stress

How To Let Go of Anger

I made a mistake. There. I said it.

I’ve made no secret about my ups and downs over the past 18 months. It has not been pretty. And I am a pretty close-knit person, but I believe it is time to open up about everything that happened … even if I do it in pieces.

One part of me that has undergone a drastic reformation over the past 600 days is my anger. Anger towards myself. Anger towards my family. Anger towards the people in my life. And anger in general. I admit, I do have a short fuse. But it is getting longer. And that has taken a bit of work.

Why this focus?

Anger does no one, and I mean, no one, any good! It stresses you out. It makes you jittery. And really, not much fun to be around. And the angrier you get, especially if it is with the same person over and over, the level of toxicity rises and never really goes down. Trust me on that.

Don’t get me wrong, I still get frustrated and upset and bothered. But I have made a conscious effort to contain my “anger” and use it for good.

Find your triggers. This is probably the most important thing you can do to eliminate the anger and stress. They say that knowledge is half the battle, and they are right. My triggers were my relationship, my physical surroundings, my job, and my family. Once you dive into where the angry triggers come from, you are able to manage them.

Manage the stressor. Sometimes the stress trigger is hard to manage or eliminate, but it is possible. If topics of conversation stress you out, don’t let it come into your life. I know when I am home, I don’t like to talk politics. I’m too libertarian for my family, and that is okay. I know that. I manage it. I changed jobs as well. I moved to a new apartment. I changed the relationship.

Find enjoyable activities. I do not believe we can eliminate stress from our life. But I do believe we can manage it in a way that gives more to our life. I choose to write and relax. I take on challenges that are random. (Like writing and producing a short film.) But I am also still running, engaged in politics and growing my business.

All told, I’m much happier and healthier than I have been in years and I attribute it to managing and limiting my anger. Plus, it makes me happier.

 

FOCUS: Don’t Sweat!

Selected Life Lesson
Never let them see you sweat.
-Lisa K’s Life Lesson from Mason City, Iowa

Richard’s Thoughts…
One lesson I learned from a lawyer years ago was to never ask a question you don’t already know the answer to. Of course he was referring to when he has someone on the witness stand, because that advice does not translate to the real world quite as well.
We need to ask questions because we don’t know all the answers!

But Lisa’s lesson is definitely true. As someone who has worked in politics and been in the public spotlight, nothing can be a surprise. If you act surprised, everyone will see it and it will change their emotions and perceptions of you, and sometimes that is not a positive change.

Life is hard. We all know that. But we always get through it. It’s like the old saying, “The only way out is through.” Well, there is no need to sweat on the journey. Just keep putting one foot in front of the other and in the end, it will work out just how it was supposed to.

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Why I Deleted Path

Simple: I don’t live on my phone.

Sure, I do e-mail, text, Twitter and Facebook on my phone and I read my blogs and catch up on world news on my phone, but I don’t need to be super-connected to people. I love my friends and we text each other and send photos on occasion.

If you’ve never heard of Path the idea is quite simple: It’s a mobile Facebook that is limited to your closest 150 friends. Okay. The idea is unique.

But, I don’t have time for another social network. I just don’t. We all have limits and I’ve reached mine.

How are you handling the growing technology influx?

 

FOCUS: On You!

Selected Life Lesson
Put yourself first. Even with hard decisions you have to think about you and only you.
-Maura M’s Life Lesson from Omaha, Nebraska

Richard’s Thoughts…
This week’s lesson is not meant to be egotistical or to make you out to be more important than anyone else. Quite the contrary: You can’t be of service to others if you don’t focus on yourself first.

It’s no surprise that my most requested workshop is FOCUS: Making the Most Out of You!, because you are the most important person in your life. You have to protect you and your time. You have to take the time to live and not let life live you.

I have a simple solution for you: Sometime in the next seven days, when the work day is over, go home and relax. Be completely present with your life at home. Go enjoy a cup of tea and your favorite book. Play with your kids. Don’t watch television. Be the main character in your life.

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Book Review: Brain Rules

If you want to learn how to be a smarter, healthier person, I recommend you start with Brain Rules: 12 Principles for Surviving and Thriving at Work, Home, and School by John Medina. Hands down one of the most enlightening books about how we function at our core I have ever read. The great thing about Medina’s writing is that it is super-easy to digest and think about. And Medina is a developmental molecular biologist. I don’t even know what that means, but chances are, it means the dude is wicked smart. And it comes through in his 12 principles.


