Think You Can’t Control Your Temper? Tink Again

As with most of my blog posts, this one was inspired by a specific incident that made me curious about the causality between exercise and anger.  I’ve struggled with anger management issues since I was a teenager.  In high school, I’d get into shouting matches and physical altercations on the regular.  Most of it – actually all of it – was over dumb shit.  Just a stupid kid with more pride than I could carry.  I’m 27 now, and although I’m far from perfect, I’ve gotten a lot better.  If you knew me in high school you’d probably assume I was destined for jail once I reached adulthood.

 

I once took a bat to a girl’s car simply cause she pissed me off.  Hitting the side door twice, denting the panel.  I hit a dude with a golf club once for demanding that I give him a cigarette.  He ran but I chased him.  And I came really close to hitting a guy with my car once for talking smack about my girlfriend.  Luckily I hit a parked car instead.  Some men would look back on these events with a sense of pride.  Achievement over having the courage to stand up for myself and intimidate those that thought they could take advantage of me.  This couldn’t be further from the truth.  Now I look back on those incidents with immense shame.  I don’t normally tell people this, but if you want the truth, after each of those incidents I wasn’t able to sleep the night.  I’d stay up all night balling my eyes out, “I’m a good person, how could I act like such a monster?” I would ask myself.

 

In my twenties, I’ve been faring a lot better with the exception of a few slip ups.  Gotten into shouting matches on occasion, but nothing extreme like when I was a teenager.  After examining my teen years, I’ve arrived at one simple, yet extremely profound conclusion:  my temper was at its worst at the times during the times that I engaged in activities that would elevate my blood pressure.  Prior to entering high school, my temper was pretty much non-existent.  Sure, I would the occasional outburst as a child, but nothing out of the ordinary.

 

So what was I doing wrong during my teenage years?  For starters, I was drinking on average 2 cups of coffee per day, smoking cigarettes every chance I could, consuming alcohol heavily, and depriving myself of sleep so I can stay up and talk to whoever I was dating at the time.  Now take all this and combine it with a natural predisposition for temper tantrums (thanks ADHD) and we have an apparent receipt for disaster.  You want to actually decrease your temper?  Decrease your heart rate first.  Don’t believe me?  Take the calmest person you know and through in these variables.  Have them chain smoke for a week, consume excess caffeine, overdo it with the alcohol, deprive them of sleep and see how long you last in a room alone with them.

 

Anger has been linked to coronary heart disease, high blood pressure, and other adverse physical symptoms.  But I contend that anger is a direct result of these physical symptoms.  The amygdala is the body’s emotional control center located in the brain.  It is responsible for recognizing threats, in specific, scenarios with would prompt us to become either angry or nervous – our fight our flight responses.  These signals are then screened by our prefrontal cortex to assess if the appropriate fight or flight response is justified.  Our prefrontal cortex is responsible for logical decision making.  The stronger the connections in our prefrontal cortex, the better we’d be able to assess threats.

 

However, reduced activity in our prefrontal cortex will result in the false activation in our fight or flight response causing our heart rate to raise when it really doesn’t need to.  Now if our heart rate is already high, this unnecessary trigger will exacerbate our fight or flight response which in the case of anger, cause us to become more enraged than we normally would.

 

Before attending anger management and learning to reframe your interpretations, I would suggest focus on improving the connections in your prefrontal cortex and taking the appropriate steps to lower your blood pressure.  An effective anger management program is one that changes both the body and mind to produce tangible results.  Once this is mastered, there would no longer be a need for talk therapy or learning ineffective anger management techniques.  Here are the steps you should take to tame the monster that lives within:

 

  1. Reduce or eliminate caffeine intake
  2. Quit smoking
  3. Stop drinking alcohol
  4. Meditate twice a day for 20 minutes
  5. Develop a routine cardio workout program to help lower your blood pressure. At least 3 times a week for 30 minutes should do the trick.  However, be mindful of the fact that increasing the intensity of these workouts too quickly can result in further irritability.  Start slow and gradually build up a routine.
  6. Get adequate rest. For most people this can mean between 7-9 hours.
  7. Eat healthier to lower your heart rate.

