourself that, “It is the way it is. Its not the way I think it should be.”

4. Attending to your emotions and thoughts frees up some energy to start to say “hello” to life again. If you’ve isolated yourself, take tiny steps to reach out and reconnect with others. Do something easy-breezy like shopping, sharing a meal, or seeing a movie. Even if you feel like a robot going through the motions, do it anyway. It will get easier.

5. Whenever you feel yourself sinking, take a few minutes to cry and say good-bye again. Like the proverbial onion, you’ll have to peel away the layers of missing, bit by bit, to thoroughly process your loss.

It takes time to move through that helpless-hopeless feeling that descends when you lose something or someone dear. But have faith. Gradually, you’ll find your enthusiasm, confidence, and energy returning. And little by little, the light will begin to return.

 

There’s nothing more embarrassing for moms than when their kid puts on the performance of a lifetime in a crowded store, whaling and screaming in octaves that could break glass. Instead of raging back, pleading for them to shut up or acting like it’s some other lady’s kid- there are ways to constructively deal with those less than pleasant displays of anger.

Know that a tantrum is just the pure expression of anger, and that anger is an emotion. An emotion is a pure physical sensation in the body. Look at the word “emotion.” It is “e” (energy) in motion. Move the energy out constructively and the tantrum will quickly pass.

According to Attitude Reconstruction, these five tips will funnel the child’s anger in a physical and constructive way, as well as help parents get control over their own emotional reaction:

  1. Be a good role model so your child sees that it IS appropriate to get angry but that you express it in a way that does not damage other people or things of value. That means no yelling, swearing, or finger pointing. That is not a constructive or effective way to truly dissolve anger.
  2. At a neutral time, talk about anger with your child, how the sensation feels in his or her body, and show them how to express it constructively and physically. Together decide on the best way for them to safely express frustration (anger) whether it’s stomping around the room like King Kong, kicking cardboard boxes, or lying on a bed and kicking and flailing. Practice together so they get the idea and get the equipment together.
  3. Agree on a safe place for them to express their anger. A playroom, bedroom, bathroom, garage, car; any place is good as long as they know that’s where they go to release their emotions safely and freely.
  4. When tempers or hysterics escalate, lovingly escort them to their chosen location. Don’t make fun of them, tease, name call, or make demeaning comments while they’re releasing their anger (or in general). Doing so will only fuel anger’s fire and create misery for everyone. Be there just to witness and acknowledge they’re just feeling angry, and it’s okay.
  5. This is not the time to be instructional or educational. No lecturing or trying to teach them a lesson. After they have expressed their emotion, validate how well they did.

After moving the pure physical sensation out of the body and things have returned to a rational state, then it’s time to talk and listen. At this point you both should both be calm enough to look for the learnings. You’ll be amazed at how much more peace, love, and respect it brings into the household (or grocery store).

 

People whose most dominant emotion is fear are easy to recognize. In general, we are the “speedy ones,” focused on time and money. We feel that there’s never enough. We tend to be worriers — scattered, confused, overwhelmed, dramatic, panicky, or controlling. If you ask us, we will tell you that peace is something that’s elusive.

Do some of these tendencies ring a bell for you? If so, and if you’re tired of feeling like that, here are four easy ways to chill out according to Attitude Reconstruction. Almost instantly, you’ll reduce the amount of fear you feel and experience more peace of mind.

1. Shiver the fear out of your body rather than tightening up.
Emotions are just pure physical sensation in your body. So allow yourself to physiologically express the fear you feel rather than tightening up. When I feel nervous, jumpy, agitated, or my mind is racing a million miles an hour, I let my body do what’s natural. I vigorously shiver, shudder, and shake all over, like a dog at the veterinarian. Though it can seem weird, silly, or contrived at first to jiggle, shiver, tremble, and let my knees knock, I almost immediately feel more relaxed, centered, and able to focus. When I can’t sleep at night, need to return a scary telephone call, or make a presentation, I duck into the bathroom, shiver for just a minute or two, and remind myself: “It’s okay to feel scared. I just need to shiver.” The result is almost miraculous. This one simple activity has to restore calm and bring you back to the present. Give it a try!

