Coping With Anger & Angry People

I’m not above feeling rage, I don’t think anyone is. If we went through life without feeling true anger at least a handful of times then we haven’t exposed ourselves to enough people.

It is impossible to be liked by everyone.

You might be the golden child, a poster child for all that is good. You might be popular and have lots of friends but someone, somewhere will butt heads with you simply because your personalities are wildly different.

Its how we choose to perceive and deal with this anger which shapes and defines us.

There are some people out there who choose to be angry at the world. They were hurt too many times and now they’re closed off to the world, unable to see it as it is. They choose to act out like bratty children who don’t like the toys they’ve been given. These are the argumentative people who choose to face life head on in a kind of shout first, ask questions later, approach. If you’re one of these people then please ask yourself: what are you hoping to achieve by being this way? Arguments are there in life to air grievances which couldn’t be discussed in a civil matter. Arguments stem from an issue or issues which have been bubbling under the surface for a long time which haven’t been resolved in the way we want them to. When we argue its ultimately to try and make ourselves feel better. It’s selfish but sometimes it’s necessary if we cannot approach a conversation calmly.

However, when life begins turning into a constant argument and the anger is continually bubbling inside, then that’s when we need to start addressing the issues which are really bothering us. These attitudes we chose to adopt will shape us, and will lead us into an early grave because our hearts are full of anxiety and anger.

I have found that arguments rarely solve anything. It’s just a lot of loud noises from two people not listening to each other.

I have found that a much easier approach to life is to sit and really listen to yourself. Listen to what your body is telling you. Start writing down your thoughts and feelings, even in a journal you’ll never show anyone. Really assess what is making you feel angry and upset.

For me, if I feel angry it comes in waves. It becomes this overwhelming sense which overtakes my body and a younger me would have lashed out. But as I’ve got older I’ve realised that the phrase “pick your battles” is incredibly potent.

Before you argue and get angry and lash out at those around you because life has got your knickers in a twist, think to yourself “is this argument really worthwhile? Will it achieve anything?”

If the answer is no then take a deep breath and release it. Goodness knows controlling your anger takes patience and time but once you learn to release that anger and start actually facing your inner demons, you’ll begin to let go of that rage which has been bubbling under the surface.

The same goes for when people want to argue with you. Some people will just want to push your buttons on purpose to get a rise from you (most likely the people you butt heads with) and even the best of us can lose it just because they push us to a breaking point because they want you to feel as frustrated as them. It’s during these times that it’s important to remember that they are feeling this rage a lot of the time and there are issues they want to air but maybe they need coaxing to find the actual reason they’re angry.

Sometimes it can seem like that person is unreasonable and nothing will calm them down, that everything you say is just adding fuel to the fire. When you feel like you’re close to breaking point, take a deep breath and tell them that when they are ready to have an adult discussion about what is wrong without attacking you, you’ll be ready to listen and then remove yourself from the conversation.

Remember, the more you rise to them, the more you give them a chance to release that inner anger. They need to learn to deal with that anger on their own, it’s not always your responsibility to resolve the issues of others.

You are only responsible for your own emotions.

So whether you are dealing with anger in your life or whether you have someone in your life who is particularly argumentative and you’re getting nowhere with them, it’s important to take a step back and reflect. What is the real reason behind the anger?

Looking past the top layer of frustration of events, in order to deal with anger we have to look deep within ourselves.

For instance, in one of my relationships, my partner really frustrated me all the time and I didn’t know why until I started looking at what triggered me and then what triggered that and so on and so forth. I learned that small things like not doing the washing up or helping around our house was winding me up which in turn made me look at why that upset me so much. It turned out that I felt undermined, I wasn’t his equal but someone he was treating like his mother or hired help. I wasn’t feeling affection in the traditional couple sense, which led to me realising that I’d fallen out of love with him. That meant once I’d realised this, I could talk to him about what was wrong and it wasn’t just an explosion of “why haven’t you done the washing up!” or “You need to show me more affection!” because ultimately what I had discovered about myself made the anger disappear and in its place was sadness but this was the first step in the right direction.

I think a lot of people get stuck in the anger phase because they are too afraid to deal with their problems head on. They worry that if they start self assessing then it’ll bring sadness, as if sadness is the end of the world.

