Years ago (aged 8) I was told that just getting angry with myself about failing wouldn’t solve anything. That helped in precisely no way at all. I just got madder.
You see it’s in me to win, complete the task, or whatever.
Give me something to do and I’ll do it, eventually.
Usually angry with myself at taking so long.
Grey years now and people power ahead of me.
Except now I think “I’m the first man of the second group”.
I still get ‘there’, maybe tomorrow but I get there.
Still angry and frustrated at taking so long.
When I’m having a bad day because of past life, that anger ups a gear into rage.
It also happens when I’m in physical pain.
It’s a driving angry force against failure to beat what ails me.
As I so often say, when I’m angry it helps me to fight and to live.
I dread the day when I can’t fight anymore.
A little anger is a good thing.
It triggers the flight or fight response for one thing.
That shunts blood towards the muscles, and raises their temperature, ‘priming them’.
Your breathing rate increases which helps to richly oxygenate blood, thus making the mind sharper and quicker, and it deadens pain.
Except there is a fine threshold between where the mind works at speed with clarity, and uncontrolled anger clouding the mind. Where emotion hinders not helps problem solving.
Or, to put it another way, that red mist? Not a good thing.
Thus when anger turns to rage, that’s all BAD!
Cognitive functions decrease to a feral level.
Problem solving gets harder.
Tunnel vision can occur which destroys your peripheral vision.
Manual dexterity goes to pot.
Balance, control of muscles, even the ability to pace yourself, gone.
Curiously enough the shutting down of pain receptors to me is good.
Now I seem to do rage more than anger as I get older.
On, off, rage, calm. Not nice and unpredictable.
All part of combat stress I was told.
Anyway it’s counterproductive in all sorts of ways.
I know it, most know that, but it still happens.
So after a bookshelf in coping strategies,
Me fighting treatments, people, and life in general.
Some telling me Jesus will save me, although love of my good woman works better.
Pills clouding the mind, caused frustration, then that same rage!
As for officer grade shrinks? Yeah, right. Instant red!
Yet the 100%, all time winner of “The keep Paul cool whatever” trick is, shooting.
What was honed in the field, what broke me, now calms me, and I know why.
You simply can’t shoot accurately when you are ‘up tight’ i.e.
Tired, ill, chemically high, angry, sad or otherwise emotionally screwed.
It all affects your shot.
Anyone who shoots will tell you the ability to switch off to what is happening around you and the concentration necessary to make the shot has a calming effect for some.
Core discipline kicks in too. That’s a calmer too.
Pick up a weapon, I check its status.
Mag out, check chamber, mag in, load if applicable, safety on, sling or holster.
Simple actions, automatic, calming.
It’s rather like a meditation for me, only practical.
And for me it’s a 100% gold-plated anger / rage killer.
So do I still get angry?
Yep, about something, anything, and nothing in particular.
The secret, my mojo to stop it dead, is the gun.
Angry, raving, stressed, in pain, whatever. I pick one up, instant calm.
Problem is I still reach for steel when mad or feel threatened.
Many years after having too, the still hand extends to the back third for the holster. It’s a reflex thing. Not that I’d use one.
Well occasionally the thought is still there Mr. Tony (Teflon) Blair Sir. 😉
Anyway the anger defuse is in the touch, the handling. The bonus is shooting.
Problem is, sometimes that’s a long rage filled wait till I get home.
Me leaning out of windows cursing the world and the owners of flash cars who can’t drive.
You know people think guns dangerous.
In the wrong hands they are, but here’s a thought for you.
Me in my 1 ton battering ram of a car, or me with a 9 mm.
Which one is more dangerous?
I would point out that I found cars work just as well on sidewalks as roads a long while ago and my PIT Maneuver is a wonder to behold!
And I don’t even break sweat.