Stress, and it’s evil side effect, anger are issues I struggle with on an almost daily basis these days. In this post I’m going to talk about triggers and the steps I use to try and manage it.
why so serious?
I play the joker most days, making crude jokes or providing friendly banter.
Sometimes, you have to be serious to discuss human issues.
My hope is that someone will relate to, and extract something useful to apply to their own life. If this post helps 1 person, it’s done it’s job.
There is at least one time a day where I let something annoy me to the point where it changes my entire mood.
It could be anything, from a hacked WordPress install to a badly worded email to my youngest screaming his head off while I’m coding.
It’s a personal fault. I’m working on it.
This is a biggie for me. If I don’t get a reasonable nights sleep, I’m basically a grizzly bear in the morning that’s been hit with a large stick. I don’t cope well. It diminishes my concentration and depletes my capacity to tolerate my other triggers.
Screaming. The endless screaming.
I didn’t have this issue with my daughter.
My son has a certain volume and pitch which hits my buttons squarely in the face.
He more than makes up for his screaming with cute faces, funny runs, giggles that would melt butter and cheeky mannerisms that you can’t help but smile at.
Either way, it’s like nails down a chalkboard to me.
Indecisiveness inhibits rage. It drives me up the wall. Especially when it’s “what are we having for dinner”.
There’s the “making up your mind” people, and then there’s “make the decision for me because I have um’d and ah’d so long that you pretty much have to now” people.
Decisions get stuff done. If you’re not getting stuff done, then you’re wasting time.
"Not another f*cking problem!!"
With a small team, and a large number of clients, I normally start, get interrupted by, or finish the day with some kind of problem.
It could be an outdated plugin that’s allowed a hacker into a clients WordPress site, or a nondescript bug that only appears at a certain time of day, on a certain browser, on a certain machine, when a certain person is logged in.
Okay… that’s a little dramatic; but you get the point.
Tardiness & weight pulling.
Sometimes life gets in the way of being on time. That’s fine.
If you couple being late regularly with not pulling your own weight, however, then I’m just not going to like you. At least not without you being a genuinely great person, and these are your only faults (this almost never happens).
By being late and/or not “doing your bit” frequently, you’re telling everyone around you know that you consider your time more important than theirs.
Someone, somewhere is having to pick up your slack… and I’ll let you in on a secret – they hate you for it.
Managing the rage
Know your own faults.
I’ve listed mine above and I’m learning to recognise when they’re affecting me in a negative way. This is the first step to moving past just being angry and stressed by them.
Learn when to wait.
I can’t stress this enough. Pun intended.
Knowing when to step away, do something else, and come back to it when you’ve chilled the f*ck out. This especially applies to those emails that destroy your self worth or enthusiasm for what you do.
Learn to appreciate the positive things.
If you’re just seeing negatives at every turn, check yo’self, you’re the problem!
This hit home for me when I couldn’t find anything positive about myself or my life, despite not long becoming a dad again.
I was stressed about cash flow, sleep, work, my wife’s health and was still having issues dealing with losing my best friend to cancer.
I started picking fault with everything without realising that I was doing it.
It boiled down to my fear of what could happen instead of what is “right now”.
It’s never as bad as it seems!
Take time out.
Stress is directly linked to how much you care about something for extended periods of time. I love my job. I care about what I produce, about processes to make it easier and how I affect the company I work for.
Despite all of this, you need time to turn off; to disconnect.
For me, it’s gaming or movies. I love to blow people’s heads off, or drive round a track as fast as I can, or watch a decent thriller/action/sci fi.
It’s escapism at its finest.
Break the habit.
It’s too easy to fall back into worrying about things. It’s too easy to forget that negativity bleeds into everything if you let it. Break the habit of seeing negatives... Learn to ignore them wherever possible.
Shrug your shoulders, say "meh" and move on. Put a positive spin on as much as humanly possible. For example, don’t see a nagging client... See a business owner who cares about their business and trusts you, not anyone else, you, to solve their problem.
They’re not coming to you to make your life difficult, they chose to come to you to help fix the gap in their knowledge, fill the gap in their skill set.
HAH! Matt, exercise?
Anyone that knows me should know I struggle with making time to get my finger removed from my rectal passage and actually do some.
I have stints of doing exercise (I lost 1.5st in 6 months last year), and I know it works wonders for focussing stress and anger into pushing yourself harder and as a result it makes you feel good.
My downfall is I tend to stop exercising because of weather or longer work hours, and then I struggle to motivate myself back into it.
I enjoy cycling, and I used to enjoy running many moons ago. Neither of which are pleasant when the weather is dire.
As a result, I’m clearing space in my garage to fit my indoor bike trainer for the bad weather, and in the next few weeks I’ll be attempting to run again (new trainers needed).
One of my goals for the year was to lose at least another stone, and that should aid me in dealing with every day stresses.
It’s worth doing.
Life is too short to be angry at the world.
Accept that stuff happens.
It’s how you choose to dust yourself off, stand back up and strut that counts.
Be cool. Stop stressing.