Sadness is what makes us human. It is that emotion of losing something we once had, losing love, losing trust, losing our happiness. It is one of the most difficult emotions to pull yourself out of but it’s not impossible.

I had a discussion with my parents about the bullies I’d faced during my work time as a young adult and how I was pushed backwards against a desk as my 6″ boss in heels jabbed my shoulders in rage because she was angry at another member of staff. How I had a boss at another company who made a habit of shouting in your face, when something went wrong because he had two exes who were messing with his life and his head. I have equally seen these two bosses cry. I have been there to see them work through their anger and after two years of working for the second boss, I could start to see a change in him for the better.

Sadness isn’t an emotion we should be afraid of. We can face the abyss and still turn our lives around. Sadness is a necessary state of mind to cope with the stresses of life and once we accept these emotions we can start to grow and as we grow we emerge from sadness, stronger and happier than before, confident in the knowledge that we can face our demons.

Until next time.

Going With The Flow- Keeping An Open Mind

I am very much in the “go with the flow and see what happens” mentality at the moment and it’s actually quite freeing. Instead of letting myself get hung up over what ifs and buts, I’m saying to myself whatever happens, happens.

Its proving to be quite effective. I don’t feel obsessed over the small things, especially the aspects of my life I can’t control.

Please don’t mistake going with the flow for someone who doesn’t care or is carefree, I simply mean, I am trying my hardest to live my life with an open mind. I’m keeping my future path loose and fluid, with the idea that if one option doesn’t pan out the way I would like it to, then I’m not seeing it as a set back, merely one door that has closed.

We don’t know what the future holds but anxiety leads us to believe we do. We worry and stress over every little aspect of our lives. Whether it’s something seemingly as simple as someone not texting us back, we think the worst. I’ve seen it in myself in the past and friends in the present and I’m sure they’ll be plenty of people in the future going through the same situations. What we have to learn is that we can’t control everything.

Once we learn that, it suddenly becomes a freeing mentality which opens you up to so many opportunities.

When Derren Brown the illusionist placed money on the ground in front of a group of people he’d questioned before, the focus group who said and believed that they weren’t lucky didn’t see the money on the floor, whereas the people who said they felt lucky sometimes or more often than not, saw the money. It was an interesting psychological experiment which shows us that belief and your mental state can impact your life quite dramatically and in order to combat negative emotions, we should be actively opening ourselves up for opportunity.

Obviously with opportunity comes vulnerability but being vulnerable can also help us to develop as human beings. Being rejected from a job or a relationship hurts, don’t get me wrong, but with each experience we grow and we learn what we like about ourselves and what we don’t through other people’s criticism. This is why rejection hurts so much. We have a twisted sense of self, we believe that we are the protagonists of our own story, that other people are there to forward our adventure and in some aspects we’re right. We should be positive, be looking at constantly moving forward but we also shouldn’t have such a closed view on life.

Sometimes we’re the sidekick in someone else’s adventure. If we all went around thinking we were the hero of the story then there would be no story to be told.

Even sometimes, on our worst days, we’re the villains of someone’s story. It’s in these days we have a lot to learn about empathy and how to treat those around us.

Life, as I see it, is about experience. We have adventures, we love, we explore and reach new and exciting highs. We experience heartbreak and sorrow and incredible lows, even to the point where some of us don’t want to be on this earth anymore. But life is worth living for both the highs and the lows. It’s worth exploring the opportunities that are presented to us and keeping our path fluid with an open mind.

I thought that I would be stuck unemployed for months while on lockdown but during this time I’ve not only found myself a few odd jobs for people but was also head hunted by my old bosses friend. It was an unexpected surprise and has led me to the current freelance job I have today.

Maybe I believe in karma. Maybe I believe that I’ve had a lot of bad juju in the past few years and I’m finally receiving some well deserved positive vibes. Maybe I don’t believe in it. Maybe I think we are in control of our lives through the ways in which we choose to live mentally.

What do you think? Do you believe in karma?

Until next time.

Worried About Lockdown? Us Too.

For those of you who read my blog on a regular basis (shout out to Mum and Dad), will know that this blog is all about promoting the mental wellbeing of my readers by offering inspiring real life content and motivational pieces.

