Do you find yourself raging at others’ choices during the pandemic? Or feeling angry in general? Dr. Liz discusses several ways to move out of anger and into feeling better during the pandemic.
Book cited: “Working with Anger” by Thubten Chodron
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Listened to in over 140 countries, Hypnotize Me is the podcast about hypnosis, transformation, and healing. Certified hypnotherapist and Licensed Mental Health Counselor, Dr. Elizabeth Bonet, discusses the research behind hypnosis, interviews professionals doing transformational work, and talks to individuals who have had hypnosis. Free hypnoses are also given from time to time. If you’re interested in learning more about the magic of hypnosis, psychotherapy and mindfulness, this is the perfect place to feed your fascination!
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Dr. Liz ([00:00]):
Hi everyone. Dr. Elizabeth Bonet here, Dr. Liz, welcome to the hypnotize me podcast. Before we jump in, please note that the podcast is not mental health treatment, nor should it replace mental health treatment. If you need psychotherapy or hypnotherapy, please seek treatment from a trained professional. I do hypnosis all over the world, so please feel free to contact me through my website, dr. Liz hypnosis.com, D R L I Z. hypnosis.com.
Dr. Liz ([00:42]):
Hi everyone dr. Liz here. I hope that you’re all safe and healthy and that your family is too. I know we’re hearing more and more about people getting sick and passing away. And I know the current virus is on the rise in many, many areas around the world. Just know that I am thinking about you and hoping that everything is okay in your world. So I really thought about talking about radical acceptance, the concept of radical acceptance in this week’s podcast as applied to the pandemic. And I do think it’s a useful concept. I teach it often in my practice because it’s one of the handouts and worksheets and skills in the dialectical behavior therapy, which I’m trained in and love to use DBT. And it helps you accept all kinds of events that are happening or have happened that aren’t pleasant. OK no one needs radical acceptance to accept that someone gave them a lovely gift that they love, right?
Dr. Liz ([01:48]):
Um, people need radical acceptance to accept things that they’re not happy with in their life. And that could be big or small. And in this case, I think people are just feeling worn out with this pandemic originally, we thought, Oh, we’ll all Quarantine team for a couple of months. And then we can pretty much go back to normal. And that has not been the case at all. I know some countries around the world are resuming more normal activity, but there’s many, many areas which are not, or have gone backwards. I’m in the United States and Florida, which is one of the top three States in the United States in terms of numbers of infected. And it feels like we should go backwards. I mean, that doesn’t mean we are going backwards, but, um, it feels like we should sometimes. But my point there is that life is not returning to the way we thought it would at the beginning.
Dr. Liz ([02:47]):
And at the beginning it was like, all right, there’s an end in sight. And now it doesn’t even feel like there’s an end in sight. It just feels like the unknown. So when we talk about radical acceptance, you about moving into it, like, okay, this is unknown. Things are changing day by day. Life is painful right now. If it is for you, it’s not for everyone. I have heard I was on a meeting last week with about 25 people in a zoom meeting. And many people said that this pandemic has been a gift to them. It’s helped them slow down. It’s given them clarity, like all kinds of positive stuff. So I don’t assume it’s that way for everyone. But if you are struggling, then sometimes that helps to say, all right, I can’t change this. This is not something I can control this. Isn’t dependent on just me either.
Dr. Liz ([03:42]):
It’s depending on all kinds of other people that I certainly don’t control. So what can I do to accept that this is happening or has happened and then move on to feeling better. One of the assumptions we make and radical acceptance is that I is painful. It has painful events that happen. It is not all roses and rainbows and unicorns, no matter how much we want it to be. And once you accept that premise, it’s like, Oh yes, life has painful things that happen in it. Then most people feel like, okay, this is one of those painful things that has happened, or that is happening. And it’s not something I can control. So then what can I do right now to help myself feel better? So that’s just a little brief tip about radical acceptance. Now, the other thing that’s coming up really large for people right now is anger.
Dr. Liz ([04:36]):
So I see this all over the place and this anger is often directed at other people. Like if they just all did what they’re supposed to do, then we wouldn’t be going through this. Everything would be back to normal. We’d have lower risk. I wouldn’t be at risk. Um, my daughter could go out to a friend’s house without having to worry about it. My daughter could go back to school right now. My daughter’s doing online school. It starts in about a month or so. And um, both of them will be at online school, the red hair, teen who’s obviously home from Italy. She came home in March. She’ll be going up to Tallahassee. She has an apartment up there, but all her classes are online. And then the little one who’s 14, the public schools here have decided to start online. So anyway, back to the point, some of the anger comes up of why can’t my kids go to school?
