We all know that meditation is the go-to response that people give for helping to deal with negative emotions. But what if meditation isn’t your thing? What do you do then?
Firstly, I understand the principle of meditation. I get why it is so popular. You can’t really deny the positive effects it has. How it can help calm your mind, become more focused, even control your body’s internal regulation.
Of all the personal development books I have read it has been recommended in quite a few. Most personal development leaders would swear by it.
Here’s the thing. I don’t want to do it. I’m not saying I can’t. I’m saying I won’t. It doesn’t appeal to me in the slightest. I don’t have the patience for it.
Look, I’m Irish. I’ve grown up without any cultural inclination towards it. I’m also quite a fiery and energetic person. Something that has only got worse since I stopped smoking a ton of pot. The whole stilling yourself by just sitting still isn’t in my D.N.A. Plus, in all those pot smoking years I did nothing but sit still most of the time. I’ve a lot of movement to make up for.
So what can someone like me do? Someone who needs to be doing something?
Take yesterday for example. I woke up in a grumpy, pissed-off, mood. I had a headache that wouldn’t abate for hours. Work was noisy, and a struggle, so that only made things a bit worse. When I got home I couldn’t get any time to do anything for myself. Due to being a single parent I was constantly getting called for one thing or the other. That was also making me a bit frustrated which in turn was making me a bit angry.
My mind was scattered. All over the place. I couldn’t even come up with any ideas for this blog. Not one. I bubbled with frustration and annoyance. Wished for some ‘alone’ time more than anything and when I couldn’t get it my annoyance only magnified. By this time I was pissed-off with a capital P.
I would imagine that such a time would have required meditation. At the same time there was no way I would’ve been able to still my mind or even sit still to do such a thing. When you’re pissed-off would you want to?
Fast forward to bedtime. To the time where I couldn’t sleep because my mind was brimming with ideas. Where I was feeling happy and chilled out again. Where I was more full of life than I had been all day.
So what changed? It was a combination of 3 things actually. They each did their little bit in settling my mind. Getting me back to feeling like ‘me’ again. These 3 things aren’t in any particular order. They’re just 3 things that worked for me. They might work for you too.
The benefits of working up a sweat are great. I’m not an expert in this field but I know enough about those feel-good endorphins it releases. When that exercise also includes hitting things I think it gives it that little bit more in the way of releasing frustration. Thankfully, I have a little gym in my shed which means it’s easy for me to get in there and get going. How much you need to do you can gauge for yourself although I do think it’s best to tire yourself out as much as possible.
2. Getting to Vent
Oh this is a good one. I have an online friend. Someone who I’ve only known a few months and have never met but who I consider as great a friend as those I have in my life that I have known for years. This person let me say how I was feeling without any judgement. There was no ‘you shouldn’t be feeling like that’ or ‘you should be thankful for what you have’. She was just there. Saying it was ok to complain. To just let it out. The only thing she offered was a kind ear and support. Seriously, sometimes that’s exactly what you need. If you don’t have someone like that in your life. Go find them.
3. Deciding to say f**k it!
Ok, it’s like this. I put a lot of pressure on myself. There are lots of reasons why really but the main one is that I’ve wasted so many years being ‘wasted’ and not doing very much. As a result I like to be as productive as possible in my home and work life. I like to push on and keep pushing on. Taking time off from my pursuits is a luxury I can’t afford.
Yesterday however, I’m glad I did. Sometimes it’s exactly what you need to do. I don’t really watch tv anymore. I havent seen a movie in at least a year. I knew there was a new season of a programme my son and I had watched and enjoyed last year shortly after his mum left that had helped us through some dark days.
So I put my phone away. Sat on the sofa beside him. And put it on. (It was Cobra-Kai. It’s awesome. If you’ve ever watched the original Karate Kid you’ll love it).
I stopped worrying about wasting time. Stopped thinking of all the things I have to do and just let the outside world stay where it was. We just sat there enjoying the show, having a laugh, and talking about the characters that annoyed us and the ones we liked.
I must say that feeling of letting go, of not caring about what I have to do, was better than anything I personally would have got from meditation.
As a result of all those things yesterday, here I am today. Ready to go. Relaxed, but full of energy. Brimming with ideas and prepared for all the things I need to do to improve my son and I’s lives.
The world that I wanted to shut myself off from has been welcomed back in. There isn’t a pissed-off bone in my body. I’m raring to go. Eager to see what the day will bring. I hope these things help you as much as they did me.
P.s. Have you any other ways of dealing with being pissed-off? Are you someone who doesn’t feel compelled to try meditation? What are your coping mechanisms?