I was appalled to hear that a man was trampled to death at a Walmart on the day after Thanksgiving. This was more than the crowd simply being oblivious or self-obsessed. It was symptomatic of a toxic anger that is on the verge of exploding in our collective population. Our world is on the verge of an emotional meltdown--restless, irritable, about to blow. This wasn't just about a restless crowd who lost their perspective because they were so anxious to get bargains. This was about anger that is brewing beneath the surface, and fear that can take on dangerous proportions if unleashed. We all need to practice strategies to healthily cope with anger so it doesn't go ballistic when someone cuts us off in traffic or behaves insensitively. The economic crises and massive world violence is creating such emotional upheaval in hundreds of milions of us that we need to mindfully practice strategies to deal with our anger. For instance, pause when agitated. Count to 10. Do not act out but try to process your anger about the economy or anything else with a therapist or a friend. Compassion is the antedote to anger. Compassion for yourself and the hard times you--and the rest of us--are living through. Compassion for others, compassion for the world. Being mindful of anger will prevent brutal killings such as the one at Walmart after Thanksgiving day. We must be thankful for our lives--every breath--and be thankful for each other. Let's spread positive energy around and stay mindful of emotions so we don't spew them unhealthily or harm others.

Judith Orloff, MD, is the author of Emotional Freedom. See her web site drjudithorloff.com.

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