When You’re Angry

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When I’m angry, I go into “crazy girl” mode. In college, this translated into breaking things, screaming, crying, breaking into locked rooms, taking back gifts, snooping/spying, cursing people out, putting on all black and trekking across campus trying to be discreet–you get the point.

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After college, I put the huge majority of those activities away. All in all, I’ve grown to realize that none of those activities were healthy (except for maybe crying which I still do more frequently than I would like). That being said, here are some ways to deal with anger (the grown up way):

1. Breathe: This will probably always come first in any list I make. For me it’s a way to stop and calm myself. Release the tension.

2. Don’t act hastily: In the heat of the moment it’s easy to make a decision based off of your anger that could become costly once everything has blown over. Be careful not to make crucial decisions when emotions are high. It’s hard to reason when you’re angry and most often times you’ll end up regretting the action you took out of anger.

3. Find a healthy release: The key word is HEALTHY! Although I hate crying it can sometimes feel better just to let it go through tears. Other suggestions: exercise, listen to uplifting music, dance, color, clean, write in a journal.

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4. Don’t complain to others if the source of your anger involves a significant other: Our friends tend to be on our side and if some one wrongs us, then in our friends’ eyes, that person has wronged them too. However, long after we’ve forgiven those in the wrong and moved on, our friends will still have that wrongdoing in their minds whenever that person’s name or presence pops up. If you just have to talk to someone, pray. Talk to Jesus or whatever higher being you believe in. If you have to talk to a physical being, talk to your therapist (you DO have one of these, right? If not, GET ONE ASAP! ).

5. Don’t dwell. Forgive: When you’re in a funky mood, it’s easy to feed that. It’s easy to find more negative things to harp on. Doing that will only intensify your negative feelings. Instead of adding salt to the wound, let go of the negativity. Forgive the person who wronged you and move on. Although this is easier said than done, if you can find the strength to do so, it’ll benefit you in the long run.

6. Refuse revenge: Once again it’s easy, almost natural to want to get back at the person who wronged you. You want them to feel the hurt and anger that you feel. But look at it this way– let’s say you’re successful in getting back at them; they’re hurting and angry just like you; what if their pain causes them to lash back at you again? Then what? Now it’s your turn to lash again? What a vicious cycle! Why not stop the cycle before it begins? Be the bigger person and walk away. Rest assured they’ll pay for what they’ve done and you won’t even have to plot it out.

7. Smile: Frowning causes wrinkles. And who knows, your smile may save a life ; -)

I want to hear from you! What are some healthy ways that you deal with anger?

Writer’s Spotlight Wednesday (WSW): Doreen Pendgracs

This month’s WSW highlights the work of:

Doreen

Doreen Pendgracs

“My intent is to educate, entertain and inspire writers and anyone interested in creative endeavours.”

Doreen is a busy lady! In addition to managing three of her own blogs, she also writes blog posts for clients, as well as books and non-fiction articles for magazines. Her life and work are examples of turning “passion into profit”. Doreen graciously took the time to answer a few of my questions below:

Q: Why do you write?

A: I write because I love telling stories and sharing information.

I have recently self-published Volume I of Chocolatour: A Quest for the World’s Best Chocolate. This will be a series of three books that takes chocolate-loving readers around the world in search of the best chocolate, chocolate events and attractions, and most innovative chocolatiers and chocolate makers. It took me four years to research and write Volume I, which focuses primarily on Europe and the UK, but also has a chapter on the cocoa-growing regions of Peru, Ecuador, and St. Lucia. I am currently researching Volume II, which will provide profiles on chocolatiers from the Americas and the Caribbean, as well as further insights into various growing regions, and I hope to publish that in late 2015/early 2016. Then, I’ll begin work on Volume III, which will focus on Asia, Africa, Australia, and the Middle East. I expect to have that published in 2018. Readers can purchase the book a few ways:

  1. Directly from me at: http://chocolatour.net
  2. Via Amazon at: http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0991890108/ref=nosim/worldscheapes-20
  3. At selected bookstores and chocolate shops

Doreen-Chocolatour-Cover

My previous title was Before You Say Yes … A Guide to the Pleasures and Pitfalls of Volunteer Boards, as I have been a lifelong volunteer. You can learn more about that via my website at: http://www.wizardofwords.net/. I have also co-authored two books on Canadian destinations. I’m proud to say that one of them—The Manitoba Book of Everything—is a bestseller.

Q: If you didn’t write, what would you do as a career?

A: If I wasn’t a writer, I’d probably be a travel agent or a tour guide. I absolutely love to travel, so anything that is travel-related has my attention. In fact, I have been able to combine my passions for writing, travel, fine chocolate and fascinating people into Chocolatour. I am now planning chocolate events and tours for chocolate lovers as a result of the knowledge I have gained through my chocolate research. I am leading a group Chocolatour for women to Switzerland March 29-April 8, 2014. Can’t wait!

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Q: What would people be surprised to learn about you?

