I’ve set up a new form on my website for you to submit questions or topics you’d like to see me address in a video or blog, and I love reading all your ideas and questions! (If you want to submit your own, click here). Here’s one I received recently:
Hey Kaitlyn! I was wondering if you had an advice about how to not let things anger you so much and to just let them go. I’m the kind of person who gets annoyed or angered very easily and lately I’ve been trying to learn how to just not let things bother me as much and just kind of go with the flow, but it’s still really difficult. If you have any tips on how to achieve that it’d be much appreciated! Thanks!
Technically I’ve already made a video on my YouTube channel about dealing with anger that I’m pretty proud of (look at those Godzilla graphics!)
If you’re already overwhelmed with anger, then the process of dealing with it comes in two key steps in my opinion. First, to let yourself be angry and blow off some steam in a constructive (and not destructive way). This might be screaming into a pillow or weeping uncontrollably. Just make sure that you don’t take it out on other people or physically destroy things that are important/can’t be fixed. And second, once you’ve emptied yourself out of all the anger, you need to fill yourself back up with positive things. This might include meditation, journaling, deep breathing exercises, or just binge-watching your favorite show for the umpteenth time!
But I also wanted to add another section on “Going with the Flow.” Is it possible to not allow the little things to annoy or anger you to point where you feel like you’re going to explode?
Honestly, I think some of the ability to do this comes from the type of personality you have. I’ve personally, never been great at it. I’m far too anxious and Type A of a person to just brush aside these kind of snowballing annoyances. Maybe for truly minor things and if it happens sparingly, but generally, it starts to feel like one thing after another for me and the next thing I know I become Hulk-Kaitlyn and it’s not fun for anyone involved.
But there are plenty of people who don’t have the kind of crippling anxiety that I do, making it possible to go with the flow more easily. So if you’re looking to be more like that, while you can’t completely change your personality-type overnight, there are ways to train yourself so that you’re better able to go with the flow.
Mindfulness 一 Focus on being present in the moment. I tend to do this by focusing on my breath when I start feeling overwhelmed, but there’s a myriad of ways to help yourself stay in the moment. If you’re interested in learning more about mindfulness I would recommend checking out my friend Josh’s videos on the subject:
Deep Breathing 一 I particularly like “Alternate Nostril Breathing” which helps calm the nervous system and feels incredibly cleansing. I have “White Coat Syndrome” and my blood pressure tends to spike when I’m in a doctor’s office, consequently freaking out the nurses so I’ve started doing alternate nostril breathing on the way to the doctor and even in the waiting room and lo and behold! I’ve had normal blood pressure at subsequent visits! If you’re interested in learning how to do it too (or really all kinds of helpful meditation and breathing techniques), I recommend watching this video by Yoga with Adriene:
Journaling 一 I’m a big advocate for keeping a daily journal. It can be about your day’s activities, but what I think can be even more helpful and informative is keeping track of your emotions. I can promise you that if you start jotting down how you’re feeling every day and maybe trying to make note of things that particularly made you happy/mad/sad, you’ll start to notice patterns. So when a pattern you know tends to lead toward a Godzilla-esque blow up appears, you can start doing self-care that might help alleviate some of that tension before it gets too overwhelming and you burn down the city.
Separate Yourself from the Triggers 一 I’m terrible about reading online comments. I flock to them like a moth to the flame. But I also know that they invariably rile me up! While it’s not always possible to completely stop yourself or remove triggers for your anger, sometimes just reminding yourself what your triggers are can help you see through the red haze.
And finally, one of the best pieces of advice I’ve been given is that “If it’s not life-threatening, it doesn’t matter.” We can get so wrapped up in our own negative thought cycles that we lose sight of the world around us. Sometimes you need to ground yourself in the moment and realize that whatever is annoying you or making you angry is probably not life or death. And unless it is, you’re wasting a lot of energy on something that will most likely pass with time. Don’t let the anger and negative thoughts drag you down!