 

Now these aren’t easy changes to make, however they will produce lasting results.  If it seems impossible to make the necessary changes, consider the alternative:  which is leading an irritable life, one in which your level of fulfillment always be impacted by your uncontrollable temper.

 

 

Takeaways: 

 

  1. Reduce or eliminate caffeine intake
  2. Quit Smoking
  3. Stop drinking alcohol
  4. Meditate twice a day for 20 minutes
  5. Develop a routine cardio workout program to help lower your blood pressure. At least 3 times a week for 30 minutes should do the trick.  However, be mindful of the fact that increasing the intensity of these workouts too quickly can result in further irritability.  Start slow and gradually build up a routine.
  6. Get adequate rest. For most people this can mean between 7-9 hours of sleep.
  7. Eat healthier to lower your heart rate.

 

Think You Understand Heartbreak? Tink Again

To many, having your heart broken is on par with experiencing the death of a loved one.  To many more, it’s probably worse.  Knowing that someone you’ve once so intimately connected with is still somewhere out there, but has now become a complete stranger is one of the hardest things to cope with.  To make matters worse, the constant reminders from social media, friends, family, and perhaps you’ve even bumped into them one time or another isn’t helping matters the slightest bit.  If you could revert back to a time when you had your heartbroken how would you say you felt one week after the breakup?  Probably something along the lines of you thought you would be with that person for the rest of your life, or they were your soulmate so now the thought of moving on with your life without them seems incomprehensible to you.  Now to dig a little deeper, let’s examine what would make a rational person utter such statements knowing full well that millions of people get their heartbroken each day and then eventually move on to discover true love.  I argue that the underlying cause of heartbreak can be boiled down to 10 simple letters: d-e-p-e-n-d-e-n-c-y.

Take a moment and recall a time when you experienced immense heartbreak.  Which of your shared memories are most profound?  Think of major events such as a defining day in your relationship.  Perhaps the moment you met, a trip you took together, or a day you were down and this person came to your aid.  Now what positive emotions surface when you recount these memories?  Elation, bliss, or an immediate state of comfort?  By examining these associations, we can derive that looking back, you felt you were dependent on this person to experience such positive emotions.

To go a step further, when your heart was first broken, were you able to continue with your routine as you normally would?  I bet not… the breakup caused you to restructure your entire life, opening many windows to loneliness.  Here we can glean that you were dependent on the relationship for a particular routine, perhaps one that you were quite comfortable in.  If you normally spent every Friday night with your significant other, you may find yourself sitting at home feeling completely lost and unsure how to rebuild your life after you’ve parted ways.

This is why many go out in search of a rebound.  Someone to fill the void and reinstate some of the routine that has been lost after the breakup.  Often times, this person is selected quite impulsively out of sheer desperation.  Then soon enough, the realization that this individual is not quite what you were looking for kicks in and knees you in the chin.

Aside from rebounds, we also use crutches to help regain some of the positive emotions that have left us.  Crutches can be anything.  There’s the common notion of a heartbroken women reaching for a tub of ice cream after her husband leaves her for the dimwitted neighbor with fluorescent white teeth.  But in more common cases, crutches can be anything from cigarettes to excessive alcohol consumption to the need for constant vacations.  Albeit these positive emotions are short lived, a heartbroken person may abuse these crutches in an attempt to relive the level of joy they had once experienced.

Rising to your feet involves becoming an ideal you.  One that is better, more powerful, and prompts the person that once crushed you to create a fake Instagram profile just to stalk your every move.  Okay maybe the latter shouldn’t be one of your goals, buy hey if it naturally follows suit it’s a surefire way to boost your shriveled ego.  Contrary to popular opinion, the healing process isn’t about time, it’s about mastering the shift from dependency to independency.  One you’ve mastered the art, time becomes irrelevant.  So reassess the situation, and use your findings to help you rebuild your life independently.  Build the ideal life for yourself and you’ll eventually come across the ideal person.

Sincerely,

DCP

Think You Know Yourself? Tink Again!

