Never Underestimate the Power of a “Hissy-Fit”

by | Feb 12, 2016 | Mindful About Fitness | 0 comments

Staying healthy and fit by blowing of steam with a good “Hissy Fit”

 

© gmeviphoto

fotolia © gmeviphoto

“Hissy fit” is one of those onomatopoetic phrases that sounds pretty much like what it is. When I use those words, I picture someone spewing anger like steam spews out of the spout of a tea kettle.

According to the Urban Dictionary – a hissy fit is an adult tantrum, a meltdown, a freak out, a flip out, a conniption, an outburst, a complete loss of control and a few other descriptive words that are inappropriate for this publication. In short, the Urban Dictionary colorfully describes what my mother used to call, becoming “completely beside yourself”.

A number of learned psychologists appear to agree that a good hissy fit can be beneficial to your health because suppressed anger is a potentially dangerous condition that can result in chronic fatigue, chronic pain and serious depression. It is also especially likely to harbor and support very high blood pressure and socially, repressed anger fosters the deterioration of relationships, particularly marriages.

Still, as we all know, there are great dangers to throwing a hissy fit at the wrong time and in the wrong place; including possible job loss, automobile accidents, arrests and the lasting danger of casting serious doubt in the minds of those observing us as to the level of our stability –maybe even our sanity.

There is, however, an appropriate time and a place to hold a good hissy fit simply for the pure satisfaction of it, and I personally, highly recommend it. The ideal setting for an appropriate, contained and more than satisfactory hissy fit is your own shower.  If you’re home alone, just go for it. But even if you’re not, you can set the scene by carefully closing the bathroom door, putting on some loud music (God bless smart phones – instant music of all tempos when you need it) , closing the shower door behind you and turning the water on full force. Then just let it all out. Foot stomping, sponge and soap throwing, banging on the walls, screaming, crying, laughing, giving one or more people a piece of your very clear mind, and telling God off using questionable language are not only allowed, but encouraged.

fotolia © takke_mei

fotolia © takke_mei

About two minutes is a good length of time for a satisfactory hissy fit. Any longer than that and you’re really over-indulging, but two good minutes of well-focused guilt, blame and shame can be very satisfying. Then as you begin to run down, step out of the shower and change the music to something more soothing. Re-enter the shower and allow the warm water to sluice all over your body, gently soothing you, massaging your screeching muscles and washing away all the negative feelings you’ve been harboring. Close your eyes for a few minutes while thoroughly soaking your head, and imagine all the “nasty feelings” that have plagued you simply swirling away down the drain.

Most likely, you will now feel exhausted and so the perfect follow-up to a thoroughly satisfying hissy fit is a really good nap. According to the Mayo Clinic, the benefits of a good adult nap can’t be improved upon much either. Sensible napping not only induces relaxation and reduces fatigue but it also increases alertness, improves your mood, improves your performance level and creates quicker reaction time and a better memory. What could be a better outcome than that?

So is there a down side to holding a good, self-indulgent hissy fit? Probably the downside would only appear if you over-indulge in hissy-fitting. Too much expressed anger can also result in headaches, digestive problems, insomnia, increased anxiety, depression, skin problems and even heart attack or stroke, so the appropriate warning here then would be: “If you experience any of these symptoms while having a hissy-fit in your shower, stop screaming and call your doctor immediately.”

“Seriously folks” . . . is there a better way yet to deal with repressed anger? Maybe. Here are some suggestions offered by the Mayo Clinic for controlling your anger on the spot:

  • If you feel out of control, walk away from the situation temporarily, until you cool down.
  • Recognize and accept the emotion as normal and part of life.
  • Try to pinpoint the exact reasons why you feel angry.
  • Once you have identified the problem, consider coming up with different strategies on how to remedy the situation.
  • Do something physical, such as going for a run or playing a sport.

My own solutions often include a quick exit from the scene (one little door-slam never hurt anyone), a walk in some natural setting for at least 10 minutes, a few minutes of deep breathing, and/or a phone call to a friend who has given me the gift of a safe place to scream without consequences. And – an occasional hissy fit in the shower works too. You’ll never know until you try it, will you?

 

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Lauren McLaughlin
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