Anger is a common emotion we all deal with. The positive side to anger is that it fuels us to take action….the negative side to anger occurs when we choose to take destructive actions. When we don’t have the tools to channel anger constructively, it can ruin relationships, contributes to poor decisions, can lead to causing harm to another person, and can even harm our physical health.
Deal with anger constructively and avoid making a situation even worse:
1. Address your anger internally. Ask yourself why you’re angry and what triggered you. Did someone fail to meet your expectations? Do you feel threatened or unappreciated? Did someone cross the line of your personal boundaries? Are you afraid? Are you sad or disappointed? Dig into the reasons that you feel angry. Oftentimes, anger is a mask for something deeper such as fear or sadness.
2. Sweat it out! Get some exercise. Lift some weights. Go for a hard run or hit a punching bag. Do some High Intensity Interval Training. Anything that gets your heart pumping and blood flowing will release some of that built-up pressure that anger often produces. Exercising will make you feel so much better.
3. Breathe deeply. Anger can feel like it takes control over your body….another way to counter that is to take control over your breath. When you take longer, deeper breaths, it begins to change your physiology and forces anger to turn it down a notch and take a back seat. Consider using some breathing apps to help you train your body to breathe deeply.
4. Take a time-out and go for a quick walk. It’s not always possible to walk away from the situation, but when possible and appropriate, it can help for us to take a short break by walking away. It gives us some time to cool off so that we can think more with our rational, logical brain instead of reacting to our strong emotions.
5. Address the issue rather than the other person. By attacking the other person, you escalate the situation. Once the other person starts defending themselves, finding a solution becomes much more difficult.
6. Hold off on making important decisions. Choices made while angry are rarely good choices.
7. Focus on solutions. What are some ways in which you might be able to resolve the situation?
8. Volunteer regularly. One of the advantages of volunteering is the perspective it provides. It gets you out of your head. You realize that your life could be a lot worse than it is.
9. Get help. Get professional help for serious anger issues. If you’re regularly angry and can’t control your anger, seek out the help of a professional.
It’s important to deal with your feelings of anger in a positive way. If anger is not addressed, it oftentimes festers and becomes bigger and uglier later on and can even have a negative consequence on your health, including headaches, ulcers, liver problems, loss of appetite, and more. Channeling feelings of anger in a healthy, constructive way may take some time and practice, but your body and mind will greatly thank you for every bit of effort you invest in handling anger wisely.