He lay on the floor, arms outflung and legs thrashing furiously. As his head whipped from side to side, his wails shattered the relative peace of the store. When his mortified mother tried to pick him up, he became board stiff, then proceeded to kick and pummel her, screaming “No!” as she carried him out. Mothers of obedient children looked on smugly and shook their heads, but for a fleeting moment I looked on with envy and thought, oh to be two years old again and able to give vent to my anger and frustration that way.
As adults, of course, we have to find other ways to deal with that urge to yell at the rude sales clerk or pulverize the lady behind you in the theater who insists on giving a running commentary during the movie. There are countless articles on the subject and books such as Anger Management for Dummies or Dr. Weisinger’s Anger Work-out Book may help. However when your stomach is churning with anger and frustration at your impotence in a situation, what do you do? Experts tell us to:
- Breathe deeply
- Count to ten ( or a hundred)
- Walk away
- Visit your “happy place”
- Do something vigorous, like exercising
- Pummel a pillow
- Write a letter to the offending party
I have tried a couple of these and, depending on the degree of heat, they often work. Sometimes however, on rare occasions, after pummeling the pillow, I bury my face in it and yell. Then it’s pistachio ice cream time. How about you?