I recently had a few very challenging and really tough days, back to back to back. My patience was tested, my breaking point was reached multiple times and my ability to “roll with it” went right out the window.
Have you had a day – or two or three – like this? I bet you have; it’s all part of being human.
The real question is how do you feel about those days looking back? Do you cringe? Are you embarrassed? Do you feel guilty?
I admit, there are more than just a few moments within those challenging days that I am less than impressed with myself. But you know what? Allowing yourself to be angry and upset for some time is ok. Sometimes, life doesn’t do what you want it to. Sometimes, you have to admit you don’t have control over everyone and everything in your life; people will do what they’re going to do, young or old. Sometimes being angry is a meaningful and effective response to let off some steam in situations that may seem too difficult to manage.
But challenging days don’t have to be bad. Maybe being angry is an effective response right now. Being angry can inspire action; it can help you move toward resolution. That’s productive. But what about holding on to that anger for 5 minutes? An hour? Tomorrow? Staying angry is unproductive. You may make rash decisions, you may unintentionally hurt someone you care about, you may inspire negativity around you.
Remember: you get to decide how you want your next moment to be.
So the next time you find yourself thinking you’re having a challenging day, ask yourself why. Take a moment to reflect on what you’re feeling. What caused it? How did you react? Then consider what could be a more productive response?
Life will always have some easy and some difficult times – that is life. Being self-aware and self-managed can help you know your triggers and emotions and manage them to make your next moments more controlled, intentional and successful. Remember this: with anger, visit but don’t move in.