2. Interrupt thoughts about the future and past, and avoid over-generalizations.
To keep things manageable and in perspective, keep bringing yourself back to the present. And be specific about the concerns at hand, rather than generalizing about your whole life, your relationship history, your character, the world, and so on. The words “always” and “never” fuel fear. Likewise, bringing other unresolved issues into the specific topic you’re grappling with is like putting gasoline on the barbecue. It makes reaching a satisfactory resolution nearly impossible. I highly recommend that, over and over, you tell yourself reassuring things. Many times a day, repeat whichever of these phrases will be most supportive: “Everything will be all right. Everything is all right. One thing at a time. Everything is unfolding in its own time. I’ll handle the future in the future. Be here now. Stay specific.”

3. Break big projects into a series of simple little pieces, and attend to one thing at a time.
The key to managing fear and life’s tasks is to take the time daily to get organized. For each task you need to accomplish, start by articulating your goal. With that in mind, break the goal into a series of little doable steps. Make each step small enough so you know you can do it. If you keep an ongoing list of exactly what needs to be done by when, you can evaluate what’s most important and essential for today. I put my to-do list in an obvious place by the computer so I can see it. Then I just do what’s next, and offer myself copious praise for each small victory.

4. In terms of lifestyle choices, strive to establish a regular, more relaxing routine.
Get more sleep. Don’t miss meals. Cut down on the coffee and energy drinks. Stay out of cold, damp, and drafty places. Reduce the amount of stimulation you expose yourself to. You’ll feel better if you spend time engaging in less frightening or anxiety-producing activities, situations, movies, or games, and more time doing relaxing things, such as gentle walks, watching sunsets, and listening to calming music.

By following just a few of these simple suggestions, I’m certain you’ll gain major ground in balancing out your fear. Take a couple of baby steps daily. Especially, shiver when you revert back into that familiar fearful place, or anytime agitation overtakes your body. You’ll soon find that you enjoy whatever your day brings to you, and you’re able participate with more humor, ease, and equanimity.

I’ve learned that all good communication boils down to following four simple rules. With them, anyone can communicate about any topic effectively and lovingly. There are also four main violations that create the misunderstandings and ensuing hurt, alienation and confusion that we experience when communicating with others.

1. The first rule is “talk about yourself.” This is our true domain. Share what we feel, think, want, and need. This brings closeness, as we reveal information about ourselves. The First Violation is to tell other people about themselves (without permission). This includes blame, sarcasm, teasing, attacking, and finger-pointing. It only creates separation and alienation.

2. The Second rule is to stay specific. That’s what we do with music, architecture, engineering, cooking, math, physics, and computers; and what we must do when communicating. When we stay concrete others can understand what we’re saying – the topic, the request, the reasons. It brings peace. The Second Violation is over-generalizing. This can take the form of sweeping conclusions, abstractions, and labels, and using words like “always” and “never,” or bringing in other topics only barely related to the subject at hand. This is confusing and it fuels fear.

3. The third rule is kindness. Compassion fosters love. It can take the form of offering appreciations, praise, focusing on the positive, and sharing gratitude. The Third Violation is being unkind. Focusing on what’s not working, on what we don’t like, throws a blanket on furthering a conversation and produces anger and feelings of separation in the recipient.

4. The fourth rule is simply to listen. That means seeking to truly understand what someone is saying, and encouraging their speech. This brings closeness. Listening is a practice. The Fourth Violation is not listening. We know how that feels. Automatic interruptions, debates, and wise-cracks don’t truly acknowledge the speaker but instead further our own agenda.

The four rules bring loving, effective communication and feelings of connection. These rules are very simple (but not easy) and the rewards of abiding by them are great. In contrast, the violations apply in virtually every setting and causes communication breakdowns and distance.

Details about how to communicate the Attitude Reconstruction way can be found in my book, Attitude Reconstruction: A Blueprint for Building a Better Life.

 

Why does my husband chew his food so loudly? Why won’t that driver move out of the fast lane? Why do I have to take a class I’ll never use in my career? Why is it impossible to find a decent apartment? Maggie, a mom with a ten-year old daughter, found herself repeatedly frustrated. Jenny just wouldn’t make her bed, even though it would take her less than three minutes.

