Category Archives: Anger

activating personal peace

“Many people think excitement is happiness…. But when you are excited you are not peaceful. True happiness is based on peace.”
― Thích Nhất Hạnh


When was the last time you experienced personal peace?    In our high tech, high results world we tend to experience more stress than peace.

More and more people are in the grips of stress and it is affecting their health, their outlook on life and it is affecting their emotions.   You’ve probably have seen people who are too stressed, too angry and depressed.  Those people aren’t experiencing much in terms of personal peace.

It is hard to cram all of what life demands into a 24 hour day and yet people try.   They take shortcuts on their exercise, their diet, and their sleep and wonder why they have a short temper, are gaining weight and feel physically ill.

Lissa Rankin has written a book about her personal question for personal peace.   One of the remedies getting free of the stuff that creates a lot of stress.   For Lissa it was getting away from a stress producing job and creating a less stressful way of life.

MOM final cover

Lissa’s process can help you manage stress in your life.  Healing starts with a lifestyle that is less hectic.

Because stress impacts our ability to think and keep our emotions intact, here’s another resource that can provide you with information to improve the quality of your life.

Increasing compassion in your life will help you improve your ability to relate and develop relationships with others.   Being more generous sends a positive message to others and reduces tension.  Kindness will do more good in a tense situation than staying angry.  Take charge of your emotions and become more compassionate.  Express kindness and see if it increases cooperation with others.

Imagine shifting your language to get better personal and professional results.  Perhaps your interactions with others is stressed and it feels uncomfortable.  Maybe the relationship with your co-workers or associates isn’t what you want it to be.   There are ways to build better relationships.  One way is with the words you use (take a look at the short video clip below).

Another way to increase personal peace is through meditation.   Just spending a few minutes each day meditation can bring about positive emotional health benefits.   To learn more about meditation practices take a look at “How to do Mindful Meditation”.

Learn how to activate personal peace in your life, to reduce stress, increase emotional well-being and to live a happier life.


“Life is now. There was never a time when your life was not now, nor will there ever be.”  James Thurber

It fits neatly between the past and the future.   It is the space between the not yet and history, it is what we call “Now” and it is a very precious moment.   Now is always moving in some direction for some people it is forward and for others it is a link to the past.

Some people move from “Now” into the past, a past  filled regrets, anger, and disappointment.   They are so comfortable in the past that they can’t move out of it, they are friends with yesterday.   For those who are stuck in the past we are likely to call them victims.    For the victim life is about “getting” comfort from others and it is a way to survive and receive empathy.   While there is a benefit from living in the past as a victim it isn’t a place of strength and vitality.   Living a life in the past is more like living in a cage, safety being on the inside but there is no freedom in living in the past.

There are some people who live in the future, a future that is filled with dreams of what can be or a future that is filled with anxiety and fear.   Living in fear (panic attacks, high anxiety) diminishes the quality of life.   People living alone without a strong support structure can project themselves into an uncertain future and increase the chances of having panic attacks. 

The past or the future is not the place to cultivate happiness.   Happiness occurs in the “now”.  While we can have fond memories of the past that brings to us feelings of joy, these feelings often only pull us back into a place of “life was better then …”.   Now is the time and place for happiness and because it happens  in the moment it often feels elusive.    As soon as you think about your  happiness you are shifting your state of consciousness to a different time perspective.   Happiness in the moment is something that is and it takes no thought.

Now is the place where creation unfolds.   Now is the place the  memories bloom.   Now is the place that dreams are fashioned.   Many people refer to “now” as being present, not being in the past or in the future but being right in the moment, fully alive and fully energized.  

Where do you find yourself, in the present, in the past or in the future?

In this video the Dalai Lama talks about how our emotions are the source of our problems, and it is our emotions that impact our ability to be happy, to be present, to be in the “now”. What do you think?


“Let us not look back in anger, nor forward in fear, but around in awareness.”   James Thurber

beyond frustration – living with ADHD/ADD

“People who fail to achieve their goals usually get stopped by frustration. They allow frustration to keep them from taking the necessary actions that would support them in achieving their desire. You get through this roadblock by plowing through frustration, taking each setback as feedback you can learn from, and pushing ahead. I doubt you’ll find many successful people who have not experienced this. All successful people learn that success is buried on the other side of frustration.”  Tony Robbins

On a scale of 1 to 10 (1 = low, 10 = high), what is your level of frustration?   It could be any aspect of your life that is causing you some doubt, some fear and anxiety and that all leads to a certain amount of frustration.

For those who live with ADHD/ADD frustration is a common theme in their lives.  Finding the career that matches their abilities is often hard to find and that uneasiness with work causes frustration.   Imagine not being able to organize your day effectively or efficiently and then having little interruptions cycle in and out of the day, that adds to the frustration of just trying to get a day to work.

