Posts Tagged ‘Anxiety’

Are You Angry at Yourself? Probably – Even if You Don’t Think so

Saturday, November 30th, 2013

You may already know that anger can have negative effects on both your emotional and physical well-being. I will describe some of those effects later in this post.

But before I do, I want to point out something most people don’t think about, which is this: when most of us think about anger and being angry, we think about someone we’re angry at, or about something that happened to us that made us angry and upset. We remember getting angry when something happened to us that wasn’t fair, like getting sick or losing our job – or both. We get angry at our government for passing bad laws or for not passing laws we know are needed.

But when we think about anger and being angry, rarely do we think about our anger at ourselves. However, most if not all of us have some–and some of us have a lot of it.

We get it from not being the way we think we should be. We get it from not having the willpower we think we should have. We may have it because we haven’t taken good care of ourselves or from not staying true to our values. We can get angry at ourselves because we got sick—even though we’re not to blame for that happening. And we can be angry at ourselves for countless other reasons.

Whatever the reasons and wherever they came from, whether we are aware of it or not, virtually all of us have some anger at ourselves. And that self-anger can have the same negative effects on our emotional and our physical well-being as anger at others does.

Those effects include weakening our immune system, high blood pressure, problems with digestion, skin problems, heart attacks, strokes, anxiety and depression, and many others.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has stated that 85 percent of all diseases appear to have an emotional element. I think the percentage is even higher.

So if most of us have some self-anger, and that anger has negative effects on our emotional and physical well-being that makes our lives worse, what can we do?

The first thing we can do is to look and see if there are things we’re angry at ourselves for, things we’ve forgotten or never acknowledged in the first place. Then when we find that anger, we can do the same thing we can do when others do things that hurt and upset us: Just as we can forgive them, we can forgive ourselves.

In one way, it’s often easier to forgive ourselves than it is to forgive others. That’s because it’s easier to forgive people who apologize for what they did, but other people often don’t ever apologize. But we can always apologize to ourselves, and when when we do that, and mean it, it is a lot easier for us to forgive ourselves. So I strongly recommend that you take the time and make the effort to forgive yourself.

The next thing you can do is to be gentle with yourself and have lots of understanding compassion for both the part of you that has been hurt and angry and for the part that caused the hurt and anger. Remember that the part of you that did that was doing the best it knew how and was not intentionally trying to hurt you or make you angry and upset.

Healing self-anger can make a very big difference in your life. One of my clients recently discovered that because of her anger at herself, anger that she didn’t realize she had, she had been punishing herself for years. When she forgave herself and stopped doing that, she had a big breakthrough and experienced a miraculous shift in her often difficult relationship with her husband.

Whether or not you have a breakthrough, I am certain that healing any self-anger you have, by apologizing, forgiving, and having compassion for yourself, will have a very positive effect on your physical and emotional well-being.

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Tom Robinson, who has a chronic illness (Crohn’s disease) himself, helps people with chronic illnesses meet their many challenges and then find and follow a path to happiness and fulfillment.

Get his free report, Has Living with a Chronic Illness Worn You Down? Learn How to Outsmart Your Illness and Have a Much Better Life.

Don’t Forget to Have a Better Life

Thursday, April 28th, 2011

Reminders are great for helping us remember to take better care of ourselves, and they can also help us remember how capable of dealing with life’s challenges we really are.

One recent client, whom I’ll call Mark, was very successful in many ways. But he was feeling a lot of stress and anxiety at work because of deadline pressure and the performance expectations he thought people had of him. And this was in spite of the fact that he was a very good engineer.

In the other areas of his life, he was very centered and grounded – so much so that he knew what being that way felt like. His description of being centered and grounded reminded me of a sailboat’s keel, which keeps the boat from tipping over in spite of high winds or big waves. I wanted him to be able to access those qualities at work, so I suggested that he get a sailboat calendar for his office. He did, and right away started using it, whenever he became stressed, to remind himself that he had a “keel” and could stay centered in spite of the pressure he felt. And the next time we talked he told me that having a nearby reminder that he could stay centered and grounded took a big load off his shoulders and helped him feel much less stress and anxiety at work.

Besides reminding us of our strengths, reminders, as I said before, can also help us remember to take better care of ourselves. When I need an extra reminder to be gentle and compassionate with myself, I put my watch on my right wrist instead of on my left one like I normally do. Then every time I check the time, I am reminded to give myself the care I need.

What reminders can you use to help you have a much better life?

For more ways to have a better life when you have a chronic illness, get my free report:  Do You Hate Having a Chronic Illness?  You Can Live Well Anyway – Here’s How!

How to Feel Better Instantly

Monday, January 31st, 2011

Today I want to tell you how to feel better instantly. It’s something I learned from my ex-wife.

Here’s how the lesson came about: When we were married, we had more than our share of heated arguments, and sometimes when we in the middle of one, the phone would ring. My ex would answer it in a completely normal voice. And if it was a friend of hers, she would have a conversation that often included smiles and laughter. There would not be even the slightest indication that up until the moment when she picked up the phone, she was furious or upset.

A friend of mine recently shared with me another example about feeling better, although the change didn’t happen as quickly as it did for my ex-wife.

What happened was that her ex-husband had told her that he was going to have her declared an unfit mother and take her young daughter away from her. As you can imagine, she became very upset, anxious, and afraid. She could have stayed that way, but she consciously made the decision to change. What she did instead of dwell on those feelings was to ask her five-year-old daughter what she wanted to be for Halloween. Her daughter responded that she wanted to be a waterfall. My friend used her ingenuity, creativity, and sewing skills to create a wonderful waterfall costume, and experienced a lot of happiness and aliveness as she did. And her ex-husband’s threat to have her declared an unfit mother went nowhere.

In case you’re wondering what these stories have to do with people with chronic illnesses, the answer is a lot. That’s because dealing with the feelings and emotions that come with having a chronic illness can be as hard as or even harder than dealing with the illness itself. And as the examples I’ve described have shown, there are things we can do so that negative feelings get replaced by positive ones – sometimes in an instant.

So I strongly suggest that when you’re struggling and feeling upset, anxious, or overwhelmed, that you not dwell on those feelings. Instead, have a conversation with a friend or find something to do that you enjoy and find engrossing.

If you would like more ideas for how to live well when you have a chronic illness, I invite you to get my free report: Do You Hate Having a Chronic Illness? You Can Live Well Anyway – Here’s How!