News from Jude Bijou and Attitude Reconstruction™
Joy, Love, and Peace in 2020
Winter in Santa Barbara, Hendry's Beach
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Jude Bijou MA MFT is a respected psychotherapist, professional educator, and workshop leader. Her multi award- winning book is a practical and spiritual handbook to help you create the life you desire.
Following our intuition is as simple as this, as a faithful reader points out. It saves us missteps, wasted time, and money!
"Where I have trouble is obeying my intuition. You will get a kick out of this -
There are beginner bridge classes starting today at the club.
My intuition says NOW is not the time - as I have several projects I need to be doing.
Thus I am following my intuition."
Even though Valentine's Day is in the rear view mirror, I feel impelled to remind you about the value of giving appreciations all throughout the year. Almost everyone likes to be acknowledged. It feels good to give and it feels good to be on the receiving end of kind words. I suggest you lavish praise on animals, people, and life.
Everywhere you look in the media, you'll find coverage and outrage about physical assault, analysis about why partners stay in abusive relationships, and why politicians feel justified to spew critical and vindictive words. However,
what you don't see are viable solutions to this widespread problem.
I'm going to explore the topic of anger, because anger is the opposite of the emotion of love, and February is the month of love. To lighten the topic, I've included plenty of cartoons. Clearly "anger" is a popular topic...
But first, I present some videos and articles.
is being considered as a carcinogen in California!
concludes that intense anger and fear are linked to increased risk of heart-attacks. It found that in the two hours after expressing anger destructively, subjects were 8.5 times more likely to have a heart-attack. But even more astonishing, they found people were 9.5 times more likely to have a heart-attack after an intense anxiety attack.
In the study, intense anger was classified as at 5 or above on a scale of 1 to 7 (ranging from 5 - "very angry, body tense, clenching fists or teeth, ready to burst," to 7 - "enraged, out of control, throwing objects.") And these outbursts were reportedly caused by arguments with family members (29 percent), arguments with others (42 percent), work anger (14 percent) and driving anger (14 percent).
This information is a warning that we've got to handle our anger and fear constructively, otherwise we endanger our hearts!
Anger is an Emotion
Anger in itself is not a bad thing. It is the natural emotional response when we perceive injustices and violations, just as it's natural to cry when we experience hurts and losses. Maybe we're frustrated because people don't agree with us or act in a way we deem wrong or inappropriate.
In addition, we all are born with an emotional constitution. Some people just have more anger, just as others lead with their fear or sadness.
s an emotion - Energy + motion. It is just a pure physical sensation.
Anger is merely energy in our bodies; just as wind is energy, so are emotions, whether sadness, anger, fear, joy, love, or peace.
According to Carol
Anger: The Misunderstood Emotion
ymptoms can "include
, fist clenching, flushing, prickly sensations, numbness
tension, and body temperature rises."
On the physical level we experience
increased heart rate, blood pressure, and levels of adrenaline.
In terms of brain chemistry, anger stems from the amygdala, which responds to threats with alarm and an automatic reaction to protect ourselves.
What Happens When We Don't Express Our Anger Constructively
Expressing anger doesn't mean you're a violent person. But when that heated energy remains bottled up, something's going to give: and we'll default to destructive ways of thinking, speaking, and acting.
When we don't handle that energy physically, it gets directed outward onto other people, things, and situations.
We don't accept something we experience, we judge it negatively, and self-righteously feel convinced that if the world and/or other people would just conform to how we think they should, everything would be just
Our unmet expectations, and our "shoulds," fuel more anger. Putting expectations on others is a habit that keeps us feeling angry. It creates feelings of separation and magnifies differences, thereby diminishing the amount of love we feel. Rather than continuing to stew in anger and then explode verbally, mentally, or physically, there is something simple we can do.
"I released a lot of emotion with my drumming, but I still need to have a tantrum."
Express the Anger Energy
Identify when you're feeling that energy in your body - hot, aggressive, desire to strike out verbally or physically-- and deal with the emotion constructively. Follow the lead of a toddler and have that temper tantrum rather than blast it onto others and destroy things of value.
Find a safe place where you can release pent up emotion physically and naturally - that hot, surging, tightening sensation in your body - in a non-damaging way. (You'll only feel embarrassed until the satisfaction and benefits become obvious.)
Take yourself to that place where you can let go and express the energy hard, fast, and with abandon. If you release anger energy physically and constructively, you'll be too tired to fight!