Maggie’s problem was not her daughter, but her own expectations. It was her “shoulds” that were causing her aggravation. The emotion behind frustration is anger. Maggie’s unexpressed anger manifested in her intolerance of Jenny’s resistance to making her bed. Putting our expectations on others is a habit that keeps us feeling frustrated. In addition, it puts other people off, and diminishes the amount of love we feel. Rather than continuing to stew in frustration, here are some simple things you can do.

Express your anger that underlies the frustration physically. Find a safe place where you can release the pent up energy constructively – that hot, surging, tightening sensation in your body — in a non-damaging way. (You’ll only feel embarrassed until the satisfaction and benefit become obvious.) Kick leaves, stomp through the house, push against a doorjamb, or shout into a pillow. Move the energy out of your body. Do it hard, fast, and with abandon. Maggie remembered Jenny’s temper tantrums as an infant, and used that image to inspire herself to go into the garage and really let it roll. Make sounds and grunts, because emotions are beyond the realm of word. If you use words, yell something like, “I feel so frustrated!

Accept what is. The best way to do this is to remind yourself, over and over, that:

“People and things are the way they are, not the way I want them to be,”

“This is the way it is,”

or “That’s the way they are.”

When repeated with focus and enthusiasm, your frustration turns into amused acceptance. Maggie personalized it, “Jenny is the way she is, not the way I want her to be. Jenny doesn’t clean up her room on her own.”After repeating these words for a few minutes, it became a fact, instead of a big deal.

Pinpoint what feels frustrating, and look within to decide what you need to say and do about the specific event to honor yourself and all involved. Maybe it’s best to say nothing. Maybe it’s best to take a stand. Maybe it’s best to initiate a discussion. Maggie decided she needed to talk with Jenny, and come up with reasonable consequences when she didn’t make her bed.

Say something. Acceptance does not mean passivity. First accept and then, speak up as needed. Make sure it’s about what’s true for you, and not laced with finger-pointing and global generalizing. Rather than telling Jenny, “You’re a slob,” Maggie said, “Dad and I want the house to stay in good order,  and your part in helping our family reach that goal is to make your bed every day. What do you think should happen on the days you don’t make your bed?” Together they decided she would help with the dinner dishes on days she didn’t make her bed.

Practice letting go and enjoying what is. Take the path of least resistance, even thought in your perfect world you’d do it differently. At those times, remind yourself of the larger perspective. Maggie could have dealt with her frustration by remembering how much she’d hated making her bed when she was a kid. That could have led her to decide that when Sally didn’t make her bed, it wasn’t the end of the world. She could just close the bedroom door. Follow through with what you say you’ll do.

By employing a couple of these simple suggestions, Maggie was able to turn her anger and frustration into genuine acceptance. Much to her surprise, she found that she felt less frustrated in other areas of her life. That is because frustration flees when we accept that people and situations are the way they are, not the way we want them to be. Rather than believing the world should conform to our view, we have the attention to focus on other things, such as counting our blessings, enjoying the beautiful day, or marveling at what a wonderful child we have.

 

By Jude Bijou, MA, MFT

Each of us was born with an emotional constitution that determines how we’re more likely to react in any situation. We all have a mix of three emotions – sadness, anger, and fear — but usually one or two of them governs our feelings, thoughts, words, and actions.

People whose most dominant emotion is fear are easy to recognize. In general, they are the “speedy ones,” focused on time and money. They feel that there’s never enough. Fear folks tend to be worriers — scattered, confused, overwhelmed, dramatic, panicky, or controlling. If you ask them, they will tell you that peace is something that eludes them.

Do some of these tendencies ring a bell for you? If so, and if you are tired of them, you can do something about that. To feel calmer, you must reduce the amount of stimulation you expose yourself to. That means spending time with less frightening or anxiety-producing activities, situations, movies, games, and other input.

The five suggestions offered below will help you to chill out, decrease the amount of fear you feel, and increase the amount of peace:

1. Say “no” more often to invitations of responsibility.
Fear folks have a tendency to believe that if they don’t do it, it won’t get done. This stems from their need to control in order to feel safe. This strategy of being in charge keeps you over-stimulated and overwhelmed. The world won’t collapse if someone else does it his or her way. People don’t abandon you. You’ll still be a good person if you carve out time to do calming activities and let others take up the slack. Take a leisurely walk. Take a snooze.

