Fear and anger are natural emotions, our brain is wired to look out for fear to keep us safe. Based on our past and all of the experiences we have had in our life, we all have triggers that can anger us. What may seem like a big deal to one person may be perceived as an insignificant overreaction to another. The key is to throw compassion into the mix and try our best not to judge others for their reactions or ourselves for ours. I love laughing about my funny little ways, especially with those closest to me. Keeping an open mind about others and our own behaviour helps us to keep learning and hopefully become more emotionally healthy. The quality of our emotions is the quality of our life. So this is kind of a massive deal.
Earlier the kids and I made a funny reel inspired by our isolation drama queen/king moments. It is absolutely acceptable to have moments of anger, for my 7 year old boy that is currently playing mario together and he gets very passionate about winning. The poor soul has been stuck at home and needs to release his energy in some way. Laughter is a brilliant way to deal with fear and anger. I interviewed one of the UK’s laughter leaders last week and was reminded that to keep our body filling up with fresh oxygen we must make time to laugh more. Even if that involves a bit of fake laughter yoga, which for me often turns into natural roaring laughter. Our brain doesn’t know the difference between fake or real laughter which means we still get a big dose of the good hormones and plenty of fresh oxygen in our cells.
I have really enjoyed immersing myself in all things wellness for the past 8 years. One of the amazing lessons I have learnt is about how we can change our state quickly through the many tools that are available to us. As I wrote in my book, I think it is very important that we take time to acknowledge the negative feelings when they come but then see how we can accept, understand and then move past them. There are many things I do to help to raise my emotional state because I want to live my life to the absolute full. My morning cold water plunge does this for me quickly as does moving my body and these are now regular habits and actions that I take without thinking. Practicing gratitude is also an amazing way to change our state quickly, it is impossible to feel anger or fear when we are in a state of gratitude.
I recently shared a story that I am so thankful for, you can jump in to hear this at the link below. I feel very fortunate to have had pretty amazing role models growing up. We always said prayers of thanks for our food and the love in our life, I was raised to focus on gratitude. I recently came across a photo of my brother, my dad and I at a place called Queens View in Pitlochry. What made this memory so special is that my Dad was so excited about taking us to see this view despite the fact that he is blind. He remembered how amazing it was before he lost his eyesight and he really wanted us to enjoy it. Talk about a selfless act of kindness. I have always been so passionate about going to watch a lovely sunset, sunrise or to experience something beautiful. I believe a huge part of this is down to my Dad and how I will never take something like my sight or other senses for granted. I am so thankful for my eyes. I am thankful for my ears and the music I get to hear. I am thankful for my sense of taste and smell, especially as I type this with covid. It is not something I have experienced with the virus.
I am thankful for the ability to jump into ice cold water, even though it is hard. I am thankful that I have legs that can walk me to my cold plunge in the garden or to a beautiful beach, loch, lake or reservoir. I am so thankful for music that has the ability to change my state within a few seconds. When we start to take the practice of gratitude to a deeper level and really sit with the feelings of thankfulness, any fears or anger just drifts away. I was raised with teachings such as:
Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.
To really embrace such beautiful words requires us to get out of our heads and into our souls and this is often a practice. Our minds are wired to keep a record of wrongs as a safety mechanism. Which means we need to take action to rewire. Last night I took part in an online group meditation with around 200 thousand people. The collective energy was beautiful as we took time to get still and tune in. Together we said:
Our hearts are one.
Our souls are one.
Our spirits are one.
There is only one love.
There is only one life.
We are one.
We then repeated a prayer about love. I felt such a sense of calm and peace wash over me and all external things that could stress me out just drifted away. This was a choice. It took 30 minutes of my time but it was worth it. If we can’t fit in time to do the things that help us to get out of our minds in the best way then we are more likely to experience feelings of fear and anger. So choose wisely because you deserve to be happy and live a quality life with quality emotions. You got this!
Jojo Fraser is an award-winning mental health researcher, author, podcaster and keynote speaker, dubbed as ‘the Queen of positivity and a kindness advocate. She is a Tedx speaker and a regular contributor on BBC radio. Jojo is known for normalising discussions around our mental and spiritual health, making it accessible and relatable to all. She has quickly grown a reputation for having a huge impact even on the most sceptical of people.