An easy way to do this is to lie on your back on a bed and flail your arms, legs, and head, while yelling and grunting.
that shows Christy constructively moving the anger energy out of her body. She felt great when she was finished!
Make sounds and noises because emotions are beyond the realm of words. No blaming or swearing. If you use words, yell something like, "I feel so angry. I feel so mad. I feel so pissed!" Swearing or saying negative things while expressing anger physically, just stokes the fire and reinforces thinking that the outside world is the problem. You'll still be mad.
Pound clay or bread dough. Throw rocks. Yank out weeds with abandon. Stomp around. Push against a wall or doorjamb. Shout into a pillow. Move the energy out of your body. Do it hard, fast, and with abandon, until you're exhausted. Catch your breath and do it again. Repeat until you can't anymore!
Change Your Point of View
End your healthy meltdown by reminding yourself, you must accept the reality -- what is, is.
Even if you don't want to get your energy out physically, the best way to dissipate your anger is to remind yourself, over and over, that: "People and things are the way they are, not the way I want them to be," "This is the way it is," or "That's the way they are."
When these phrases are repeated with focus and enthusiasm, your anger turns into amused acceptance. After repeating these words for a few minutes, it becomes a fact, instead of a big conflicting deal.
Acceptance does not mean passivity. First accept, and then speak up and act from a loving, centered place. Let go of your fantasy of how it should be, and accept what is, even though in your perfect world you'd do it differently.
Look within to Determine What is Appropriate Action
Now you can
look within your heart to decide what you need to say and/or do about the specific event in order to honor yourself and all involved. Once you put your mind on hold, pause and ask yourself, "What would be the highest / most loving thing to do?" "What will bring me more joy, love, and peace?" Listen from your heart to what really resonates for you.
Maybe it's to remove yourself from the situation temporarily. Maybe it's best to say nothing, take a stand, organize, or initiate a discussion. Only you know what will make you feel resolved. So you've got to ask yourself, not rely on what others might suggest.
Make a Tangible Plan
When you are clear about what you need to say and do, focus on making a plan and getting very concrete. Then you can reach your goal and truly align with your best self. The devil is in the details (whatever that means). Like painting a house, it's all the prep that takes the time but is essential to having an outcome you are pleased with.
Speak up and Take Action
Now, if you know you need to speak up to feel like you can let it go, be sure you talk about what's true for you. This means your communication is not laced with finger-pointing and global generalizations. You need to stick with addressing one specific situation at a time, saying what you need, want, believe, etc and doing so, in a kind way.
Follow through with that strategy will bring more love and more connection. Little steps. Execute your plan, with a willingness to be flexible, depending on what unfolds.
A Vision for the Future
Just think if we legitimized emotions and designated a safe zone in every school, prison, hospital, office, and home, where we can go when we're on emotional overload. We spare ourselves and others so much damage, hurt, and craziness. And we radically increase the amount of love we feel and share.
How can my partner and I get our anger out together?
When you are both calm, decide what you'll do at times when you are upset. One way is to have two stacks of phone books and simultaneously pound the heck out of them. It's the perfect thing to do when tempers flare. If you're an adventuresome couple who want to drain your anger buckets together, in a way guaranteed to foster love, I suggest that you try the following: stand with your arms fully extended at shoulder height, facing each other; use your legs to brace yourself (the physically weaker partner can use a wall for added support); make sure both of you are ready before you push against each other's hands while making sounds of anger. Don't try to manhandle your partner. You're not trying to overpower them. Both people are simply moving their anger energy out by pushing against one another. To take this exercise a quantum leap further, I encourage you to shout, "I love you" at the same time!
I say such terrible things when I'm angry. The words just fly out of my mouth. How can I change this?
Right out of the gate, become aware of the physical warning signs of an impending outburst. Physical signals -- heat rising on the back of your neck, a pounding heart, breaking into a sweat -- mean you immediately need to take a break, saying something along the lines of, "I don't want to blow up and say something I'll regret, so I'm going to take a few minutes."
Express your anger physically and/or power on accepting what it is that bugs you. When you feel more centered, you can locate the specific thing that set you off and find your "I" about the topic. Return, deliver what you have to say with kindness and a smile, then watch possibilities unfold before your eyes.
If you have any feedback, suggestions, or comments, I enjoy hearing from you. Write me at:
I'm wishing you and yours plenty of love.