Dr. Liz ([05:27]):
Why can’t we do this? Why can’t we just go to the store without mass? Like, why isn’t everyone wearing masks? Like all kinds of different anger comes up sometimes impersonal at the general public, those people not wearing mask or those people wearing mask. And sometimes personal. Like you have a family member who doesn’t agree with you in terms of how to protect yourself or proceed with your life at this point. And I’ve heard people, both sides of that. Like some people who are anti mask and anti restriction and anti quarantine and people who are pro this look at how to move out of anger because it’s not a wonderful feeling. And it can really destroy relationships and leave people feeling anxious and unsettled. So first we observe our anger. Let’s say, we say, okay, I’m angry. That’s it. Then we have options to look at, okay, we can reframe the situation.
Dr. Liz ([06:25]):
We can cultivate opposite emotions, such as love and compassion and understanding. We can generate wisdom to realize reality. We can distract ourselves, right? We can leave a situation. If the situation is causing anger, where we can set a time limit to check back in with the anger before doing anything about it. Let’s jump into this a little bit more. So first we say, yeah, I’m angry. I am angry that my sister doesn’t believe that the coronavirus is dangerous. So she’s having parties at her house. So if I were to cop cultivate opposite emotion, I could say, you know, people do what they really believe is best for themselves. And sometimes that affects me. And sometimes it doesn’t. I have my own choices to make about my life.
Dr. Liz ([07:16]):
I went and make the same choices that she does all the time, but I believe that she thinks she’s acting as well as she can to protect yourself, protect your family, protect your kids. You can even go into, we get so much a judgment as parents, as people in this life, do I want to generate more judgment and you can answer yes or no. Generally I fall on the side of no judgment because I have a very no judgment practice. And as a therapist, I think you cultivate the skill of withholding judgment from people because you understand over time that there’s so many reasons, so many things that led up to what’s going on in their life. That it’s not just one thing generally. And it feels good to not feel like you have to judge somebody. But I know this is really hard. Often with family members, it is much easier with someone who’s not a family member, but that’s also a realization like, Oh, it’s hard for me to not judge my family members.
Dr. Liz ([08:19]):
What’s going on with that. How can I best move out of judgment? Well, if I see them with compassion, if I know that ultimately they’re trying their best to be a good mom. To me, it’s like alright, make it enough judgment as parents. Let me take mine off of that because I wouldn’t want someone to judge me either. So the golden rule is coming up there, right? Do unto others, as you would have them do unto yourselves. I’m not very religious at all, but golden rule may apply here, distract yourself with doing something else for a while. So if you find yourself thinking about anger or judging or getting all worked up, see if there’s something else that you can do, that’s a little bit more calming. Whether that’s taking a walk, cooking, something, a craft, watching a movie, something like that. Leave the situation if necessary as the next one.
Dr. Liz ([09:08]):
So if you’re perhaps with someone who you’re finding, like I am getting really angry here, and this feels really uncomfortable, perfectly fine to let them know, Hey, I can’t be hearing. And I have to go. This may be on the phone these days, since a lot of people are restricting social contact. If you find you’re on the phone, perhaps, and you’re starting to get worked up, it’s okay to say, you know what? I need to call you back. I need to calm down. I don’t want our relationship damaged by something I may say. So I’ll call you back later and then set a time limit to check back in, you know, set a time limit to say, Hey, I’m going to try my best to put this aside and do something else. And then I can check back in with it and see where it’s coming from.
Dr. Liz ([09:50]):
You know, I recommend being compassionate with yourself around the anger, like understand your needs that are generating that anger. So your need may be to stay safe or to keep your parents safe. And your sisters exposing them. I don’t know, you know, your need generally, when it comes to anger, the need, there is safety and sometimes control. Sometimes the feeling of power, not power in the bad sense, but like nobody likes to feel helpless. Like there’s nothing I can do here. So going into trying to control somebody else, being angry at them, wanting them to do the same thing you do is a way of not feeling helpless. So recognize and acknowledge that those are hard feelings to have. You can also let go of the rules of the universe. So the rules of the universe come from the book, working with anger by Tibet.
Dr. Liz ([10:44]):
Then she’ll drawn. She’s a Buddhist monk and it’s such a good book. I probably should’ve started with that. Right? Read this book if you want to work on anger, but in the books, he talks about the rules of the universe. There’s three rules. One, everything should happen the way I want it to, to everyone should like, and appreciate me. Three. Everyone should agree with my opinions and do things my way. Okay? Now I love these rules because they come up, right? They come up, I was listening to another podcast other day and she was talking about stress and how stress happens. And often it’s because somebody isn’t acting the way that you think they should. They’re not being on time to work when you think they should. They’re not dressing professionally when you think they should. Right? And it’s like, all right, let go of the sheds.
Dr. Liz ([11:31]):
Everything should happen the way I want it to. It would be wonderful, but it’s just not accurate. Just doesn’t happen. I don’t think anybody wanted a pandemic. It’s not happening the way we want it to. We want it to go away not happening, right. Everyone should like, and appreciate me again. Another should, some people are not going to like you or appreciate you or your opinion. So we can step into that. Like alright. Not everyone should agree with my opinions and do things my way. This is sort of what I call getting off the pedestal. Right? You may be educated. You may know more about this than anyone in the world. Doesn’t mean that someone has to agree with you and do things your way now in your mind, they would be wise to right. And I may agree with you depending on who you are like, yeah, you are super smart and you’ve done the research.
