This is a guest post by John Gerhardt.
As I’m sure we know, it’s impossible to completely avoid conflict, unfortunate circumstances, or making some tough decisions. Life is not always going to be nice to you, but it’s not healthy, and won’t help your happiness, to let that turmoil build up.
I just finished my junior year in college and I was elected general manager of our school’s radio station. Some of the student leaders I work with make the job especially difficult. I know what we need to do for the station, but getting board members with conflicting dispositions to trust me isn’t easy.
I respect efforts to convert anger into comfort, but I always find the best exercise to be to just release the angst in a practical manner. I’ve never felt better than after a strenuous activity that pushed me to get something done and get over some personal struggles.
Move some heavy things. Shred some guitar licks. Put on sneakers and run. Talk to people. Grab a buddy and wrestle. Or, grab a buddy and shed some tears. These are all things I like to do.
I like to think of myself as a towel that needs to be cleaned and wrung dry after being put through a lot of garbage. Meditative exercises involving relaxation and breathing don’t necessarily work for me because some frustrations still linger. I need to get stressed, dirty, sweaty, tired, and get all that stress squeezed out.
In fact, while I was writing this article I had trouble concentrating because I’m in the middle of finishing some late work for college courses and I was beating myself up for not getting the assignments done sooner. A quick chat with my forgiving dad helped put me in perspective to finish this and keep me going.
Here are some steps to help you decide what to do:
1.) Recognize that anger.
Above all, as with anything this website will tell you, you need to know there’s something wrong first. You need to know something is troubling you. You don’t need to know what it is or how to fix it, just stop and realize, “Hey, this isn’t normal for me. This isn’t comfortable.”
2.) Challenge yourself to something different.
Ultimately, in order to overcome some obstacles that aren’t easy, you need to accomplish something else that isn’t easy. Even talking to my dad, admitting to him that I’m not doing so well in one of my courses, was tough. Nobody wants to admit they’re not doing their job.
I love running with the dog, but I’ve never been able to finish our course under 40 minutes. So, I might challenge myself to see if we can do it in 35.
I play a lot of guitar, but I’m no Eddie Van Halen. Or am I? I’ll challenge myself to see how complicated his songs really are.
These kinds of things help me realize I can accomplish difficult tasks. The second I start doubting my ability to do something, I find something else that pushes my skills. Win or lose, I feel a lot better knowing I tried.
3.) Realize you are not perfect.
It’s a tough reality that I think we all need to comprehend. It doesn’t mean there is something wrong with us to acknowledge that we do in fact fail sometimes. This is especially difficult in young adult environments. I’m not the smartest, funniest, most athletic, most musically talented, or best at anything on the block when I compare myself to others. But I’m the best when I compare myself to my own abilities and nobody else’s.
4.) Don’t give up!!!
Don’t back down unless it’s really taking a toll on you. It’s difficult to really learn, but there will always be a way, as this Web site and its bloggers will continue to show you. I’m just here to provide an alternative. I’m hoping this at least provides the possibility that people will think of things differently.
John is a student at Fitchburg State University, studying Video Production with a minor in Professional Writing. John cares a lot about people and is always advocating ways for people to take care of themselves and strive to get better.
What are your thoughts? Join the conversation with your comments…