Even with a wealth of books, tapes and classes on anger management, keeping your temper in check is still very challenging.
I was thinking about the word anger as my husband, Sheldon Good, my pooch, Orchid and I, along with 200+ other passengers disembarked from our original American Airlines flight due to mechanical issues.
The pilot’s voice came on over the loud speaker in the most jovial manner and said, “I have some good news and some bad news.”
I was so impressed by his upbeat attitude and clever words. In an almost playful sounding voice I think he gave 200+ passengers a class in anger management.
“The good news is we will fly to Palm Springs today,” he continued. “The bad news is we have to change airplanes.”
I am quite certain the other passengers did not see this as a course in anger management, but as a writer, I did.
It is hard to explain, but writers are observers. They are psychologically attuned to body language, inflections in a person’s voice and they sense the real from the fantasy.
I know the pilot was feeling frustrated, aggravated and even angry. However, I believe he counted to ten, switched from angry to grateful and reminded us all that soon enough we would be on the sunny streets of Palm Springs.
I wonder: Did he take a course in anger management?
We all disembarked quietly and walked a mile from gate K20 to gate H16. We sat patiently, talked quietly with newfound friends and boarded another flight about an hour later.
I am on the plane now as I write my musings. My husband is reading a Lee Child’s book, my pooch is out cold by my feet and I am thinking about anger management.
How can you deal with anger in a positive way?
1. If it is an old anger that has not been resolved and has affected your lifestyle, you should practice mindfulness; living in the moment of each day. The past is the past and your pent up anger will harm you both physically and emotionally.
2. Take a time out like the pilot.
3. Think before you utter angry and regrettable words. This is very difficult, especially for women.
4. Think about solutions for anger. If there is a person in your life who brings out the worst in you, delete. If you have guests staying at your home who are not tidy, close their door. If you love someone, a spouse, child or girlfriend and cannot reason, suggest counseling.
5. Go walk on your treadmill or play music. Exercise and music reduce stress and take away feelings of anger. For example, I do this when I am frustrated with my computer or have to go from room to room looking for something important, like my car keys
We need to realize that anger never fixes anything, it always makes things worse. Will my anger over my computer fix my computer? No.
I think anger management is having healthy emotional habits, like my ultimate concierge. I watch him maneuver through the day and I marvel at his tenacity. If he is having trouble working Netflix, he will sit with that clicker until he corrects the problem. I listen to his contentious, though seldom, phone calls where he uses utter self-control.
When I ask how he manages to be in control he says, “I have to be mentally in control or I lose my position in whatever I am doing.”
I think women have more problems with anger management. I notice two types of anger in women, though there are probably more. The volatile woman erupts, gets it off her mind and moves on. The quiet woman carries her anger, but lets you know how she is feeling through her actions. Both forms are very detrimental to a person’s health.
I suggest, dear readers, we learn a lesson in anger management from the American Airline’s pilot. I am sure he took time out, weighed his words and made an announcement that would relieve all 200 passengers of their anger and instead will them with gratitude that they would arrive in Palm Springs later that day.
Please, I say to myself, “Let me remember the pilot’s actions each time I am faced with anger. I am going to associate the pilot with perfect anger management.”