If you experience ADHD/ADD what are your biggest frustrations?    What would you like to change in your life?    And, what has worked for you?   How do you get your life back under control when it seems like it is just going off on a long tangent?

Frustration just adds to the stress of life and if it isn’t managed it can easily push someone over their stress threshold.   Once the stress threshold is exceeded then there is withdrawal, anger, sadness, and grief or a combination of those stress mechanisms.

So, what is frustrating you?

“The torment of human frustration, whatever its immediate cause, is the knowledge that the self is in prison, its vital force and “mangled mind” leaking away in lonely, wasteful self-conflict.”  Elizabeth Drew

take the stress out

“It makes no sense to worry about things you have no control over because there’s nothing you can do about them, and why worry about things you do control? The activity of worrying keeps you immobilized.”  Wayne Dyer

Are you stressed out?   How do you know?

It wasn’t long ago I was talking to a young adult who was facing criminal charges for domestic violence.   He was stressed out.   His day started in the early morning and didn’t really end when classes let out at 10:00pm.   When he got home he faced an angry wife who would hand him his young child.   Already exhausted from a long hard day, his next job was to care for his child.    His life frayed and eventually it broke, the stress was too much.   He lost his job, his family was falling apart and he was clearly struggling to figure out what to do next.

Stress, not dealt with can result in anger, sadness, grief, or withdrawal.   When unmitigated stress results in anger or violence then it becomes serious and the issue of stress really needs to be addressed.

What do you do when you notice that the stress is taking over your life?

In another situation it was work.   It was the kind of work that required a high attention to detail and providing an accurate assessment of the findings.   The result of making a mistake could result in life serious life change for the client.   Long hours, exacting detail and a mistake could mean the loss of the career, a career that paid very well and required years of training.   The stress started gnawing away at life for this person, less exercise, poor diet and a desire to just “get away”.     The family situation started to decay and anger and frustration was becoming the normal pattern of life.   Was there a way to lower the stress?

When do you start to evaluate what stress is doing in your life?   Often people wait until things reach the breaking point before taking action, or creating the healthy habits that help manage stress.   What do you do?

Imagine walking out on your family after years of watching your wife abuse prescription drugs.    Walking out without a job, a place to sleep or a car and with some serious dietary problems.    Again, stress reaches deep and causes people to react in ways that don’t seem to make sense.   The stress builds and builds and with one more stressful event a person snaps.   They react in anger and make choices that make life even more difficult than they were before.

It would be great to say that these people got their lives under control and that they were dealing with less stress rather than more.   For the first person the criminal justice system may decide that jail time would be best for this young man and from there his life could get worse.     The second person is slipping away from anger into withdrawal, the pain and stress of both work and family life and other situations are robbing him of his ability to lower his total stress.   The last person,  found a car and was looking for work, and maybe slowly he will rebuild his life.

If the stress had been dealt with earlier perhaps the story would have changed.  In all cases if the family support structure was stronger the levels of stress each of these people experienced could have been lowered.

Steps to manage stress

1. Take inventory of stress in your life.   List all the things you are aware that are stressing you.   Then rate each item from 1-10, 1 = Low, 10 = high.   Look at items with stress levels of 1 – 3 and see if those can be eliminated.  The big stresses take a lot of work, so work on the little ones and get rid of them.

2. Decide what you will start saying “No” to.  It is easy to add into life more activity and more things to do and that just adds to the stress burden.   If you are trying to take steps for a better future and it includes managing a family, going to school and working full-time make sure you have the support you need from family , friends and employers to properly manage the stress.

3. Eat right, get enough sleep and exercise.  Often people who are living lives that include a lot of stress give up sleep, starting eating junk food and not getting any exercise.   The things that matter to the body, sleep, exercise and diet are the first things that are taken out of the daily routine.

4. Get help.  Get help early so that new habits can be created to deal with stress.   It may be help from a professional, a coach or gaining commitment and support from friends and family.

5.  Think about today, be present.  A lot of stress is created when there is worry about the future.  Do what you can do today, just today, and work on that.   Worrying about the future produces no useful results  now.

Stress, what is it costing you?

Are you working in a high stress environment?   Are you struggling with family issues?   Are you cramming more into your life than you can actually commit to?   Are you getting angry more often?   Are small things suddenly big things?

What is stress costing you?  What price will you be paying by not dealing with the stress in your life?

Resources for dealing with stress

Mayo Clinic


If you desire to take proactive steps in managing stress working with a life coach would be another option.

Take time out, time to relax, to get away from the daily grind.  Find some time to be at peace with yourself.   Take time to smell the flowers.

“If seeds in the black earth can turn into such beautiful roses, what might not the heart of man become in its long journey toward the stars?”
G.K. Chesterton

angry … out of control … what do you do?