I’m not going to go through all his principles because I believe you should read the book, but I want to share two of my biggest takeaways.

The details matter, but not as much as the meaning. Our brains are constantly working overtime and in order for us to learn anything, we need to be giving the high-level first. The core concepts. Then and only then should we be given details. Perhaps that is why reporters and public relations students are always taught that the first few paragraphs need to be able to stand on their own with the most important core details.

I’m reminded of a line in one of my favorite movies, Thirteen Days, when President Kennedy says, “We’ve got to figure out what we’re going to do before we worry about how we do it.” You have to know at the core what you want before you can develop the plan to get it and the same goes for learning. Know what you want to learn, then go and learn it.

The second key takeaway from this book is that we need sleep. Of course, this comes as no surprise whatsoever, but here is a direct research recap from the book. Be prepared, you may need to read it twice:

Students were given a series of math problems and prepped with a method to solve them. The students weren’t told there was also a shortcut way to solve the problems, potentially discoverable while doing the exercise. The question was: Is there any way to jumpstart, even speed up, their thoughts? Can you get them to put this other method on their radar screens? The answer was yes, if you allow them to sleep on it. If you let 12 hours pass after the initial training and ask the students to do more problems, about 20 percent will have discovered the shortcut. But, if in that 12 hours you also allow eight or so hours of regular sleep, that figure triples to about 60 percent. No matter how many times the experiment is run, the sleep group consistently outperforms the non-sleep group about 3 to 1.

So what?

Like I said, if you enjoy learning about how we learn and how to function at your highest level, then you need to read this book. Plus, Medina gives some great solutions on how to incorporate what this great brain research is telling us. Some of them might surprise you.

Is Your Job Killing You?

*This is a guest post from OnlineUniversity.net

The past 40 years have seen a lot of changes to the American lifestyle, including the way we work. People are sitting more, getting less exercise, engaging with computers on a daily basis, and finding new ways to get stressed out. So how has this shift in the way we work affected Americans? A lack of exercise coupled with sitting down for eight or more hours at a time have contributed to a variety of health issues in America, not the least of these being the obesity epidemic. People sitting at a computer all day are at a heightened risk for packing on pounds, developing heart disease, and dying young—and yet over 80% of Americans report to a desk job every morning. In a nation that extolls working hard and working often, many may be displeased to find that at the end of the day, all that work just might be killing you.

Work Is Murder
Created by: OnlineUniversity.net

How are you changing your work habits to better your health?

What is a Mistake?

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I have been asking myself this question a lot lately. I also used to think that I was a person who wore his heart on his sleeve. It turns out perhaps that has not always been the case. Maybe I was more guarded than I thought. That has to change.

This is scary to me. I know it is scary to others too. But it has to change. Too many mistakes in my life, and in the history of the world, occur because what we are thinking and feeling doesn’t get expressed.

You’re with me right?

It could be a meeting with your boss. You’re fired up about something and you go in with an agenda, and you get scared or nervous – both natural emotions – but you don’t do what you set out to do. You didn’t listen to your heart.

I also wish I had a grand way to not let that happen. When I do figure it out, I will give that advice away for free.

But I found that quote from Winston Churchill and I’m constantly reminding myself of that this past week. We can only worry about the next chain, not the 15th link. It is the now that matters. It’s in the living that we make the life we want. Planning is good, but execution is key.

Where do you want to be in five years? Who the hell cares. Live for today and build the framework for tomorrow. Tomorrow you may find a new passion that drives you completely in a different direction. That is not a mistake. That is an act of personal heroism.

But, for me, I now know how to limit the possibility of a mistake occurring:

Speak Up
When I feel or think something, I now either write it down, or at least verbalize it to someone. When you keep thoughts inside, you don’t really hear them and it is difficult to analyze the emotions behind them.

Listen
Along with speaking up, you have to listen to yourself. Sure, if you’re talking with someone about something you should listen to what they say too. But almost more importantly, listen to yourself. Are you excited? Angry? Does it even make rational sense?

Act
The greatest misfortune in life – in my opinion – is not acting on something that you want. If you want to be a writer, write the shit out of that journal! If you want to be the next Mark Zuckerberg, start creating great stuff! If you love someone, tell them the next time you see them! Wait, tell them right now!

A mistake is only a mistake if you don’t learn from it, and try to re-execute better the next time. It doesn’t mean you change the goal, but try a different tactic. Re-think how you got to that place. There is a way out. There is a solution.

The only mistake is not trying.