2. Interrupt thoughts about the future and past, and over-generalizations. Instead, stay present and specific.
The words “always” and “never” fuel fear. Likewise, bringing other unresolved issues into the specific topic at hand is like putting gasoline on the barbeque, and makes reaching a resolution nearly impossible. Focus to stay in the present moment. This keeps things manageable. Interrupt those thoughts that increase pressure. Over and over, tell yourself things that are reassuring. Many times a day, repeat whichever of these phrases will be most supportive: “Everything will be all right. Everything is all right. One thing at a time. Everything is unfolding in its own time. I’ll handle the future in the future. Be here now. Stay specific.”
3. Shiver the fear physiology out of your body rather than tightening up.
Like a dog at the vet, or your body after an accident, when you feel anxious let your body do what’s natural. Wiggle, jiggle, shudder, tremble, and quiver. It might sound weird, but intuitively it makes sense. Just give it a try. Ham it up. Put on music. It may sound strange at first, but if you express the emotional energy with vigor, it will move out of your body; and calm will be restored. By releasing the fear physically, you feel more peaceful, centered, and focused. While shivering just remind yourself: “It’s okay. I’m just feeling scared. I just need to shake.”

4. Break big projects into a series of simple little pieces, and attend to one thing at a time.
The key to managing fear and life’s tasks is to take the time daily to get organized. For each task you take on, start by articulating your goal. With that in mind, break the goal into a series of little do-able steps. Each step must be made small enough so you know you can do it. If you keep an ongoing list of exactly what needs to be done by when, you can evaluate what’s most important and essential for today. Put your list in an obvious place so you can see it. Then just do what’s next, offering yourself copious praise along the way.

5. In terms of lifestyle choices, strive to establish a regular, more relaxing routine.
That means, get more sleep. Don’t miss meals. Cut down on the coffee and energy drinks. Avoid cold foods and drinks. Get more regular sleep. Stay out of cold, damp, and drafty places.

By following these simple suggestions, you can take major ground in balancing out your fear. Take a couple of baby steps daily. Break things into do-able steps, and shiver when you stall. You will find that you enjoy whatever your day brings much more, and willingly participate with humor and equanimity.

 

By Jude Bijou, MA, MFT

Each of us was born with an emotional constitution that determines how we’re more likely to react in any situation. We all have a mix of three emotions – sadness, anger, and fear — but usually one or two of them governs our feelings, thoughts, words, and actions.

People whose most dominant emotion is sadness are easy to recognize. In general, they move more slowly than the rest of us, getting things done in their own sweet time. They have a tendency to be passive, and lack motivation. Wanting to be taken care of by others, sad folks usually are dependent on others for approval. Feeling fundamentally unworthy, unlovable, and small, they suffer from low self-esteem. They are easy to spot, because you’ll usually find them quietly hanging around in the background.

If you resonate with some of these tendencies and are tired of them, there are simple things you can do to change. First and foremost, increase the amount of stimulation you expose yourself to. That might sound easier said than done, as there’s so much inertial pulling you horizontal.

Here are five easy tips that will help you get moving, decrease the amount of sadness you feel, and increase the joy:

1. Mobilize more.
Even though it can feel monumental at first, seek new experiences. Seek positive and interactive entertainment to contradict the inertia. Reach out to others, and do activities you enjoy together. Strive to get regular aerobic exercise (or any exercise for that matter). Take little steps. If you try to do too much, you’ll set yourself up for a backlash.

2. Interrupt that constant mental chatter that tells you how terrible, small, unworthy, inadequate or unlovable you are, and remind yourself what you know when you’re centered and clear.
Many times a day repeat whichever of the following phrases most contradicts your old thinking or make one up along these lines: “I’m whole and complete. My job is to take care of myself. Life is for learning. We all make mistakes. I am responsible for what I feel, think, say, and do. I love myself. I love me.”

