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Managing Life's Assault Course Through the Lens of Anger

Managing Life’s Assault Course Through the Lens of Anger

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It’s true to say that with the level of every-day demands, life can sometimes feel more like an assault course – with our landscapes changing so suddenly, and the perpetual sense of the ‘unknown’ around the corner testing our metal, perseverance, and patience. No doubt, even the most serene person is challenged. However, if you happen to weigh a little more on the side of agitated, irritated, frustrated or simply, downright angry – life is intensely more difficult.

The difference lies simply in internal resources…and it’s not that simple. 

Imagine yourself at the beginning of an enormous obstacle course, where every jump, climb, and run requires physical strength, mental aptitude, emotional stability and kinesthetic balance – all working together to make the right decisions, and under pressure, to reach your target. Firstly, if you were that athlete, you would be putting an enormous amount of training into each aspect of your ability well before you took on that obstacle course. How many people approach life with the same management principle? Anyone with – even the slightest degree of anger – will already be approaching that obstacle course compromised…as if to start that course with an extra pair of heavy boots. It will affect how the approach is chosen, more frequently than not, to their own and others’ detriment, and undermine how far they get on that course with how many crashes and burns. It makes life just a whole lot more difficult than what it already is.


The Weight of Anger

Fundamentally, anger is not always a bad thing. It is an instinctive reaction to perceived threats, unfairness, crashing of one’s personal boundaries or a loss of a goal. But anger becomes those heavy boots when it’s the default lens through which we see the world. It distorts our view, sometimes quite tremendously, making every communication seem like a personal slight or every obstacle insurmountable. This skewed perspective not only prevents us from moving forward, but also has the potential to actively push us backward, away from our ambitions. This only makes an individual feel even angrier since they feel so perpetually undermined – even if they determine it’s everyone else’s fault. They’re still not where they want to be. 

How the Anger Lens affects the Path

Anger affects how you allocate your energy and how you choose to tackle this assault course. The obstacles are the obstacles themselves, but someone with an anger lens will think it’s deliberately out to get them. Cuffed in a rage, tasks become infinitely more difficult. Anger obscures complex issues requiring innovation and critical thinking, making solutions appear unachievable. The stress of it further overwhelms the body and before we know it, we’re dumping our anger on everyone around us even if we know that rage drives people apart. Anger repels possible allies and undermines pre-existing support networks in a journey where co-operation and teamwork is the very key to overcoming some of the most difficult hurdles.

Getting the Hang of Managing Your Anger

The good news is that we can choose different boots, ones that fit and work better for us even though life’s assault course is pretty much a constant game of change. You can find shoes that support, flex, and supply traction when you need them.

  1. Self-awareness: Acknowledging the weight of your boots is the first step. It’s critical to recognize your triggers and warning signs of growing rage. As with inspecting your equipment before a race, self-awareness aids in readiness and adaptation. Start with a curiosity of mind about what’s driving your reactivity as opposed to the judgement of mind. If it’s only judgment of mind that comes up – well, you start there. 
  2. Strategic Pausing: A well-timed pause is always crucial during escalating situations. It’s the same as taking a break to tie your shoelace so you don’t fall. We know that this feels sometimes impossible – that’s why we teach how to observe your triggers sooner so you don’t get to that ‘out of control’ state. A pause is designed to give you the breathing room to handle the problem more calmly. You will feel better about yourself afterwards for doing so and that could be more than enough motivation to implement this rule. 
  3. Expression and Communication: Gaining excellent communication skills is similar to learning how to manoeuvre around those barriers effectively, if not gracefully. Confrontations can become bridges when emotions and thoughts are constructively articulated, making it easier to overcome obstacles. This includes the ability to listen. 
  4. Assisting Others in Need: Nobody successfully completes an assault course by themselves. There is a whole team behind an athlete – they would not be able to attend to every minute detail on their own. But their team’s guidance makes all the difference to their performance. It also makes it more enjoyable. Accept you need more skills and give yourself permission to try something new. Consulting with mentors, therapists, or support groups can help you learn methods and tactics to reduce your stress – which triggers anger. It’s the same as getting instruction from professionals who have been through comparable situations and can impart priceless knowledge.

Life, with all of its obstacles, requires not just physical stamina but also mental and emotional agility. When uncontrolled anger becomes a heavy burden, that makes every climb and leap more painful and it doesn’t just go away. Anger has a habit of re-surfacing when it’s unresolved. Learning anger management strategies lessens the burden, sees challenges for what they are and not what we make them out to be, and as a result promotes self development, agency, a sense of peace and fulfillment. We rediscover the agility, resiliency, and perseverance required to traverse life’s most challenging paths as we replace bulky boots with flexible ones.

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