Avoid Anger: Accept things as they are

woman zen portraitI was driving to work this morning in heavy traffic on a dual carriageway, and a car was sitting in front of me in the over-taking lane, refusing to overtake cars in the other lane, refusing to move in and even doing far less than the speed limit.  To say I started to get annoyed is an understatement.  I could feel my stress levels rising….I was getting angry.  My mind became filled with negative talk, such as “why doesn’t that jerk just move in and let me past, don’t they know the rules of the road.  Can’t they drive. They’re useless”.  Cue road rage…

Oooops, not very nice but I caught myself on time.  I started to think about what it was that was making me angry, was it that things were not happening in the way I wanted? But who am I to expect that everybody acts in a manner that pleases me, especially when it is a total stranger?  That person driving the car was completely oblivious to me and my growing impatience with them.

This got me thinking about the situation I was in, and I realised that that is just how things were at the time and I couldn’t really change it.  Another person had momentarily come in to my world and was interfering in what I wanted to do.  Now I could have started flashing him and beeping and allowing my blood to boil, but what would that actually have achieved?  I decided to just accept the situation as it was, I was still annoyed and hoped the car would move out of the way as I couldn’t get passed them in any direction.  However, I was no longer angry.  After about 4 minutes, I had a chance to move into the other lane and get by this car that was causing me trouble.  I then went on with my journey and on with my day.

How much of what makes us angry is due to our inability to accept something that is happening?  We want something to unfold in a certain way, or people to behave as we expect, but they don’t always – unfortunately for us.  We get irritated, frustrated and blame it all on the person, thing or situation that isn’t pleasing us.  Another person or event preventing us from doing what we want makes it feel like we are losing our power, or worse that it is being taken from us.  We all like to feel as though we control our own lives and a big part of that is controlling our environment.  We put forward great energy in doing this, everything from organising our home to planning the journey’s we take.  We feel safe when things are going well and suit us, but a sudden and unexpected shift in that security happens when things start to ‘go off track’.  We then want to again organise things as we like them to be, but of course we are dealing with forces we cannot control.  Other people have their own personalities and wishes, objects can break, we may lose when we feel we should win, etc.

We need to learn ways to accept those things we have no control over.  If we can’t control them, then what’s the point of stressing over them, getting ourselves upset and angry and possibly causing grief for those around us.  It’s better to practice some patience and understanding and as we all know practice makes perfect!

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  1. Njoku Amaechi (Dr) says:

    thanks for the tips on anger control. I am a victim to rage, and it is affecting my work and family. can i get more solutions to this problem. thank u a million times.

    • Thanks for sharing Njoku and I’m sorry to hear you’re struggling with anger. I’m definitely working on posting more techniques to help people with this.

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