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How to keep your cool



It happens. Once in a while, you find yourself out of control and literally “lose it.”  And after you do, the feeling you get is an all-time low.

An emotional outburst of anger has debilitating effects on the body.

Over the top

This is the story of Ronald, 58, who was at the pinnacle of his career. A prominent architect by profession, he was famous for his punctuality and reliability. And he demanded the same from his team of 100 in his firm. He was such a stickler for perfection that the slightest deviation from what he deemed was ideal would set him off immediately.

At the height of his rage, he would deride his staff in a torrent of expletives. All this, as his face would be flushed with anger and his body would get all heated up. Clearly, this rendered him exhausted.

He would promise himself better self-control until the next belligerent episode. Relaxation for him was to down half a bottle of scotch whiskey. This went on for a decade until after one of his moody sessions, he felt dizzy and weak.

A medical check-up revealed that he had ulcers. His prescription, apart from the regular medication, was the following: Cut back on stress, diet modification, no alcoholic consumption and better anger management.

He never learned. After the medications improved his condition, Ronald went back to his old ways. Within two years, he developed stomach cancer.

Today, after heeding the advice of medical experts, he is successfully battling his health challenges. He is presently under the guidance of a therapist who has helped him through his struggles both emotionally and mentally.


Slow burn

Psychologists say that it isn’t wise to keep it all inside of you. In short, when a situation upsets you or a person offends you, say it like it is. By expressing your feelings honestly to the person who hurt you, major damage to your sense of balance can be averted.

Take the case of Gina, 45. She and her husband had started an online business which was gaining momentum in the market. Her daily interaction with her husband was nearly 24/7. There were times when he got on her nerves. But each time, she felt ready to explode, she would hold her temper.

Soon, she would suffer from repressed anger and the physical manifestations of these came in the form of migraines and indigestion. Avoiding conflict may not be such a positive move unless it leads to dialogue. And as soon as dialogue is completed, there is a natural resolution of issues that follows.

Gina made a promise to herself that she would no longer act like a sponge and absorb all the resentment from a less than perfect situation at home. She would finally speak up. And once she did, her debilitating migraines and sporadic stomach upsets went away just as magically.

Is it any wonder then, why the physical is so deeply affected by the emotions? The two are so sensitively entwined.  And might I add that the spiritual/mental parts of ourselves are connected to our bodies. Thus, the triumvirate – body, mind and spirit deserves a closer and better understanding on the impact it makes on the state of our health.


10 ways to keep cool

1. Take a pause. This is a simple practice that can delay an outburst. Stop. Take 3 deep breaths.  Do this before opening your mouth to speak.

2. Drink a glass of water while seated. Don’t do it while standing. Being on your feet is more stressful than being seated. So, sit down.

3. Distract yourself. Turn on the tv or listen to music. This ought to calm you down.

WALKING helps clear the head. (Unsplash/Frank Busch)

4. Go for a walk. The act of walking can help you cool off. It works all the time. Tire yourself in the process if you have to. Mild exercise produces happy hormones.

(Unsplash/Coffee Renate Vanaga)

5. Call a friend for coffee. A cup of hot chocolate also helps to relax you.

6. Step out. Wherever you are, just step out of the battle zone. Retreat to more peaceful surroundings like a park, a chapel or the neighbor’s house.

7. Watch a comedy show on TV.

8. Sip some herbal tea. Chamomile is soothing. Go for it.

9. Write something in your journal. The simple act of writing down your thoughts will allow you to process them in a constructive manner.

10. Try the mirror technique. Stand while facing a mirror. You cannot possibly lose your temper while looking at yourself.

Affirmation: “I have the courage to face my fears and conquer them.”

Love and light!