Why are you angry? A thought popped into your head, and suddenly you find yourself reliving an unpleasant moment of your past! Your blood pressure goes up. You become consumed by mentally reliving this dark moment in your life. The thing may be so intense that you mumble out loud or even throw your hands around in clenched fists!
Almost as suddenly as it came, the moment passes to leave you in a weakened and depressed state. If this happens to you, most likely you remember many details about this event because you focus on it intensely during every angry episode. Think about that event now.
The anger is a reaction. Something happened to you that you wish had turned out differently. You have a regret. Most regrets are about what we did not do, did not say, or in general, you were caught flat-footed and missed an opportunity. If your regret fits there, take heart. You can make this regret go away!
First, try to douse the anger in you as if it were a fire. As soon as the memory flares up, seek an alternative to reacting. Comedy works for me. If I can get to the internet, I will web search a You tube video of the Gong Show. My anger will instantly turn to laughter when I see host Chuck Barris do his silly introduction dance before he introduces a comedian. If that is not enough, I will search for my favorite Gong Show comedian, The Unknown Comic.
If shifting your attention from anger does not stop this regret from returning, it is time to teach your mind a new trick. Why does this unwanted thought stick to you like cotton on a velcro suit? The answer is that your human mind works to keep you safe and to maintain your body in good working order. The regret is in the stored memory of your mind, in the category called “unfinished business.” Your mind does not want to retain unfinished business because that is unhealthy. So, maybe should finish that business, but be careful how you do that.
Try to trick your mind into building that regret into the category called “that is done, forget about it.” Call up your unpleasant memory. Think about what happened. You will probably get angry. Now, identify what lessons you learned from the event. Especially, if you had recognized the unpleasant moment as it began, how might you have walked away from it. Changing the scenery is an acceptable outlet for most unpleasant events. Convince yourself that you got value out of the event the way it turned out. Do that, and you no longer have a regret stored in unfinished business. But, you still have a regret.
In your mind, play out the alternatives of how you wished that you had said or done something differently, but do not let those alternatives lead to a happy conclusion. Instead, honestly think of how each alternative might have led to a more dangerous exit and a worse regret!
If this invalid moment should return to your mind, immediately recall your lessons learned. Remember that you avoided a dangerous exit because you did not do or say something different. At some point, your mind will let you forget it.