Happy February and Valentine’s Day, you gals! It’s that time again – to share my monthly self-improvement focus for this year. My February 2018 goal is to bring patience and positivity into my headspace and to release cranky, angry, hot-tempered vibes.
Earlier in 2018 I got the reality check from family and friends that over time and under stress, I’ve lost my positive spirit on a day-to-day basis. You might think this is strange since I am pretty positive here on the blog and on my other social channels. But in my daily life and relationships, I’ve spiraled negative, impatient and angry.
Why? Gosh, a number of things I guess but honestly this just happens to me cyclically, kind of like a depression does to people. Once a little agitation creeps in, it’s pretty easy to spiral downward.
My current state is that any little thing sets me off: Forgetting something at the grocery store. A slow walker. Being woken from a nap. Someone who doesn’t reciprocate a favor. A person who moans & whistles at yoga (okay, that one is worth annoyance at the very least – who whistles at yoga?).
And then there’s this online life we’re all living. Watching others on social media can get you down, spiraling into compare and despair mode. And that is really emotionally agitating.
If any of this is speaking your anger-language – then we are in this together, my friend.
I’m not suggesting that you can’t be angry. There are things worth being pissed about, certainly. But letting things bother you longer than the amount of time they are worth or giving them more attention than they deserve seems to be counterproductive and actually detrimental. It breeds more negative thoughts and more dissatisfaction and more crankiness and snapping and bad vibes. I know this first hand because…
Here’s what I’ve recently come to learn about my own negativity. It affects people – loved ones, family, friends, even strangers. They can feel your bad energy and your seething and they soak it up. They start to fear you and your reactions to things and they stop wanting to interact with you. Learning this is enough to make me want to hide under a rock with mortification…and then come out from under the rock and make a change. Additionally, it doesn’t actually feel good to be all twisted up inside in knots over bullshit that doesn’t matter.
What I’m also learning is that the negativity and anger doesn’t serve us. Maybe you feel a little release in the short term by yelling or shooting a dirty look – which does feel good to me, to be honest. But then what? Then it’s over and you’re still angry, basking in negativity while the other person either moves on or wants to get away from you. You lose because you’re still hot and bothered and alone feeling like no one gets you. (Pro-tip – apparently they get you and they’re not into it).
I’m sure we could dissect this topic five million ways and get really deep and psychological about the sources of one’s anger, but I’d rather just fix it the best way I know how – by focusing on self improvement. So here’s what I’m doing this month. I’ve had so much success by breathing to listen (my January 2018 goal) that this month, I’ve got a mantra to use with my breath: Patience In, Anger Out. I literally say it in my head as I breathe in and breathe out. I’ve been trying to meditate a little bit each day while saying the mantra, too. And then I say it pretty much as often as I can – even when I’m not angry or meditating – to instill the mindset.
This mantra started in February but I’m quite sure it’ll need to last all year. You can’t change your personality overnight, after all. But I’m putting it out there for the sake of accountability – I need all the help I can get!
And if you’re working on something this month, try creating your own mantra and breathing through it. There really is something transformative that happens when you force yourself to breath calmly.
Feel free to share your February goals here so we can all work on them together!
Photo by Morgan Hayes Photography