Monday, March 23, 2009

Rage, Road Rage, Anger, and, well, Life

When you drive, do you utter this prayer: "Dear God, please help me in this moment of battle..." or how about "Do unto others as they would do unto you" or maybe even "This is a battlefield. Whatever happens, happens. God help the other people out there". Until recently I was never bothered by driving annoyances or rude people. I would simply walk away or ignore it. But recently I've noticed an alarming trend in my behavior. I've become more aggressive and rude. This concerns me because 1. I was never really like this and 2. I'm actually a bit worried now that I may punch someone in the face if they get in my own.

I'm not disillusioned; I'm not an ultimate fighter or boxer and my skills are not great; basic bobbing, weaving, and jabs with counter punching. So I've decided to make a personal goal on finding out how to change my behavior and not let my surroundings affect my mood. I've found some answers like heavy traffic is a real stress builder. Leaving early or taking the bus/shuttle would change my outlook on this.

Everyday you hear of people snapping like Michael Douglas in Falling Down. While I'm not ready to bring a rifle to work (I don't like guns), I would certainly not ever go to that level of violence. I've seen OZ and Prison Break, I don't want to be someone's bitch in cellblock D. And as I try to find answers on the internet it's a random collection of advice from psychologists and therapists on controlling rage and anger.

"Some of the calmest people have been known to become extremely violent" is a common point made in today's society. People are like rats: Put them in a small cage, they'll fight over the smallest things just to relieve stress and anxiety. And it circles back to my own questions: What is bugging me? I'm in a good job (knock on wood) with no complaints. I pay skyrocketing car insurance but that's life & my own fault.

I purchased a flex squeeze toy the other day. It comes in pretty handy when I get angry. And while I apply the 10 second rule to think about what I'm going to say before I say it, I think the ultimate solution to anger is finding an activity that allows me to release it. Time to buy a punching bag and boxing gloves.

So before you swear at the bus driver for nearly running you down today (like it happened to me), think calmly and cool it off. That bus driver was an asshole though. Sometimes I wonder where the fuck people learn to drive. A red light is a red light, no matter what country you're from.

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