Insights and musings on health and happiness


One of the kids books I love to read Jove is an international bestseller called The Color Monster by Anna Llenas. It talks about recognizing emotions and a page splashed in red describes anger as “It burns red like a fire and is hard to stamp out.” I appreciate the vivid description of how anger overcomes you and is hard to release.

I don’t get angry often and consider myself to be a pretty level headed individual but recently when I thought I found myself in what I felt was an unfair situation, let’s just say my anger “burned like fire and was hard to stamp out.” I am disappointed in myself. And while some seem to enjoy the ebbs and flows of emotion and conflict, that just isn’t me. I hate that the situation made my blood boil and I hate that I raised my voice. I typically handle conflict resolution well and look for a solution where everyone is in agreement.

Since this has been on my mind (and I’m sure others struggle with this, too), I want to re-evaluate how I could have mitigated my anger when my frustration was percolating.

  • Flip the Lens and try to better understand the other person’s perspective. I could have asked deeper clarifying questions to better understand what seemed like an abrupt change to what I had expected.
  • Explain my frustrations and my perspective calmly and see where the disconnect may have been.
  • Breathe. I actually did do this, but because I was on a tight schedule and had somewhere else I needed to be, I didn’t take the time I needed to breathe and meditate – to close my eyes, take some breaths, recenter myself and put this situation into perspective.
  • Stop & Change Surroundings. I could have recognized things were getting heated and instead of communicating in the moment, I could have let the other person know I didn’t think it was the right time for the discussion and suggested we find another time to meet when our emotions had settled.
  • Move. After leaving and rescheduling a further discussion, try to exercise, whatever form that looks like – 15 minutes of yoga, a run, walk, bike ride, or swim – to work through my anger and calm down.

I could have done these things, I wish I had. I am going to forgive myself and not have an anxious mind. And, maybe the next time I find that my blood is starting to boil, as Anna Llenas states, maybe I can stay “quiet like the trees and as light as green leaves swaying in the wind” and remain calm.


Aliza Sterling

Influenced by teachers, peers, students, 200YTT in Integral Yoga in Rishikesh, India, and other travels, Aliza creates a supportive environment with a focus on individual empowerment in the classroom. She started True North Yoga and Wellness with the desire to bring the Northside community together.

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