I once heard an interesting approach to dealing with bad midos. The idea is that you should think about anger, depression, jealousy, or any other potentially harmful midos as outside forces that are moving towards you. To fight them you simply just imagine that they cannot get past the buttons of your shirt and bounce off of you, like a shield.
Today I was reminded of that moshel.
While driving to work this morning a car switched lanes right in front of me. Of course, without signaling. Of course, I was sipping my coffee. Of course, I spilled some coffee all over my shirt. Baruch Hashem, I was wearing a stain-resistant shirt from Old Navy that my wife bought me. The best thing about this shirt is that water and oil based liquids, like my coffee, roll right off of the fabric.
It really worked. The coffee just rolled off of my shirt. It was as if the coffee was never spilled!
Bad midos are out there. Forces, external and internal, try to make us depressed and angry. The yetzer hora constantly tries to make me lose my patience with people. I can fight it. I just need to remind myself that I, too, can be stain-resistant, like my shirt. This is the first line of defense. I just can’t let bad midos get past my buttons, or push my buttons.