It was too hot outside, so I decided to go for a walk in a park in the evening. Passing by a tree triggered a metaphor in my mind, and I’d like to share it with you.
Nope, I won’t talk about the benefits of nature for anger management. While nature has a relaxing effect that can help us, this time I want to bring to your attention another point.
Anger comes from looking at a situation or fact through our own “filter”. This filter was conditioned in the past to see a certain type of situation or fact as negative (like the one that makes you angry). More we ponder that negative perspective in our mind, more anger we build up, and it could even burst in ways we might regret later. Right?
I invite you to pay attention to the roots from this picture: when they got into an obstacle, they don’t get upset or angry. They simply find a way to go around, above or below to continue to grow, and fulfill their purpose.
What can you learn from these roots, that you can apply next time you’re at the point of getting upset or angry?
Make that your “roots” behavior rule to avoid getting angry. It’s much easier to avoid anger than to deal with it after it reaches a certain intensity.
Next time you’re on a point to get upset, find a way to distract yourself from the negative thoughts. Therefore you’ll be able to find a way to better deal with that situation, avoiding also to intensify the anger.
More you practice this approach, better you become in dealing with situations that previously upset you. Plus, you can use that extra energy you saved toward something that’s really important to you! Wouldn’t that be great?!
One more thing: in coaching, we rely a lot on structures (reminders) to help learn new, more useful behaviors.
Please share in the comment section below:
What do you choose as a reminder to apply the “roots” behavior next time you’re on a point to get upset or angry?
Hint: it should be something physical (image, object, color, shape, etc.). It’s not useful to choose a thought as a reminder. Your mind gets so caught in thinking about that situation in the way it usually does (making you angry) that you’ll not remember to switch to the another (chosen) thought.
Isn’t nature as a great teacher?!