The Cycle of Change: Anger

The Cycle of Change Anger Kinesiology Dana Atkin

The Cycle of Change: Anger

Following on from last months cycle of change article about denial, the next stage of change and grief is anger. Now remember that these stages don’t just relate to grief in the traditional sense. You can grieve an old way of being because change can be scary and to let a part of ourselves go (a habit, a look, a space) can cause us to go through the grief cycle.

Anger is the space where we get angry at the people around us, at the inanimate objects around us (printers, kitchen cupboards that squeak, chairs etc). Sometimes though, what we’re really angry at is not the other person or the object. Sometimes, we’re angry at ourselves. And it depends on what cycle of change we’re going through as to why we are angry at ourselves.

Take weight loss for example, sometimes people can be angry at themselves for letting themselves get to that point, in the case of changing career, we can get angry at ourselves for not following our heart sooner.

Anger is an emotion that is what we like to call the presenting emotion. It’s not necessarily the actual emotion in that it is often a culmination of other emotions that haven’t quite been dealt with yet. Because it’s often a pent-up emotion, it tends to “explode” and we feel like it comes out of nowhere.

Anger can be taxing on the body, mind and spirit. It’s a heavy thing to carry around with us and it causes the body physical stress too because of all the stress hormones circulating in response to our constant state of stress.

Consider how you tend to respond to stress.

  1. Do you typically run and hide? Or
  2. Do you tend to go into fighting mode? Or
  3. Do you freeze, much like a deer in headlights?

Based on your answer to the above, that is also your answer to how to diffuse your anger.

If you tend to go into flight mode, get walking or running to work it out of your legs. If you tend to go into fight mode, then take up a boxing class to get the pent-up energy out of your arms. If you’re freeze person, try meditation to calm to centre you.

If you tend to go into a little of each then try a little of each of the above techniques. It’s all about getting the energy to shift out of the body in a way that is comfortable for you and your body’s natural stress response.

Once the anger clears, then you’ll feel much calmer and clearer to deal with the next phase of letting go.

Stay tuned for next Month’s article in the Cycle of Change Series about Bargaining & Depression.

Use Your Commute: 3 ways to switch off at the end of your work day

I am a Kinesiologist and as a Kinesiologist, I see a lot of clients for anxiety concerns. I would say that at least 80% of these clients are also unhappy in their current job, which contributes to their anxiety and they tend to find it less than easy to “switch off” at the end of the work day.

My clients often cite getting home and “downloading” on their partner or housemate and often feeling worse for it, getting themselves wound up and unintentionally taking it out those they love. Sometimes, it leads to a microscope effect where that negative talk about work builds up a case for everything that is not running so smoothly at home. This clouds our judgment allowing our discord with our working life to put a microscope on home issues that really don’t require such intense interrogation. Things tend to snowball from there.

So, here’s three ways I often share with my clients of disconnecting from your work day and transitioning into your home time. I have personally used each of these before and found them very beneficial:

1: Visual Disconnect
Work in a building where there are automatic sliding doors? Imagine when you get up from your desk, that you have a cord or rope tied around your waist that is also tied to your desk. As you cross the threshold of your building and step outside, imagine that the sliding doors are sharp and actually cut the cord that binds you to your desk.

If your work building doesn’t have one of these, use the same visualization with a standard handled door, the spinning doors or even the doors from the elevator. Find a way to create a visualized disconnect.

2: Use your commute to transition
If you catch a train, tram or bus from work, use your commute to transition out of work time and into home time. Close your eyes and as you breathe in, imagine breathing in calm, clear, fresh air and then as you breathe out, imagine breathing out all the stress of your work day.

Which way do you like to sit on the train? Facing forwards or backwards? Try this tactic: On the way into work, face where you’re going (work). It helps to get your mind transitioning into work time. BUT when you’re on your way home, try facing away from where you’re going (work). I like to do this because it helps me to visually leave it behind. If sitting facing backwards is not so easy on your body, then use the travel home to focus on all the happy things that are awaiting you when you arrive home.

3: Limit the Vent
When you get home, limit your vent. Choose three stressful issues to talk about or limit your self to five minutes of venting. Then, finish off the conversation with 3 good things that happened today. For example: you were up to the free coffee on your coffee card today, someone offered you their seat on the train or your boss said “thank you for your help” at the end of the day.

This works because you get to get the frustration out which is key to reducing stress and eliminating it out of the body and it re-enforces the positive. This teaches you to also look at the positive items and allow these to snowball instead.

Give these three tips a try and please feel free to alter them as required – it has to work for you.

 

Stress Management

some easy tips to manage stress

some easy tips to manage stress… Click on the image to read the full article.How do you manage stress? I see clients all the time coming in with anxiety and stress and it’s amazing how little people know and understand about stress and what it does to your body. Find out more in the article by clicking on the image to see a larger, readable version.

Relax and enjoy.

A “Small” Realisation…

In a matter of weeks, i’ve gone from working half a day per week to effectively working full time and then some! It hasn’t been an easy adjustment but it has opened a thought process which I think is long over due and a realisation that sometimes, we need to be realistic about what and how our dreams may come to fruition. And it’s okay for that vision to change as you and your life does. It’s okay that your priorities change and it’s absolutely okay if they become just as important as your other priorities, it need not lead to inner conflict. In fact, it can actually lead to a better solution where you can have the best of all worlds!

The Ripple Effect of Stress: People You Care About

How does your stress effect the people around you?

Without realising it, we often inflict our stress on other people, particularly those we love the most. When we have no personal outlet for it, it makes it’s way to the surface, in our body and eventually out into the world around us. 

I’ve been inadvertently made to recall this week a time when I realised that the corporate world was no longer for me. I ignored that realisation. I let it bubble under the surface, in the body and eventually out into the world around me. I think back now at the stress I probably caused the people around me and am concerned to think that I held on so tightly to something that was actually not serving me anymore.

Today, I see someone close to me gaining more pressure of stress internally, they’re getting tired, run down and in turn I am starting to feel it too. As odd as it sounds, and as stressful as it is for myself to be in the midst of it, I am actually thankful for the awareness that i’ve gained through it. I realise now that all of those times when I was finally “ready” to quit that job, and not following through with it, was in fact causing the people around me to worry because my stress levels wouldn’t change when I decided to stick with it a little longer. Ahh… the benefits of hindsight!

While your stress is not necessarily the only factor in how someone receives that stress (personal experience and beliefs effect this too) you do have options when it comes to dealing with your stress.

A simple choice to do something about it, to seek help, to seek an outlet, to talk to those around you will work wonders for your body, your mind and the people around you too.