When was the last time you heard someone shout?
When was the last time someone shouted at you?
I ask these questions because, as with most of the stuff I write on here, I didn’t just pluck it out of my backside, I found myself asking it of myself.
Turns out, I last heard someone shout or was shouted at the last time I saw my parents, when we went on holiday to Italy together last month. That is until this weekend, when I came back to my childhood home in North Wales to visit them again. Cue the shouting…
I live in the centre of one of the busiest cities in the world and have a super stressful job and the last time I heard someone shout I was supposed to be relaxing on holiday.
So then I asked myself, is it me? I am as angry as everyone else but I just hide it better? Does appearing calm on the outside hide a swirling vortex of anger ready to explode at any moment just below the surface?
After a bit of soul-searching, I decided that I was, in fact, a relatively unangry person. I just made that word up. Want to know why? Because I don’t think I could say I was a ‘calm’ person in good faith. I just couldn’t. I get riled at the smallest things sometimes. In all honesty, sometimes the fact that my cappuccino isn’t quite right but the world is continuing to spin pisses me off.
Having said that, I rarely shout. Most people who know me would say I’m a calm person (I think), but they also know I get stressed out and annoyed too. So what’s the difference and does it even matter?
What I’ve noticed most about the stress I encounter in my work compared with what I see people [read: my dad] get angry about is that they are poles apart and yet what I think of as nothing to be worried about visibly affects him.
I’m not going to sit here on my Mac and say I don’t get stressed cos that would be a bald-faced, outright lie. What I will say is I try to let it go pretty quickly, which, perhaps, is something my dad doesn’t.
I’ve talked about mindfulness a lot on this blog. Probably too much for most people, but it does factor in to my life every day so I feel it needs to get a mention here and there.
The reason I am able to let things go when perhaps my dad can’t is that I try to remind myself to stay present. I concentrate on this very moment now.
How does my body feel?
What does my breath sound like?
What noises can I hear?
Where can I see beauty?
Realising that in the present moment, the only person making you feel stressed is you and your reaction to whatever is going on around you, can be both cathartic and humbling at the same time.
Seriously, I’m not standing on a soapbox here telling you it’s easy, because I know from only too much experience that’s it’s not. But I will tell you it’s possible. Next time you’re getting stressed, see if you can take a step away and consciously choose to feel and react differently.
Do you have any helpful tips or advice for overcoming anger or stress? Write them in the comments below and share the calm vibes!