In the flesh, I’m no different. Unsatisfied unless I’ve done something productive in my day, I try and encourage mental wellbeing in both myself and my partner Darren. However, sometimes I need help and Darren, his sister Louise and my family have all been there to support me in this difficult time.

It goes to show that everyone needs help from time to time and just because your friend or family member seems to have their life in order, things may not always be as peachy as they appear.

I have worries and concerns everyday about a whole host of things, mainly financial due to losing my full time job as a product lister for an eCommerce brand, but I do my best to plod through. We deal with the hand we’re dealt and although sometimes it feels like a lot of others have landed on their feet where I keep stumbling and falling over, I keep moving forward because that’s all I can do.

However dark things may seem at the moment, there is always a light at the end of the tunnel. Watching Darren progress at learning the ukulele and seeing the chord progression finally click in his brain yesterday was super encouraging and I am so proud of him.

It’s definitely true that other people’s energies reflect onto you and vice versa and as we carry on like the good Brits we are, I do feel hopeful, regardless of my worries. We will return to our new normal one day but for now, we should be making the best of things.

Things will have a habit of working themselves out, we just have to believe it so.

Until next time.

2020: The Year The World Stood Still

2020 is definitely the year that stood still. Since lockdown begun, we have frozen all forward motion, as if stuck in a limbo of what ifs and buts. Nothing seems quite right, the natural order of things have been knocked off track and come to a stand still, we’re waiting at a red light before we can get moving again.

But when we move again, will things ever return to normal, or are we to establish a new equilibrium? One where social distancing is a part of our everyday lives and the fear of germs is overwhelming?

The UK’s Chief Medical Officer has advised that we may have to see social distancing in place until a vaccine is found as, although we have reached our artificial peak, we haven’t seen the full capabilities of the virus gone wild.

This being said, when we begin to move again, how long will it take to recover? How long before we will be able to return to the safety of our 9 to 5 jobs, our comfortable routines? Will we need to try again, try something different?

When we see the green light to go, will we be mentally prepared, or will we see hesitancy, people too afraid to jump right in, the fear of uncertainty and newness a strange and unwelcome sight?

I for one, am feeling rather lost. I plod through each day but rather with lack of enjoyment. I long for the days without stress and worry, for love and happiness to run amuck. I want to embrace my family and friends without caution, without prejudice. There’s a great deal of difference between my life before and now, including a 9 to 5 office job and financial security, and hectic socialising in between, but I’m getting surprisingly used to the empty days, much to my dismay.

There will be good days again, full of sunshine and laughter, when we are all safe to do so, we just have to wait and watch this black cloud blow over. Once the storm has passed, we’ll soon see what our new lives will hold.

As 2020 stands still for us, I ask the question: will life ever be the same again?


Thanks for taking the time to read this piece. For more exclusive pieces similar to this, why not sign up to our newsletter? New subscribers also receive 3 free digital prints.

Processing…
Success! You're on the list.

Dealing with the stresses of lockdown- Part 1

As we enter week 5 of the UK lockdown, it’s clear to see that everyone is trying their best to follow the rules and stay home where possible.

There are less queues at the supermarket across the way from me, less people on the streets walking and an increase in people wearing homemade masks.

However important it is to stay home and stop the spread of the virus, it’s still affecting people incredibly. The rise in domestic violence is frightening, and its splayed all over Facebook where people are finding staying at home straining.

There are people like me, who lost their jobs when the epidemic started and applied for help and still have not received a penny. Then families staying in one property have an immense amount of strain placed on them as the contact is sheer overload, similarly, those home alone have no contact and are striving human contact. It’s this team of both financial worry and human contact which are causing a lot of people to suffer with mental health issues like anxiety and depression who maybe hadn’t experienced it before.

It’s these people who are plodding along but not knowing why they feel the way they feel. They’ll describe it as frustration or boredom but might have a cry when it gets too much.

It’s these people I want to address, these people I want to extend my heartfelt thoughts to. Yes, you’re struggling and you don’t have to compare yourself to others.

Too often I hear “well so and so have it much worse than me” as if offering yourself a sadness borderline where if you reach that line you’ll agree to be sad instead of accepting that you’re sad now.

