When we are stressed out or life feels like it’s moving too fast, we lash out at the people closest to us. We get into heated discussions and argue about things that, at the moment, seem like they are a big deal. Still, most of the time, all we are doing is verbally puking, angst, and agitated emotion and don’t realize how deeply our words cut the people around us.
We’ve all done it! The kids may be whining when money is tight, and we are worried about work and how we’re going to pay the bills. Or maybe we are feeling down on ourselves, so we bury our hurt emotions until we explode. Perhaps you feel lonely and misunderstood and feel like the only way to be heard is to talk louder until you are screaming. We lose control and sometimes see red. We feel better, but the person we aim our emotional shrapnel at walks away feeling blindsided and deeply hurt. We have let it all out in a frantic rage and feel relief and don’t realize the trauma we’ve caused the people we love.
Life is a series of ups and downs, and it is crucial to take a good look at how we express ourselves to those there to support us. Repeated outbursts of extreme pent-up emotion tend to push those who are the most valuable in our lives away. This sometimes causes irreparable damage that drives a wedge between us and those we need the most. When we lose our shit, we apologize and move on until the next outburst. Freaking out isn’t a healthy way to live or love and weakens our support system. None of us are perfect, and we may have learned this behavior from a hot-tempered role model, or maybe you’re just wired that way; don’t give up hope is not lost. There is always room for improvement and finding inner peace to gain outward joy.
Talk things through and promise yourself that you won’t blow up while working through your issues. If you are hot-headed, it’s a good idea to keep a daily journal. Put your angry words on paper instead of throwing them out into the universe. Slow down, sit quietly, and ask yourself what you are so mad about, what’s hurting you, and what kind of change or support you need to correct your behavior?
Some people calm themselves through meditation, but when life is moving at a breakneck pace sitting cross-legged on the floor and breathing in and out feels like the last thing you want to do. Yet, meditation does help, even if it’s only for five minutes. Collect your thoughts and make a conscious choice to be better, to do better, to be kind, and offer peace.
When we lash out in a flash reaction, we aren’t just hurting those we love; we create layers of guilt that build up like layers on an onion. Once this happens, we start to feel and believe that we are bad people. Peeling back the onion so that you can heal and improve your behavior takes time, inward reflection, asking for forgiveness, and forgiving others and ourselves.
Avoid those outbursts and take a 10-minute walk or run, go for a drive and scream the words to a song that cleanses your soul, or scream into a pillow. Please don’t use the people around you as punching bags, it’s hurtful, and the effect is long-lasting. If you find it hard to break this negative emotional behavior, seek counseling. No one is truly alone, and everyone should know they can ask for help. The choice is yours; you can go through life treading on others’ feelings to make yourself feel better, or you can do some work and learn to direct your emotions in a constructive, loving way.
There are options, people who love you, and friends who care about your mental and emotional well-being. Don’t push away your support network. Work on the tough stuff in your life that is causing you distress. Don’t run from your feelings with distractions like food, overworking, obsessive exercise, impulse shopping, or gossiping. Running from your problems only makes them worse. Remember, you can run, but you can’t hide, and no matter where you go, there you are.
Look at yourself in the mirror and ask yourself what is wrong before freaking out. Be brave and humble and work on yourself because when you are all alone, you have to like the person looking back at you. When you are alone, all you have left is you, and you better make sure you love yourself so others can love you in return.