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Inside: 3 REALLY easy techniques on how to stop being an angry mom fast. In under one minute flat!
“The truth will set you free but first it will piss you off’ ~ Gloria Steinem”
Today I’m going to show you a VERY effective strategy on how to stop being an angry mom, in UNDER one minute.
In fact, I use these exact three steps EVERYTIME I feel a rush of anger…
…think traffic…at the grocery store…when your kids are arguing…
Let’s dive right in…
Imagine this scene:
It’s a Wal-Greens Christmas war zone. Grandma is searching for a parking spot while humming Christmas carols.
Noticing a spot about to open up near the entrance, she signals and patiently waits for the car to pull out. But, just as the car is leaving, a JERK swoops in and steals her spot.
Grandma suddenly morphs from a sweet, little old lady into an enraged purse throwing incredible hulk.
Let’s be honest:
There are some situations that cause even the calmest, nicest people to become angry, frustrated, and furious; whatever you call it, we all know the feeling
So what’s the bottom line?
We all get angry.
What is Anger?
Anger is an emotion.
Emotions are created through thoughts, and thoughts are a result of our interpretation of a situation or person.
Through our lens of experience and mental conditioning, we draw conclusions: good or bad, right or wrong, fair or unfair, deserved and undeserved.
Regardless of the scenario anger arises when your interpretation of a situation or person is unpleasant.
Your mind gets rattled and although you may not burst into an enraged green giant, anger isn’t pretty. (Perhaps your kids get angry too, well, Read here for 11 epic calming strategies for our little ones).
Physical signs of anger:
- Holding your breath
- Clenched fists
- Racing hearts
If you check – anger is always in defense of our ego. A situation or person is getting in the way of what you want for the ‘self’.
For example, if dark rain clouds appear on your golf day you might grumble, “Damn weather never co-operates.” If your husband forgets your anniversary, you might shout, “Wow, what a jerk!” If your kids are arguing and disrupting your inner calm, you might scream, “STOP FIGHTING.”
The emotion of anger isn’t necessarily the dangerous part (after all emotions are natural and normal), but what happens next is: The stage of retaliation.
During this phase, we often harm the object of our displeasure. We harm with our words and actions. And a lot of irreversible damage can occur to our kids and our relationships.
Try to remember the last time you were angry. (Perhaps today when your kids wouldn’t listen.)
Do you have the vision in your head?
Did you yell? Become frustrated? Behave in erratic ways? Say something you didn’t mean?
When you stopped foaming at the mouth and the fog of anger lifted, did you wonder what possessed you to behave in such an evil manner?
Like the hulk as much as you try to resist the urge to slam your opponent floor to ceiling, anger can make you feel like you’re at the mercy of an unpredictable and unstoppable powerful emotion.
You might catch yourself saying, I wasn’t in my right mind.
And I know you want to stop being an angry mom! You don’t want to yell at your kids and your family.
Recommended Read: The Cow in the Parking Lot – A Zen Approach to Overcoming Anger
Where Does Anger Come From?
Anger is not caused by outer circumstances, people or things. Anger is a state of mind and therefore anger comes from you.
YOU have the power to control your state of mind.
And we can also teach these skills to our kids at an early age. (If you would like to learn more about the life-changing skills of teaching our kid’s mindfulness, read here or check out our best selling guide Mighty Mindful Kids.)
I know what you’re thinking, this is absurd, of course, there are situations that warrant anger: The boys behind you in the movie theatre are talking loudly and kicking your seat.
I know this makes me angry, how can they be so rude?
So the question is not do we ever get angry, because we all do, even the most peaceful Zen Masters, but the real question is:
How can we control our anger?
But finally, here’s the best part:
There are simple ways to be a calm, patient mom (even in the hairiest of kid chaos moments)
Let’s get right to it!
Read on for three simple steps (that take under one minute).
3 Simple Steps to Stop Being An Angry Mom In Under One Minute
1. Recognize your emotions
When you find yourself in a testing situation, tell yourself, even say it out loud, “My mind is experiencing unpleasantness.”
“My mind is experiencing unpleasantness.”
This will create an awareness of the emotion.
And you might say, “Well, so what”
But it’s actually very powerful.
This awareness will give you the separation (from the emotion) to gain control and reinforce that this state of mind is temporary, like everything else it too shall pass.
Just by simple acknowledgment, you will take the power of anger away.
When someone cuts me off in traffic, you will find me in my car saying, ‘my mind is experiencing unpleasantness’, and it’s amazing how the anger floats away with this one simple phrase.
2. Ask yourself – Can I solve the problem?
If you can not solve the problem, what is the point of getting angry?
I ask this question all the time. If I’m in a hurry in a slow grocery store line up, I ask myself, “Can I fix this problem?” if the answer is no, getting upset isn’t going to change the outcome.
When my son is challenging me, instead of flying off the handle and regretting my actions later, I stop and say, “Can I solve this problem?” I then try to understand what is driving my son’s actions so we can create a solution (instead of creating more tension).
Becoming mentally agitated will only cause more suffering, the grocery store line won’t go any faster and my son will not magically become the perfect child.
This mental game works wonders.
And you are well on your way to calm mamma.
When you experience anger, take 10 deep breaths.
It’s simple, but the benefits of breathing are endless. And they don’t stop at controlling anger.
It’s downright impossible for anger to escalate when you are breathing deeply.
Another technique is to count backward while you are breathing. This takes mental focus and the breathing is calming. WIN-WIN.
I use all sorts of opportunities to practice this form of relaxation, and you can read more about relaxation tips that take under 60-seconds here.
(Another bonus: To learn about simple meditation strategies for relaxation why not grab our FREE meditation starter kit here!)
Using the example of the grocery store line up again, once I realize that I can’t solve my problem, I enter a stage of acceptance. Instead of getting angry, I use the extra time to mentally focus, breathe, and experience clarity.
Every moment is an opportunity for spiritual advancement.
That’s it! 3 easy, quick steps to prevent anger from escalating in less than one minute. You can stop being an angry mom, you just need a few quick rescue tools.
The emotion of anger can run much deeper than simple day-to-day annoyances such as traffic or the weather.
We most definitely have situations such as social injustices, school shooters, disease, and death where controlling our anger is going to be a lengthy process full of psychological counseling on mindfulness, meditation, and reflection.
These three simple techniques listed above have a place in our everyday life for controlling anger outbursts and they can most definitely help to begin the mindful awareness of deeper anger issues.
However, if you want to take a look at getting past the tricky, deep-seated anger, read: Why You Need to Forgive, Even if It’s Hard, where we take a deeper look at the emotion of anger.
Should you feel angry at the murderer of a loved one? Should you feel angry if someone harms your child? How should you handle these types of anger?
In our modern world, we have a lot of research that says that righteous anger can be a healthy release but ancient wisdom teaches that there are no good examples of anger. It is a destructive emotion that only brings you confusion and misery rather than peace.
The mind of anger is a dangerous, destructive mind
“‘The ghosts of the past which follow us into the present also belong to the present moment, to observe them deeply, recognize their nature and transform them, is to transform the past.’ ~ Thich Nhat Hanh
As Buddha would say there is no justified anger there is only anger. Do you agree with this statement? Or do you feel some anger is healthy and even justified?
‘Holding on to anger is like grasping a hot coal with the intent of throwing it at someone else; you are the one who gets burned. ‘~ Buddha”