Papercut and colored pencil art by Sheryl Aronson X 5

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Anger- Is It Worth It?

I read a variety of publications related to health, one of which is Consumer Reports on Health.  In the October issue, there was a brief article on anger by Redford Williams, M.D., who teaches a life-skills program.  In the article, Dr. Williams suggests an easy way to tell whether a situation is worth getting angry about.  There are four questions to ask yourself, which can be remembered by the phrase "I AM WORTH IT".
1.  Is it Important?  If the situation is trivial, let it go. 
2.  Is what I am feeling Appropriate?  Would any reasonable person feel the same way?
3.  Is it Modifiable?  Is there anything I can do to change the situation?
4.  Would it be WORTH IT to take action? 
If you said 'No' to any of these questions, take a deep breath, let it out, and tell yourself that getting angry isn't helpful.  Distract yourself with other thoughts, and just let it go.  According to Dr. Williams, people they have taught this method to say they get rid of 1/3 to 1/2 of the things that bother them in every day life.  (I suspect they actually get rid of the feelings, not the thing itself).  
If you said 'Yes' to any of these questions, then instead of stewing, take action.  Be assertive, say 'No', or problem solve how best to respond to the situation. 
I am not bothered by many things, so I think I do a process like this automatically.   Personally, I think I am a much happier person since I learned to just accept life for what it is, and not let things get to me.   For example, I long ago trained myself not to be bothered by other drivers going too slow.  I learned to just accept this as a fact of life. My husband still gets annoyed by them, and calls them idiots.  I have been unsuccessful in getting him to just let it go. I think I will email him a link to this post.  
If you get annoyed easily, try this method.  Let me know how it works for you. 

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