When Everything Goes Wrong…Tips On Controlling Anger From A Therapist In Long Beach

Staying positive is an essential part of survival. Survival of health and happiness that is. Many people go through tough times in their lives and there is nothing they can do to control it and it seems almost impossible to stay positive. They can only “wait it out” until things get better. Whether it’s that your spouse is being difficult, your teenager hates you, your boss is being a jerk, or you are just having a bad day. You do have control over one thing: your perception of what is happening. During any one of these examples, you have every right to curl up in bed and feel sorry for yourself. Although you may need to do this from time to time, over the long haul, this doesn’t really help the situation. What I recommend instead is answering two questions:
1. Is what I am thinking TRUE
2. Is what I am thinking HELPFUL to my situation.
People get wrapped up in believing since something is true and they allow it to ruin their day. Instead I want you to think is it TRUE and HELPFUL. If it is not helpful, is there something else you can replace that thought with that is both TRUE and HELPFUL? Or perhaps even another thought that would be more helpful.
Example: One day, I was driving and got cut off by another driver. I had been waiting to exit the freeway for what seemed like 30 minutes (which in LA could actually be true). This driver came up the side of the freeway and cut right in front of me. I had been running late to something because I was not expecting the traffic right in the middle of the day so I was very frustrated already. What ended up happening is that I was upset all day and told almost everyone I talked to that day about this jerk who cut me off on the freeway. Funny thing is, that driver ruined my day and probably has no clue. No matter if I was angry or not, that other driver was going on with their day without a thought in the world about poor little me. So why was I letting that driver make my entire day bad?

This is how you stop allowing others to make your entire day bad. Because when it comes down to it, we ALLOW others to “make our day bad”.

OLD THINKING: When I originally got cut off, I thought: “This person thinks they are better than everyone else with their big truck”, “this person doesn’t think they have to follow the rules of everyone else”, “where are the police when we REALLY need them”, and so on and so on.
Question: Is it true? (do they really think they are better than everyone else)
Answer: Maybe
Question: Is it helpful to me to think this?
Answer: No

NEW THINKING: “Maybe this guy is rushing to the hospital because his mother hurt herself”, “Maybe this guy is a ball of bad energy and I don’t want to be caught up in that bad energy”.
Question: Is it true
Answer: Maybe
Question: Is it helpful to me to think this?
Answer: Yes

Although both ways of thinking could be true or not true, the second way of thinking is HELPFUL, which allows me to move on with my day and not allow the bad thoughts and bad energy into my day. I allow that person to have their negative/stressful energy (if that, indeed is what it was) and I get to move on and talk about good things with the people I encounter. If you are having trouble with this concept, feel free to come in for your free initial session and I can work with you on your specific situation and new thinking that may be helpful to you in your pursuit of happiness.

 

If you are looking for individual therapy or couples therapy in Long Beach, please give me a call to ask me a question or to set up an appointment.

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