 

If you had only 5 seconds to live and you could only utter a single sentence to inspire a child, what would it be?  Here’s mine:  try everything that sparks your curiosity.  Despite surging real estate prices, the best investments are still the ones we make in ourselves.  We like to assure ourselves that we have it all figured out.  General life experience makes us aware of our skills, weaknesses, passions, and flaws, yet why do so many of us fail to use these facts to dictate our decisions.  But perhaps your self-concept is vaguer than you think.  What about the opportunities that interest you but never conveniently presented themselves to you?  Think of all the hobbies, career options, activities, or passions that piqued your interest and you just never bothered to seek them out just because… well just because.  For many, once they formulate a vague idea of their self-concept, they will use this as a basis to find their place in the World.  The result is mediocre – a limited life.  At best, a limited self-concept can only result in a limited life.

 

A key component to living a fulfilled life is having that awareness of who you truly are.  It’s impossible to live life to the fullest without answering this simple, yet thought provoking question.  Many of us don’t even take the time to consider the fact that we’re not truly aware of who we are.  Instead, we turn to societal ideals and how we fit into the World to describe ourselves.  Common questions to ask a complete stranger upon first meeting are what do you do for a living?  Whereabouts do you live?  Are you married?  Do you have a family?  We think this would provide us with a general overview of who the person truly is… but it doesn’t always.

 

The stranger could be working a job they hate, live in a crime ridden neighborhood out of necessity, have a spouse they don’t love, and have kids that hate their guts.  Now this is obviously an extreme example, and if this is you, I’m glad you’re reading this.  Yet it illustrates that these general details tell us more about how this person has adapted to the World… and not if they successfully adapted their true nature to the World.

 

True success can be represented as a bridge you’ve built between your true nature and the role you play in the World.  The sturdier this bridge the more successful you are.  And even if your bridge seems as sturdy as can be, it still requires daily maintenance to prevent it from collapsing.  As life’s seasons change, so do the dynamics of the bridge.  So take a moment and ask yourself what your bridge looks like?  Is it as sturdy as can be?  How can you increase the support of your bridge?  Commit to getting to know yourself by following these 3 simple steps:

 

  1. Discover your passions, strengths and weaknesses by trying everything you are mildly interested in.
  2. Take your findings and zero in on the things that you are most skilled and passionate about.
  3. Out of all these items pick one with the highest probable outcome of providing you with the financial results you desire and pursue that as a career. But don’t let the remaining items go to waste.  Pursue them as hobbies or even part-time businesses… who knows what the future will hold?

 

It may come to you as a surprise, but the most undetected global disease isn’t measles, SARS, or swine flu – it’s Desire Associated Identity (DAI).  Meaning we falsely attribute who we are to what we desire.  In other words, falling victim to the false belief that you are what you desire.  Now our very existence depends on human desire – the desire for a child or simply for sexual gratification is what ultimately moves the human race forward.  However, those who fall victim to DAI forfeit their true selves in exchange for achieving their short-lived desires.  We’re quick to label segments of people who stand out from the crowd, yet the general population should be diagnosed with DAI.

 

Feeling mentally drained is the result of living an unfulfilled life, which often increases the likelihood that one will succumb to their desires and build a routine around these desires as a means of escape.  How often have you heard someone say my job is turning me into an alcoholic?  To escape the harsh reality that accompanies an unfulfilled life, one is tempted to seek out crutches that help them cope with an unfulfilled life.  Where instead, one should focus on building a life without escape routes.

 

The path to success looks like a scribbled line because to truly know oneself, we need to be cognizant of our strengths and weaknesses.  And the only way to get there is to welcome life’s plot twists.  So dare to succeed, but more importantly dare to fail.  Dare to abandon your false identity you’ve been lured into upholding and face the challenges that prevent you from building the sturdiest bridge possible.  Your time is limited; so get out there and fail as badly as possible so you can eventually succeed.  Growth has nothing to do with time… so experience life to the fullest and always expand your self-concept.

Sincerely,

DCP

 Takeaways: 

 

  • “At best, a limited self-concept can only result in a limited life.”
  • How to find yourself:
    • Discover your passions, strengths and weaknesses by trying everything you are mildly interested in.
    • Take your findings and zero in on the things that you are most skilled and passionate about.

Out of all these items pick one with the highest probable outcome of providing you with the financial results you desire and pursue that as a career.  But don’t let the remaining items go to waste.  Pursue them as hobbies or even part-time businesses… who knows what the future will hold?