If you try to not get angry at your kids, you will fight a losing battle. No matter how much you strive to be flexible, or how often you manage to overlook the small things and see the bigger picture of life, you are still going to get angry.
The question is, then: what will you do with your anger?
A couple of weeks ago, I heard a talk on how we tend to medicate our anger and I would like to share with you some of the wisdom from that talk.
By medicate, I mean that when we get angry, we tend to do things to help us feel better but don’t really solve the problem; in fact, our actions may enflame the issue.
These three ways of medicating our anger are unhealthy and can be very harmful to ourselves and to the people we love.
We medicate our anger with unhealthy talk
Lashing out at our kids or our husband always seems to make us feel better–for the moment. But that medication wears off very quickly. In the end, we feel like crap for saying what we did and we’ve played a tape in our kids’ and husband’s heads that cannot be re-wound. Words can be forgiven, but never erased.
We medicate our anger with unhealthy actions
There’s a release in doing certain actions when we are angry. Whether it’s physically hurting someone or drinking too much or damaging property–for the moment we feel better. But again, that medication wears off quickly and we are left with scars, on ourselves and on those we love.
We medicate our anger with unhealthy burdens
Those burdens come in the form of blaming ourselves or worrying ourselves sick. We carry unhealthy burdens because we don’t know what else to do with the anger and frustration. Carrying burdens makes us feel like we are doing something, like we have some sort of control over a situation that has made us very angry.
How do you tend to medicate your anger? Next time you get angry, stop, take a deep breath and ask yourself, “am I reacting in a way that makes me feel good but hurts others?”
Because in the end, anger is not the problem, it’s how we medicate our anger that leads to harm.