Living in the Moment to Reduce Anger

As a life coach I help people to understand the value of living in the moment, you know, the “Zen” way of being. I offer helpful exercises to learn the art of removing one’s ego from certain situations and allowing the outcome. And to my credit, I practice what I preach as much as humanly possible – But every now and then I slip, and I do fine job of messing things up! I view it as my way of fostering an awareness of my clients’ challenges. (Yes, there’s always an upside!)

A couple of summers ago I was enjoying the peaceful charm of my garden while potting water plants for the pond and annuals around my deck. Ahhh, the sound of the running water, the feel of the cool breeze and warm sun, the smell of newly blossomed flowers, the sights of nature in its state of awakening; what more could a nature lover ask for? Enter – the dogs. Not little dogs, no my dogs are large and unruly. They love to play-fight and when they do – look out; there are a combined 180 pounds of unruly hulk lashing around like a tornado. That day was no exception and I suddenly felt angry about the rude interruption.

On a typical day, I would have calmed myself with a deep breath and taken the dogs inside or gotten them to settle down without much of a change in my pleasant state of mind. But on this day I chose to try to ignore them and stew in my own concoction of anger, frustration, and self-pity. Woe is me. Not a few seconds later I stepped down the single deck stair, twisted my ankle and fell flat onto the flagstone path. Yikes, did that hurt! I hobbled around on a badly sprained ankle for weeks.

I will insert an interesting “warning” about EFT tapping here. The pain of this sprain was intense – I couldn’t even get up from the ground. So I tapped – and tapped – and tapped. I made it into the house and put ice on my ankle – and tapped some more. For over an hour – I tapped. The emotional events that surfaced during my tapping were surprising; I knew that this was an opportunity for an emotional cleanse. Finally, the swelling reduced significantly, the pain nearly gone. So, what did I do? I went right back to my yard work for the next 2 hours! Big mistake! I should have known better. I always educate my clients about pain being the body’s signal to pay attention to an imbalance. While I was able to reduce the emotional and physical imbalance of my ankle sprain, there was more healing to be done. But I ignored the needs of my body and reinjured my ankle by working it too hard.

I know that, had I been “present” and focused on the task at hand, rather than my anger and frustration, I would not have suffered this inconvenient and painful blow to my ankle. “What a great observation to share on my blog,” I realized the other day. People are always asking for examples of living in the moment. This is only one type of example, but boy – do I wish I would have chosen to live that moment quite differently!

How can you make different choices throughout your day? The next time you’re challenged by an inconvenience or interruption, and you feel a negative emotion arise; think about your emotional choices. Are anger and frustration really an outlet or is allowing the moment and focusing on something pleasant a healthier choice? Share your experiences here!