“Anger…it’s a paralyzing emotion…you can’t get anything done. People sort of think it’s an interesting, passionate, and igniting feeling — I don’t think it’s any of that — it’s helpless…” – Toni Morrison
Anger is such an intense, often overpowering emotion. It is a normal, healthy one but it is so very important to deal with it in a positive way. Daily, we can find reasons to be annoyed or excited. From our jobs, significant others and children, we find that even small matters can set us off to where we react and respond but uncontrolled anger can add to stress with your health and in all your relationships. Sure, it can be frustrating waiting in a long line at the supermarket, or stuck in traffic, or to have a child disobey one of the rules but learning how to respond after cooling off will lead to a much better outcome. Over the course of time,. I have learned a few tips I want to share with you that will help you in controlling your anger.
Think before you speak. Take a moment to ask yourself if what you’re about to say will make a positive difference or only add fuel to the fire. During the moment, it is easy to say many things you will regret. If possible, stop and take some time to reflect on what you want to say. In the same manner, give others that same time to pause. On a phone call, its that much easier to tell the other” Hey let me call you back” Or ” lets discuss this later”. In person, there is a challenge but it can be done. Refuse to jump at the first sign of anger with an emotional outburst.
Express Yourself. When you’re able to think clearly, you can speak in an assertive way. Try not to appear confrontational, just firm in your point of view and how you feel about the topic. The goal is not to control or hurt another person but to be able to be clear with your thoughts. opinions.
Exercise. Get moving! Studies show that any type of physical activity can reduce stress that can cause you to get angry. When you start to feel angry, take a quick walk or go for a jog. I notice that my mood tends to be better after I work out on my treadmill. Exercise helps with depression as well. The release of feel good hormones also known as “Endorphins” can last 3-4 hours after you work out.
Meditate or Timeout. I know when you think of a time-out, automatically you feel like we’re talking about children here but understand that we ALL need a break from stressful situations. It can be a rough workload or a family matter but take a few minutes to check in with yourself. I will get into meditation in detail in an upcoming post but a few moments of quiet might enable you to be better prepared to handle anything coming your way.
Forgiveness. Accepting that someone has offended or hurt you can be tough but learning to forgive is a powerful tool. It releases you from harboring all that negative anger inside and allows you to replace them with positive feelings. You can find that you may get lost in your own bitterness or resentment. Meanwhile, others are living their lives. It becomes a bad cycle and the only one suffering is yourself.
Seek Help. Feeling out of control, angry, etc can cause you to do or say things you may regret. You have to know when you need assistance and don’t hesitate to tell someone else about it. Seeking help does not mean you are weak, it means that you recognize your actions or words may have hurt those around you. It is a challenge for everyone to control their anger but lightening up, finding humor, taking a break all can help you reach closer to your goal of a more centered and stable mindset. You can do it!