“Throughout life people will make you mad, disrespect you, and treat you bad. Let God deal with the things they do cause hate in your heart will consume you too.”
A fundamental step to being happy is learning to process negative emotions in a healthy way. When we are born, we freely express our emotions with passion, letting them completely flow. As children we process emotions with full force: we cry hard and laugh out loud. Then we move on with our day, not thinking about them. Children let their emotions flow with complete passion and then release them. They can be angry one minute and laughing the next. As we got older, we learned to suppress our emotions and/or express them in unhealthy ways. We also learned to dwell on the emotions in our thoughts, keeping them stuck inside our emotional bodies.
When we allow our thoughts to dwell in anger, discontent, or injustice, we are causing our own suffering. Anger, as all emotions, is a natural response to some situations. Feel the emotion, and then let it flow and let it go. We all did this when we were very young. We would get upset, cry, scream, and jump up and down, and then a few minutes later we would be onto something else without dwelling on the past emotion.
When people stay with the emotion by repetitively rehashing the situation in their minds, suffering occurs. Anger itself is the demon that wields the punishment. Oh, that we could instantly feel the burning nature of anger like the burn of a fire, we would avoid touching it again. There are many ways to extinguish this emotional fire. The one that works best for me is taking a few slow, deep breaths. This is instantly calming and allows your attention to move away from the angry thoughts. The fire of anger feeds on attention. Don’t feed it, and it won’t burn you.
Anger is never an excuse to act in harmful ways toward others. We all feel angry from time to time. With any negative emotion, it is best to let it flow to let it go. But that doesn’t mean you have to yell at someone or resort to violence. When you feel angry, acknowledge it, take a few slow, deep breaths, and then, if the feeling is still strong, choose an appropriate way to channel it: Walk, run, jump, scream (never at someone), take a shower, exercise, sing, or cry. Use whatever method works for you to discharge the emotion without spreading it to others.
Let emotions flow, then let them go.
Begin processing your negative emotions in healthy ways. Practice using different techniques to calm yourself and to release the emotional energy. Discover what methods work best for you. Be aware of your responsibility to keep your negative emotions from attacking others either verbally or physically.