During my recent hospitalization I experienced a lot of anger. I was angry because I wanted to go home but the doctors wouldn’t let me. I raised my voice at the hospital staff and this caused my stay to be lengthened. That made me even more furious. I felt fine but I kept getting refused. Finally I realized to get out of there I had to go by the rules and calm down. I used meditation and wrote down my emotions to regain composure then I went home in a couple of days. I learned anger did not help the situation, it made it worse. It turned out I did need to stay a couple of more days. This gave me more insight into my feelings and I am glad I stayed.
This is probably not the first time I realized how unproductive it is to unleash my wrath but it is the first time I actually examined the feeling. Anger can really disrupt life. This applies on so many levels. Not just in work or family relationships but within ourselves. I was actually fighting with myself. I think I knew down deep I wasn’t entirely ready to go home, but I convinced myself I would be fine if I was at home instead of in the hospital. I was forcing myself to appear okay so I could be released. I got mad at myself because my appearance was not convincing enough. I displaced this anger onto the hospital staff which made the situation worse for me. Rather than getting upset before knowing all the facts, I should have taken a step back before reacting so harshly.
Anger is a stage of grieving process. So could it be that whenever one person is mad at another, one is actually having a short episode of grief? One feels a loss because the situation is not going as planned. So it is never really the other person’s fault. The rage is ones way of showing the grief one feels because of the resulted loss. We might be disappointed at another person because they did not do what they said, but ultimately it is our choice on how we respond to the situation that determines the final outcome. If we choose to remain calm, think through other options available before reacting we can dispel a lot of grief between each other.
Here are steps I learned to control my emotions.
- Think before reacting negatively: I discovered after talking to the nursing staff that the doctor extended my stay because I asked to sign myself out and she knew I was not ready. Had I stopped and asked the doctor to explain to me the reasons why I could not leave, I may have reacted in a different way. Instead I got mad and quit listening.
- Breathe: When I returned to my room, I did some deep breathing meditation and was able to regain focus. I then spoke to the nurse and she explained what was happening. My frustration was diffused once I understood the situation better.
- Journal feelings: I wrote down the reasons why I thought I was ready to go home. I also wrote down what I wanted to do when I got home and goals I had for myself. This gave me confidence which allowed me to push through the next couple of days until I could leave.
So next time you are angry at someone, stop and think before reacting. The situation may not be what you assume is happening. Take a breath and then discuss the situation. Things may turn out in your favor.