It important to look at your own feelings, observe how this lockdown is affecting you and coming up with an action plan to make the most of it.

For instance, I’m a massive advocate for writing. By now you should know this if you’ve been following the blog. Most mornings since lockdown, I’ve had a certain routine. While my boyfriend sleeps, I browse the news in bed, not too much about Covid-19, mind you, but I try and find other stories as well, before I get up, make myself a coffee and read a magazine or a book.

It’s this quiet morning reflection and routine which calms me down, gives me time for me to reflect and truly think about what needs to be done during the rest of the day.

It’s easy to slip into a routine of getting out of bed late, staying in your pyjamas and binge watching yet another series on netflix but do you know what that sounds synonymous with? Depression. People with depression find it hard to get out of bed, find it hard to motivate themselves. And yes, it’s hard to break this routine once you have it but good god, breaking that habit is possibly the best thing you can do for your mental health.

In my next article I’ll discuss my routine for the day and how I break the depression cycle. Stay tuned for more or start a conversation on Facebook, I reply regularly and am happy to discuss anything about the points discussed in this article.

Body Dysmorphia & How To Dress For Your Shape

Sometimes when we look in the mirror we see something we don’t like. We see bodies which don’t fit into our personal expectation of beauty and it’s this view of ourselves which causes us to project into our lives, i.e I didn’t get that job because I wasn’t as pretty as the other people there, or I’m single because I’m not thin enough. This is obviously not going to give us the best outlook on life and is definitely going to start impacting our day to day moods.

I’ve seen it across the board. My work colleague wants to get a boob job, a friend who over exercises is forever thinking she’s not doing enough, another who has tried a personal trainer and a meal plan and is still unhappy with the way she looks. It’s something I researched and read about extensively while writing my dissertation on body dysmorphia and frankly it hurts my heart to know people are struggling in their lives because of their personal interpretation of their body.

Obviously, society has a lot to answer for setting our expectations so high and fashion has a lot to do in order to resolve the issue of body confidence, however, for the time being we can do something to combat these stresses: we can dress well for our shape and size as in turn, when we feel comfortable and happy, we feel more body confident.

I have my ups and down days when it comes to my body but overall, I am happy with my shape. Yes I could tone this and that but in all honesty, it doesn’t bother me that much.

I previously wrote about dressing for your body shape which you can read here.

I understand that fashion is not kind to some body shapes. High waisted trousers are not to everyone’s liking and peplum tops really don’t flatter everyone’s shape like they’re supposed to. Personally, the best advice I can give is to break out of the mould. Just because celebrities are wearing a style doesnt mean you need to jump on the bad wagon, however, it is important to try on as many different styles as possible, even pursuing with a few with small changes (like my pursuit to find a bodysuit which fits- and now I have two- thanks PLT), in order to discover what suits us the most and what we feel comfortable in.

I can’t drive it home enough that good fitting clothes will make you feel better about your body, at least until the world catches up and embraces the female form in all its lump and bumpy glory.

Until next time.

Life Update: Where Are We Now?

As I keep saying to my boyfriend Darren, this year is a year of firsts. From the blog perspective, this means trying videos on my posts, and social media tactics I wouldn’t have tried prior to this year. It also means trying online shopping properly for the first time. From a business perspective it means taking on creative projects like art installations for The Mad Catter Vintage Cat Cafe in Eastbourne which is proving to be both intellectually stimulating as well as encouraging my imagination.

As previously mentioned, I am still struggling with the work/life balance, however weekends are now proving to be both productive as well as socially recharging.

This year has been a year of firsts but it’s also been a rollercoaster ride of events. From breaking down on our way to Chessington last week, to travelling to Portugal in March, to spending time developing my creative business and having opportunities to do so has meant this year has been a mixed bag of ups and downs. This year has seen death but it has also seen an abundance of life and passion, love and creativity and has shown me that it can be one big surprise, one after the next.

I am blessed to be able to say that I have lived life to the fullest, I have had adventure after adventure and have created memories which will last a lifetime.

