As a life coach, I support people with the process of transmuting their anger and moving back towards being happy, positive, fulfilled, and satisfied. This is not always easy to do, but many successfully happy people have created strategies that assist them in moving out of the anger and back to happiness again. Here are three of those strategies.
1. Change the context – One of the most successful methods for moving out of anger and back to happiness again is to change the context of the situation. Change the meaning that you have given this situation that makes you angry.
This is not easy to do because you naturally default to the automatic meaning you have been conditioned to attach to things. Like a dog, each of us was domesticated by the people who raised us to view the world in a particular way. With practice, you will begin to see that no such world exists. The world you see is defined by the context you view it in. Happy people understand this and practice stepping back and looking at the situation from other people’s shoes.
Try it today. Look at whatever is upsetting you from different angles, from different points of view. How would the Pope see it? How would a street person see it? How would a starving child in Africa see it? Keep changing the point of view until the anger begins to dissipate.
You will notice, with practice, you can very, very quickly get yourself right out of the emotional fury that occurs from the ‘one perspective’ you are conditioned to have.
2. Recognize The Drunk Monkey and its antics. Anger is just your body’s response to potential danger. Yet, think about how often you get angry, frustrated, upset, and hostile in situations that are not actually dangerous.
We have, in our society, created a very effective survival strategy. If you live in a first world country, the odds of you being in serious danger are very, very small. Yet, we still have this animal part of our brain, which I like to call The Drunk Monkey, which is looking out for danger and avoiding it.
When you get angry, consider the idea that you are The Drunk Monkey’s puppet. See the strings as anger, frustration, anxiety, fear or doubt. Visualize The Drunk Monkey pulling the strings to steer you away from danger. Notice that it does this without your permission. Realize that The Drunk Monkey is a bit dim-witted and can’t tell the difference between real danger and imaginary danger. Once you begin to see that happening and observe it, suddenly it doesn’t have a grip on you any longer and you can move right out of the anger back into happiness, by conscious choice.
3. Choose gratitude. Happy people have developed habits, rituals, and disciplines that keep them happy. One of those disciplines is asking effective questions.
Happy people have the discipline to be in a hostile, angry situation and suddenly ask themselves a question such as “Why is this good?” “What am I learning from this?” “How will I be a better person because of this?” “How will this situation benefit me?”
By moving from a position of “I’m powerless and I’m going to get hurt or am in danger,” the happy person shifts the context through questioning, back to a place where they feel gratitude. “How is this going to benefit me?” By taking on these techniques, you will find that you can very quickly move from anger back to happiness again.