3. Allow yourself to cry when you feel sad, but while doing so refrain from trashing or feeling sorry for yourself.
If you already allow yourself to cry, that’s great. If you don’t, give yourself permission to. Crying is good. It’s natural. It’s healthy, especially as a reaction to hurts and losses. So ignore external pressures that tell you to hold it in, and go ahead and cry. However, while you do, it’s imperative that you don’t indulge your “poor me… I’m no good” thinking. Just allow yourself to cry while telling yourself, “I feel sad. It’s okay. I just need to cry.”

4. Speak up more often about what is true for you.
Instead of focusing on what you think others want, need, or believe, ask yourself: “What’s true for me?” After you listen within and discover what’s true for you, speak it out and translate it into action. It can feel foreign at first to consult yourself for guidance (much less speak up), but as you do, you’ll find that you feel more energetic, powerful, and confident.

5. In terms of lifestyle choices, stay warm and dry especially on damp, rainy, and cold days.
Don’t overeat – or at least try to minimize large heavy meals, especially in the evening. Avoid oily foods, such as nuts and fried foods, reduce dairy products, and strive to eliminate sweets.

If you implement these simple suggestions, just a tiny bit each day, you can make serious progress towards reducing feeling so blue, down, little, and sad. Instead, much to your amazement, you just might find yourself feeling more joy.

 

By Jude Bijou, MA, MFT

Each of us was born with an emotional constitution that determines how we’re more likely to react in any situation. We all have a mix of three emotions – sadness, anger, and fear — but usually one or two of them governs our feelings, thoughts, words, and actions.

People whose most dominant emotion is anger are generally type A folks who tend to be strong, ambitious, aggressive, and loud. At their worst, they are judgmental, critical, selfish, jealous, resentful, and negative. They often blame others, and have a hard time seeing other views besides their own. Folks with an anger constitution are usually ready for a fight.

Do you recognize some of these tendencies in yourself? If so, and if you’re tired of them, you can change. Moderation is the key to restore balance. Exert restraint in your activities and avoid situations that promote intensity (have you heard that before?). You don’t have to make a complete transformation before tomorrow. Just take a little step each day.

Here are five easy ways to decrease the amount of anger you feel and simultaneously increase feelings of love:

1. Eleven times a day (or more) repeat: “People and situations are the way they are, not the way I want them to be.
Your expectations and lack of acceptance of other people, things, and situations are what is keeping you feeling angry. Instead, over and over, remind yourself that people and things are the way they are. Only then will you best be able to respond with whatever opportunity is presenting itself from a centered place. You don’t have to agree. Just accept that that’s what’s true for them.

2. Stop focusing on what’s lacking in others, and what they are or aren’t doing.
Look within to determine what would be most loving or best for the greater good. Decline an offer for an extra job. Hold your tongue. Go home earlier. Say something nice. Ask yourself: “What’s true for me about this? What would be most loving?” Line up to do that.

3. Give more.
The act of giving contradicts the tendency to be selfish or self-centered — a stance that goes hand in hand with unexpressed anger. Ask: “How can I help? What can I do?” Offer a helping hand. Offer gifts. Offer plentiful appreciations and praise to others. These acts of kindness will kindle your heart.

4. Find a way to move your anger physically and constructively, so that no one or no thing of value is damaged.
Without voicing any blaming or swearing, pound clay or bread dough. Throw rocks. Yank out weeds with abandon. Stomp around. Push against a wall or doorjamb. Lie on your back on your bed and flail your arms and legs. Exercise. Do something somewhere safe, where you can let go and express the energy hard, fast, and with abandon. If you express your anger energy physically and constructively, you’ll be too tired to fight! End your healthy meltdown by reminding yourself, “People are the way they are, not the way I want them to be.”

5. Minimize hot foods (yep), hot sun, hot topics, hot exercise, hot activities, and violent movies, games, and books.
Choose activities that are cooling, climates that are cooler, foods that aren’t spicy, and avoid stimulants, such as alcohol, nicotine, caffeine and energy drinks.

Do a little every day and you’ll feel the difference. When you take charge of your anger, you’ll feel better and feel more connected to others. Likewise, others will be much more attracted to you.

 

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November 4, 2017
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Jude Bijou, Author
Jude Bijou is a licensed marriage and family therapist, educator, author, and speaker.  Meet Jude

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