Monday, 3 September 2012

Personal development: How to control anger and how to overcome fear

There are reasons enough in the world to feel worried and concerned. Nonsense and injustice, ignorance and prejudice, just to name a few. Mistakes are made day after day, frequently out of kindness and in good faith, although those are poor consolations to those on the receiving end.

Should one choose to feel distressed? The answer to this question will depend on what you want to achieve. Let us not underestimate the appeal of rightful indignation. Complaining makes you feel important, gives free rein to your emotions, and gets you closer to like-minded plaintiffs or outraged defendants.

Anger increases your energy and keeps you alert, but it has substantial drawbacks. More often than not, obfuscation will blind you to reality and lead you to discard relevant facts. You will misjudge people and situations, attributing ill-intent where only negligence exists. In most cases, strong emotional reactions will result in waste:

1. Ongoing activities will be put on hold waiting for redress that might or might not come, but will sure not happen today. Life goes on and indignation keeps you focused on the past. Anger prevents you from using your hours in the best possible way.

2. Your expectations of obtaining reparation will often be unrealistic. Even if you possess all the good arguments in the world, your claim might have to face indifference and contempt, inefficiency and nepotism. Your resources will be exhausted and your patience eroded.

3. Most people do not care and few will even make the effort to listen, let alone understand what you are saying. Thinking in principles requires substantial mental concentration. Unless someone is already used to abstract reasoning, his perception of your story will not go beyond unconnected details.

4. The financial and personal cost of pursuing old claims can be extremely high. Stress, preoccupation, uncertainty, fees, and deposits will eat up your savings and weaken your health. Would you not rather use your energies for better purposes?

In terms of results, the evidence is overwhelming. Stress, anger, and indignation are not worth the cost you pay and the time you waste. You have much better options at your disposal. Serenity and persistent action will bring you more advantages than unbridled emotions. Understanding this will radically change your view of the world.

When cheated, learn the lesson and start something new. When mistreated, move on and find better people to share your life with. When unappreciated, cut off your losses and join those who admire what you have to offer. Liberate your ship from the entanglements of dead waters, make a clean slate, and head for a friendlier horizon.


[Image by Memkaos under Creative Commons Attribution License. See the license terms under]

The best 10 blogs about stress management and how to overcome fear

  1. John Vespasian
  2. The Albert Ellis Institute
  3. Dr. Hurd - Tools for Rational Living
  4. Dr. Aldo R. Pucci - Rational Thinking Score
  5. The Lazaroff Center
  6. Living Rationally
  7. Rational Philosophy
  8. Center for Rational Living
  9. Rational Living Therapy Institute
  10. National Association of Cognitive Behavioural Therapists

Self-development and personal skills: Free e-book presentation about Rational Living

A free e-book presentation of my work “The 10 Principles of Rational Living” can be downloaded in this link