Anger is a method of control.   When people feel powerless to achieve a desired outcome they can become angry.

Anger is a habit.  It is addictive in the sense that the body produces stress hormones.    The body overtime craves the additional stress hormones, even though they are destructive.   Adrenaline is a hormone with very powerful effects on the body.   Adrenaline can last for days or weeks in the system.   There are others like cortisol which are released quickly and tend to dissipate more quickly in the body.  

     – Hormonal anger creates negative behaviors.   

     – Hormonal anger reduces the body’s ability to resist illness.

     –  Anger can result in significant blood pressure change, bone loss, severe headaches, and other stress induced illness.

 Anger is a method of control.   People use anger because they learned it as a way to deal with issues.  In some cases that anger has been destructive (physical force) and in others it is destructive in “emotional” force.  In either case anger is used as a weapon to gain control when control feels like it is being lost.

 Anger becomes addictive.  People once they are flooded with stress hormones find they want more, not intentionally but subconsciously more of the physiological tricks the body plays.   That is anger persists as a method for dealing with any issue.   Anger can take control of a person’s life.  

 What does it take to get back to “normal”?

 1.  Realization – there comes a point that the anger victim realizes that anger is not supporting them or others.  

2.  Understanding – after you know that anger is destructive is creating a plan to manage anger or change the “habit”.

3.  Action plan – interrupting anger before it controls the situation (becomes destructive for everyone)

4.  Management – anger just doesn’t go away it needs constant attention – practice to create long term desired results.

What do you do?

1.  Stop:  recognize the event, the stress.    Write it down.   What is triggering the event.

2.  Shift: move the thought from the subconscious region to the conscious region of the brain – make yourself aware.  Respond, is it a “threat”?  What is it then?    What choice do I want to make?  

3.  Reframe – Find a neutral territory for your thoughts by creating a positive thought – return to a positive experience.

4.  Respond – give yourself time to defuse the emotions and respond

Notice what happens when you take time to rehearse the steps above.

  1. Bring back a painful event (anger induced)

  2. Notice your thoughts, feel the sensations the body is producing

  3. Shift back to calmness, what did you tell yourself?   What returned you to calmness?

  4. Emotion check, which feeling is more supportive and desirable for you?

When people get angry they are trying to get control of something they believe they don’t have control over.   Anger provides the illusion of control but repeated time after time becomes ineffective (may cause rage) or becomes destructive (the result becomes too negative – relationships undergo too much stress and fail).

Facing chronic anger

When you come face-to-face with chronic anger what do you do?

1. Stay calm in the midst of the storm (easier said than done).

2. It is not about you, it is about the other persons need for control.  

3. Reframe and respond (calm response … may diffuse, but also may provoke – the anger is intended to provoke the “see I am right … I am right”.  
    Here you are dealing with issues of negative self-esteem and anger as a method to control others. The thought is “How else can I get my way, compromise no way that would make me feel even worse.”

4. Acknowledge the feelings, “it is understandable that you’d be angry … this issue is important to you.”

5. Move to neutral ground.  What would take the emotion out?  
    How can this argument be moved to neutral ground?    Where is neutral ground?  

    Intervene by saying, “I would like to take this to neutral ground.  What would neutral ground look like to you?” Neutral ground is the place where there is no right or wrong, and no judgment.   What is neutral ground should be agreed upon prior to getting provoked in an argument.

What can you do to manage your anger?

low energy?

Earl Nightingale said, “The key that unlocks energy is desire. It’s also the key to a long and interesting life. If we expect to create any drive, any real force within ourselves, we have to get excited.”   Where is your energy level?  

Are you fully engaged in life?   What does that mean “engaged” in life?   What do you do that is fully motivating, powerful, and orientated towards your passions?

Many people go through live living in anger or complacency.    You probably know some people who are perpetually angry, unsatisfied and fed up with their circumstances.  They are the people who moan and complain with vigor at the situation they find themselves in.   Do you know someone like that?

There are others who continually whine about how life is out to get them and that everyone they know is out to get them.   These people are resigned to a life of complacency and being a victim of the circumstances that they find themselves in.   Do you know someone like that?

People who are complaining and whining about life are living in what is called a “catabolic” energy state.   This is negative energy and this kind of energy robs people of the joy, and potential that life offers.   Catabolic energy takes from life more than it gives to it.  

What would it look for you if you had less catabolic energy in your life?

six steps to manage anger

Anger is a problem.   Just writing that will cause people to say, “It’s not a problem”.  The fact is that one out of five people have anger management issues.   Anger by itself isn’t a problem it is when anger becomes destructive to others or to the self that is becomes a problem.  Anger is a response to a threat and sometimes the threat isn’t really a threat at all and yet the body reacts as if it was.  Sometimes anger becomes a habit and that habit reacts to situations that result in emotional outbursts, destructive actions or behaviors, and that is a problem.