While I look around, I see that the most fulfilled people are the people who have explored their passions and followed their dreams. My brother is now working in Ireland doing what he wants to do, Lucy is opening her cat café next month, Louise is about to pop a baby out, Andy is getting married, Ruth has successfully moved house, and I am so incredibly proud of all them and wish them all the best during their adventures.

Whether you have had a small or large life success we should learn to celebrate these. It is also worthwhile celebrating the life successes of others, as we should be able to celebrate and be happy for those of us around us.

I hope that the rest of this year will be as fruitful and as we creep into the darker, more dismal months of the year, I hope we can all keep our sights on our best futures, our new and existing adventures and grow into wonderfully enriched adults with a whole host of memories under our belts.

Until next time.

Stress, Motivation & Shaping Your Life

Life, at the moment, seems hectic for everyone I speak to. Whether it’s because you’re a single socialite with plenty to do and people to see or you’re a full time mummy who keeps forgetting which days to take your kids to the opticians, we all have stressful activities which are filling our days, leaving us little or no time for ourselves.

However, stress is good in the right dosage.

Stress gives us motivation to get things done. It forces us to learn to prioritize, and can move us in the right directions when we’re undecided or sitting on the fence about something.

Too much stress, however, causes us physical and emotional pain and can impact others around us when we lash out.

I have experienced stress and even have been treated for anxiety in the form of counselling and I would recommend anyone going through a stressful time speak to their doctor about arranging a consultation.

Talking through how I was feeling to friends and family was one thing, but talking to an unbiased professional about my worries and concerns made me put them into perspective as what was being said wasn’t being thrown back at me by all sorts of pot stirring gossip queens.

I had a tough time with one of my exes and it took me a while to get over the situation I’d put myself in. I felt like I’d hit rock bottom: I’d had to move back to my parents home after living in my own house, taken a lower paid job in a well known supermarket, and had no friends in the area to visit, the closest was two hours away. I felt utterly useless but I knew I wanted to better myself.

Today I live in my own flat in Eastbourne, have a job using skills I hadn’t previously used professionally, and have an abundance of friends who I have made off my own back.

My secret is simple, have hope for a better future.

If you’re someone in a bad place right now, look forward to the future and imagine your perfect life. Maybe your perfect life is traditional: a mortgage, a family, a pet, or maybe you’re looking for something a bit different from life, maybe you want to be a full time traveller. Either way, establish your goals and think of ways to work towards them.

Instead of focusing on the negative: I.e I’m single and I’m never going to find love, think about what you can do to change that. For example, I’ve never tried dancing classes, I’ll go and meet new people and maybe one of those people might introduce me to someone I can have a romantic encounter with. Or for those of you who want to improve your career situation, instead of “woe is me, I hate my job and can’t wait to retire” you could look at an evening class doing something you have a hobby in, apply for other jobs, attend job fairs or look at starting your own business.

What I’m getting at is hope is what inspires us, stress motivates us, and our hobbies shape us. If we can discover what it means to be us then we can discover what makes us happy and then, we can change our busy days into productive days which, trust me, make you feel 100 times better when you lay your head down at night.

Until next time.

Dancing My Way To Happiness: Salsa Edition

I’m attempting the ‘yes lifestyle’. It’s where I say yes as often as I can to new and exciting experiences where before I would have said no out of fear.

So, as a bid to get me out of the flat for an evening and socialise with new people, each Tuesday the Mansion Lions Hotel in Eastbourne hosts salsa dancing lessons to complete beginners right up to those who are more advanced (doing spins and shit).

It was an opportunity which arose when my friend Ruth offered up the evening one afternoon while I was feeling crappy and I took a leap of faith and agreed to give it a go. What was I going to lose? An evening alone at home again? Good.

I’m not going to lie and say that the initial walk down to the hotel wasn’t rife with um’s and err maybe I should turn around’s but I pursued and did the one thing that day that scared me shitless.

And I can safely say, I am so proud of myself for going. I can say I’ve learnt the basic steps and would be able, since I’m the woman and can be led in the dance, to take my new found steps into a salsa club which opens up so many new and exciting ventures for the future.

It’s a shame I didn’t have a partner to go with as it’s something that would really suit a couple, however, it didn’t matter. Since you’re constantly swapping and changing partners in the class anyway I was able to go as a solo dancer.

