Antidote to Anger and Victimhood: Regain Control
Chronic pain causes anxiety, which we respond to by trying to control the circumstances that cause it, whether it is a situation, person, or just thoughts. If we can’t control these, anger strikes. Anger is an understandable response to chronic pain. But anger, no matter how justified, will destroy your quality of life.
To become angry you must first feel like a VICTIM. First, you blame a person or circumstance for disrupting your sense of well-being, which automatically puts you in the role of a victim. Feeling that you’ve been the victim of something or someone causes frustration and anger. Recognizing and acknowledging that your anger response is YOUR issue and not the other person’s is far and away the biggest personal challenge. No one can make you angry; you have a choice every time your anger button is pushed. All another person or situation does is trigger a neurological response within you. The problem is that it doesn’t feel like you have a choice because your response to the person, situation, or trigger is so fast and powerful.
“The most difficult part of understanding anger is acknowledging that it’s not the other person or the situation that’s causing you to become angry, it’s you. Every bit of it.”
* Use anger to power your efforts. Motivate yourself to gradually increase your exercise. Learn all you can about your condition and your body’s ability to heal.
* Don’t let your anger cover up your feelings. As anger wells up, feel it without reacting, and allow it to gradually fade away. Meditation helps here.
* Create more space between a stimulus and your response. The more space you create after a trigger, the more control you gain over your response.
“When you think everything is someone else’s fault, you will suffer a lot. When you realize that everything springs only from yourself, you will learn both peace and joy” – Dalai Lama
Reference: Hanscom, D. (2012). Back in Control. Seattle, WA: Vertus Press.