A: I was born and raised in Winnipeg, Canada. But I’ve lived in the country for more than 30 years. As much as I love the cultural offerings of a big city, I’ve learned that there is an amazing array of cultural delights right in the Interlake region of Manitoba, where I currently live. So I get the best of both worlds! I live by the lake, but am just minutes from local plays, performances, and fun activities such as the Toastmasters in the Arts club, which I founded last year.

Q: Who is/are your literary role model(s) and why?

A: I confess that I do not read fiction. I really enjoy non-fiction books about travel, and bettering our lives. Some of my favourite authors are Wayne Dyer and Gary Zukav.

Q: What’s a typical day like for you?

A: I begin most every day with answering e-mails, checking the social media sites I gravitate to (mostly Twitter and Facebook), and writing blog posts or responding to comments on my blogs. I have three blog sites that I try and add new content to on a regular basis.

With such an active life, Doreen illustrates the importance of not only making goals, but ensuring that those goals are realistic.  She states,”…I know many bloggers who post daily! I know that will never be a schedule that [I] could maintain.” As such, she has developed a blog-posting schedule that fits her own lifestyle:

I post to my writer’s blog at http://doreenpendgracs.com on the second and fourth weeks of the month, and to my travel blog at http://diversionswithdoreen.com on the first and third weeks of the month. And I add updates to the http://chocolatour.net site whenever there are new chocolate events to let my readers know about.

I can’t work on serious writing if I’ve got other distractions to take care of, so I generally attend to household tasks after breakfast, and will probably get into writing new assignments or material by about 11 am and will continue until about 5 pm.

Q: What’s the best piece of advice you have received?

A: Be true to yourself. I’ve lived my life following my own path, and not trying to be someone or something that others feel I should be. I left the cushiness and security of a government job back in 1993 and went freelance. It was a scary move, as I had been earning great pay and had a job with terrific benefits. But being a free spirit, I felt compelled to go out and do it “my way.” It was the best decision of my life, as for the past 20+ years, I’ve been able to write about things, places, and people that fascinate me, to work with/for whom I choose to, and to establish my own work schedule. The freelance life is fantastic if you have a thick skin and can deal with the marketing and possible rejections you may face.

Thank you Doreen for sharing your passion with us!

Keep up with Doreen at:

www.wizardofwords.net

http://doreenpendgracs.com

http://diversionswithdoreen.com

http://chocolatour.net

Stay tuned for next month’s WSW on Wednesday, January 8, 2014!

Overwhelmed?

With the holidays among us, it’s extremely easy to become overwhelmed with to-do lists, shopping, decorating, travel planning, etc. So how do you overcome the feeling of being overwhelmed? Here are some things that have helped me when I start to feel overwhelmed.

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1. Breathe: Stop. Breathe. Relax. Calm yourself. Feel the tension release from your muscles. Enough said.

2. Prioritize/Organize: With so much to do and keep up with, it’s necessary to focus on what’s the most important first. There are many things that are “pressing”, but just because they are “pressing” doesn’t mean they’re important. This is a subjective step. Some people would opt to get the “easier” things done first to get them out of the way. It doesn’t really matter your method of selecting what to handle first, as long as you determine what it is, and as long as the result is effective. I personally love making lists and charts. It helps me to visually see what needs to get done. Then I can highlight and color code each task by order of importance. And I love the feeling I have when I mark something off my list. *contented sigh*

Recently, I came across an article about a “To DON’T list”. We all have “To Do Lists”, but this idea of a “to don’t list” intrigued me. The article challenged me to list out all my obligations/commitments/tasks, etc. and determine what things didn’t need to even be on the list in the first place by testing them in three categories:

a) does this make me happy?

b) is this essential (to my life, to my career, etc.)?

c) is this (an) effective (use of time)?

The author suggested that if the activity doesn’t have two or more checks, then it should be marked completely off of your list. You can make your own list, using your own categories to determine if something should stay on your list or not (ex: is this necessary?, do I want to do this?, do I need to do this?, is this important?, etc.). As an alternative, you can ask yourself why these things are on your to-do list–why are you doing them?

3. Move: Take action! It’s easy to shut down when you become overwhelmed, but if you refuse to do anything, it only makes the situation worse. The more time you procrastinate, the more things will continue to pile up on you and contribute to you being even more overwhelmed. So pull yourself out of that funk and do something. Doing something is always better than doing nothing! Sometimes a quick walk, fresh air or a quick stretch will energize you enough to get back to the task at hand.

4. Drink water: As much as I crave a sugary drink or a soda (mmmm…Dr. Pepper…), I’ve noticed that water refreshes me and wakes me up throughout the day, which helps me stay focused on the task at hand. If I drink a soda, I’m more likely to crash and “need” another shortly thereafter. The water helps to curb my appetite too.

 

 

These are just a few of the things that help me. What are some of your tips? What do you do when you begin to feel overwhelmed? How do you overcome the feeling? I’d love to hear from you!