People that put others down, that are highly critical of others, and that speak negatively of others behind their backs often have issues with anger.   As you can imagine people with unmanaged anger issues often have difficulty in relationships with others.   It is easy to see that people that with negatively charged attitudes and behaviors can suppress positive interactions at work, at home or in other social settings.  

Suppressed anger can cause serious problems as well, leading to high blood pressure or even depression.  Physically expressed anger can also be harmful to people that are in close proximity to others.   Even angry words can be harmful to those near the angry person.

So, what do you do?  How do you manage anger?

  1. Define the threat?   What caused you to get angry?  
  2. What are the facts?  Was the threat a real threat,  an imminent danger to you? 
  3. Step back, take a deep breath
  4. Remember a time that you were peaceful, let the experience in.
  5. Shake it out, release the tension.
  6. Create a new possibility – what positive action can be taken from this experience.

 Oh, the steps are simple enough alright but in the moment where the heat is the highest how are you to be calm enough to work the steps?

It takes practice.   It takes time to recognize that anger is upwelling in you and then it takes energy to stop and look at anger objectively.  It takes practice to stop and review your feelings. It takes practice to recognize the source of your angry feelings.

What makes you angry?

What thoughts or actions create anger for you?

What do you experience when you are driving down the road and you suddenly realize that you coming up way to fast on the car in front of you?   How do you respond?

If everyone is doing the best they can in the moment then anger may be misplaced.  It is only our interpretations of the issue that creates anger.  The situation itself has no emotional content.

Take the time to practice the steps.   If that doesn’t work, get help, find someone who you can work with to help you reduce anger in your life.

expectations that meet reality

Treat a man as he is, he will remain so. Treat a man the way he can be and ought to be, and he will become as he can be and should be.”  Goethe

Expectations set too high result in anger.  Expectations set too low result in depression.  

It is when personal expectations greatly exceed or are dramatically below expectations that dysfunction occurs.  The expectation gap creates either anger or mild depression depending on the direction of the gap.

Setting expectations more in line with reality creates enough purposeful stress that drives and fuels the desire but does not result in emotional dysfunction that is often released at other people.

Having expectations of others that aren’t met also result in negative stress.  Other people may not have the same expectations and are delivering results according to their reality and view of the world.   If your expectations are not being realized then reset your expectations to reduce your own personal stress.  The other person is unlikely to share your stress or understand what your expectations of them are unless they have agreed to share your expectations.

Are your expectations aligned with reality?   Is the stress level in your life appropriate for you?


the art and practice of humility

HEART in coaching with HEART has more meaning than just the word HEART.  HEART means, humility, encouragement, acknowledgement, relationships and trust.

Having HEART means working on those five life essentials daily and it means reflecting on each element and asking the question “Did I perform them well?” In our society standing out is more important than letting others shine.

Wayne Mack writes from his book “Humility” this definition, “… a truly humble person is not arrogant and assuming in his relationship with people”.    The value opposite of humility is pride.  Pride says that “I am” all that is, I am all that others need to see or hear.  In other words pride is putting the center of focus on the individual rather than away from it.

Practicing thankfulness is one way to begin to defeat pride.   Being thankful for all of life including other people is emblematic of those who are humble.   Putting others first in all of life is an act of humility.

Pride says, “I am better than ___________”.   Pride has no room for others.

If pride takes over a person’s life then there is little room for others to share or play a part in that person’s life.  If pride pushes other people away, humility draws other people closer.

The humble person has to be able to manage emotions well, anger, bitterness, impatience, and defeatism all have to be mastered and that takes time and effort.

How would you describe yourself, humble or proud?

Do you have difficulty with pride?

Do you practice humility?

Predictable Patterns

Our humanity rests upon a series of learned behaviors, woven together into patterns that are infinitely fragile and never directly inherited.” Margaret Mead


Continuing on with the theme of habits or predictable patterns what do you notice about your day that is totally a result of a pattern in your life?

Are there patterns in your life that are destructive?

For example are there things that just “set you” off, produce anger, irritation or high anxiety?   Can someone say something to you that reminds you of something unpleasant and instead of ignoring it begin to churn inside even to the point of saying something regretful?

We all have patterns in our lives.  Some patterns we should change for the betterment of self.   What patterns do you think you should change?

Some steps to take to figure out what patterns are in your life.

1.    Learn to observe yourself.   What are you doing?   Record it for a week or two.

2.    Which patterns create abundance and flow and which ones end up being criticisms of something or someone?

3.    Which patterns are predictable?   Someone who knows you could say “You will do this when /if _______”

4.    Have someone observe you.   What do they see?   Do you repeat time after time some phrase or action?