Dr. Liz ([12:24]):
And I agree with you, but that doesn’t mean everyone has to, people have their own ideas, their own thoughts about what’s best for them. And that’s generally the place that they act for now, someone who’s more civic minded will act on a place for what’s best for the community. But generally, if it’s best for them as well. Now again, sometimes you get some people who they’ll do what’s best for the community. Period, doesn’t matter if it’s best for them, but that is their personal choice that doesn’t have to be everyone’s choice. So I find the rules of the universe. Very helpful. Sometimes when I get angry myself and realize, no, no, no, not everyone has to agree with me or do things my way. This doesn’t mean that we roll over for every conflict, but it does mean that you can shut down the internal courtroom.
Dr. Liz ([13:17]):
I call it right where you’re being the judge, the jury and the prosecutor. Okay. Shut down the internal courtroom and move into like, what’s going to help me actually feel better here if I cannot control other people. Right? So that’s an assumption. I cannot control. Even my sister. She refuses to listen to me. This isn’t just an example, by the way my sisters are, and I are not, uh, arguing about any of this, but I’m just using it as an example. But, um, I can’t control my sister. She’s going to make choices that I don’t agree with. She’s going to have a party at her house in a pool party for the kids and invite like 20 kids over. All right. And that’s something I would do, but I’m going to stop running it in my mind. I’m going to close the courtroom. I’m not going to be the judge, jury and prosecutor.
Dr. Liz ([14:05]):
I am going to assume everyone makes choices best for them. And I’m going to move out of self centeredness. Self-centeredness is they should do what I want them to do. They should act how I want them to act. They should wear the mask because I think they should wear the mask. And there’s a lot of research behind it. But regardless, I think they should wear the mask. That’s self centeredness, move out of self centeredness. It’s their choice. Everyone chooses how to live in this world. And there are as many ways to live. As there are people in this world, that’s a quote from Harriet, the spy. One of my favorite books of all time, her nanny says that there are as many ways to live as there are people in this world. And once we accept that and that there is potential goodness in everyone, most everyone I would see, then it gives us freedom, right?
Dr. Liz ([15:00]):
Because we also have the freedom to make the choice as best for us in our family. So it’s stepping into that attitude. You can always, always repay any kind of hostility or anger with kindness. You always have that choice. Hey, so this becomes like, all right. My sister had 20 kids at our house cleaning my nephews. Well, she gets sick and she dies. I will probably take care of my nephews. In fact, I’d be happy to raise them because I am the safest person for them. So it becomes something like that. My nephews are older now. They don’t need me to raise them. But again, just an example, repaying hostility with kindness throws your enemy off, right? I just want to say that. Not easy for your enemy because you close the courtroom, but I am saying there’s an enemy off, right? You have the choice to either move into hostility and anger more so yourself or to move out of it with kindness.
Dr. Liz ([16:00]):
Kindness is that forgiving attitude of they’re doing what they think is best for their family. If something happens to them, it will be sad. It will be painful, but I will be there because I am their family. Or maybe you choose not to be there. That’s an, a legitimate choice that people make like, Hey, sorry, can’t help you because you have the party at your house with 20 kids. Hey, sorry. You’re sick. I’m going to stay over here. If that’s the best you can do that is okay. Right. But that is sills that you’re making the best choice for your family. That assumes that he did to you. It’s the same assumption. So I went to, to see yourself on the same side there. And once you see yourself, sometimes on the same side, then a lot of the anger goes away and then move into things that feel better.
Dr. Liz ([16:45]):
Like what’s going to help you feel better. What’s going to help you release those thoughts. And that’s where again, radical acceptance comes in. I radically accept that my sister’s making a different choice than I am. I radically accept that this pandemic is still going on. Radically accept that I have feelings about this and that’s okay. Let me offer myself compassion. And the other people compassion as well. I radically accept that this is painful and what can I do to help myself feel better and not just live and get caught up in these feelings because nobody wants to live in those feelings, right? Nobody wants to like be trapped there. All right. I hope this was helpful and not too rambly for you. Um, I feel like I covered some good points here and, um, I really do hope that everyone is safe.
Dr. Liz ([17:40]):
Dr. Liz ([18:16]):
I hope you truly enjoyed today’s episode. Remember that you can get free hypnosis downloads over at my website, doctor Liz hypnosis.com, D R L I C gnosis.com. I work all over the world doing hypnosis. So if you’re interested in working with me, please schedule a free consultation over at my website and we’ll see what your goals are. And if I can be of service to you and helping you reach them, finally, if you liked today’s episode, please subscribe to the podcast or tell a friend that way more and more people learn about the power of hypnosis. I write everyone have a wonderful week. Peace.