It was an incredibly fun evening and it was one of the first days in the week where I’ve actually felt truly comfortable in my own skin which is something I haven’t been able to say in a long time. I feel like I’m beginning to come to terms with what it means to be me and how I am outside of a relationship and surprisingly, I’m getting on quite well with her.

I’m beginning to see what they mean when they say you need to love yourself before you can love anyone else because although I have felt love before, it’s always been shadowed with this concern that I am somehow not good enough but I’m starting to think that single life has changed that outlook.

So I never thought I’d say this but thank you to my ex. You were the catalyst which forced me into a situation I needed to be in but wouldn’t necessarily put myself in. I’m learning who I am and it wouldn’t have happened without you.

So yes, ultimately heartbreak led me here but I feel like I’m slowly but surely putting the pieces of myself back together, only this time in a different order. Maybe this time the puzzle pieces will align in the right places.

And who knows what the future will hold. There may be the opportunity to love again, but only when I am truly comfortable with myself.

Until next time.

P.s for those of you who fancy it, why not join me at salsa this Tuesday 7.30pm at Mansion Lions Hotel, Eastbourne?

Living In Limbo & Starting Again

I said to my friend that I felt like I was living in an emotional limbo of late. It’s the equilibrium of this new chapter which I’m learning to accept but feeling that unwillingness to dive in and move forward with it. Yet I know it’s just a matter of time and I need to give myself a chance to grieve and love myself, however I’m a tough cookie and it’s annoying me that I’m still hashing up stories like word vomit. I can’t help myself but it happens and the minute I talk about my feelings I’m overwhelmed with this sickness, like ‘for fucks sake girl, just get over it’.

But regardless of all this, I am moving forward and today is turning out to be a good day as I’ve caught up with a whole bunch of things I’ve been meaning to do and I’ve had the additional cash to refresh my home because I haven’t been going out as much.

It’s important when you’re feeling crappy to do the things that make you happy, rediscover what makes you tick. For me this is writing, making music, drawing. It’s discovering new podcasts to listen to while I do my chores, or spending time with friends that I hadn’t done prior.

This week I’ve also spent time spring cleaning. I’ve rearranged my furniture in my flat, which involved dragging an incredibly heavy bookcase (yes mum, I emptied it first), as well as chucked a load of clothes which weren’t being worn, yet were cluttering up my already tiny flat.

I’m lucky to have such a wonderful crowd around me. I have people checking up on me, helping me around the house, and generally there for me when I need to vent and I am so utterly grateful for them. However, I don’t want to lose them by repeating the same worries and the same concerns again and again and there’s always that niggling feeling at the back of my head that the person I want the most comfort from is the last person who can give it to me.

So yes, I have my down days but I’m at the stage now where I’m done, for the most part, talking about what’s hurting as it’s all been said before and nothing new is going to come from repeating the same old news.

However, this is incredibly difficult when you bump into your ex’s family while out shopping for self help books as they want to discuss it. Regardless, it was lovely that the family haven’t just disowned me as it would have been incredibly easy for them to just ignore me. I’m grateful for small mercies as sometimes it’s hard to see myself as the victim so when everyone is apologising to me or telling me I’ll be ok, I am suffering with imposter syndrome, as if somehow they’re talking about someone else, and soon they’ll realise I’m a bad guy in the equation.

Obviously, there have been people who have used my situation and my new found singledom as an excuse to get “extra friendly” and frankly, I find it weird that suddenly knowing a girl is single is seen as an opportunity. You shouldn’t approach a crying girl with romantic or sexual propositions just because suddenly she’s available, but that’s a different topic entirely.

This week has been a week of self reflection and retrospective thought. It’s been a bit of a turning point for me as I’ve come to the realisation that I’m a massive softie and some people have used me as a stepping stone to move onto other things. However, it has also shown me that I am a complete and utter lover and even when faced with opportunity for anger or hatred, I find I love people better and I just need to show myself some of that unconditional love and take care of myself a bit more.

How do you look after yourself? Do you treat yourself to new clothes? Maybe you have a tub of ice cream in the freezer you bust out when you’re feeling sad. Or maybe you treat yourself to a home spa day? Let me know in the comments below.

Until next time.