Anger is an uncomfortable topic for most of us. We’ve been conditioned to think that anger is a bad thing. I disagree. Anger is an emotion or a feeling. That in itself proves anger is not bad. Where people get this idea, I think, is how the anger is processed – it’s what you do with the anger.
Let’s look inward – do you ever get upset when someone treats you poorly? These feelings are normal and even appropriate at times. However, it’s important to deal with your feelings effectively. Expressing your feelings as uncontrolled anger can create additional issues and even damage your relationship.
You may be asking yourself how you are supposed to deal with something that just makes you angry to even think about it. For many of us, the solution doesn’t come easy. Let’s look at a few ideas:
Don’t put it off – begin to deal with anger when you first notice it. It’s much easier to control any emotion at the onset. If you choose to dwell on the offense, the longer you dwell on it the more of the more challenge to think clearly and rationally. Notice when you’re starting to become upset, take a deep breath, and you can proceed stop anger in its tracks.
Next, count to ten (or whatever number works for you) and breathe. Giving yourself a moment to gather your thoughts can help to defuse the situation. Take the time you need. There’s nothing wrong with taking a short timeout.
Avoid saying anything while the anger is still fresh. Speaking out while in a negative mental state can create further challenges. Remember all the times you wish you’d kept quiet instead of lashing out. Think before speaking and you’ll save yourself a lot of apologizing later.
Rather than pointing the finger, focus on solutions. Whatever we focus on tends to expand. Directing your focus to finding an answer to the issue that sparked the anger increases your odds of a positive resolution.
Distract yourself. The might be seen as avoiding the situation, but focusing on something else for a while can allow the anger to settle enough for you to see things more clearly. Choose to think about something positive that makes you happy or better yet, makes you laugh.
Take off that scowl and put a smile on your face. Emotions follow action. Smiling is your choice. If you smile, you’ll feel better and be in a more useful mental state for finding a solution.
Seek to understand the person or situation that angered you in the first place. If you understand the reasons the other person did or said what they did, you might find it was just a simple misunderstanding. It’s also possible misunderstood, or you make the mistake and can then rectify it.
Look at things logically. Consider the effects of being angry. Is getting mad really going to help you? Is the situation likely to improve or will it get even worse? Looking at the potential long term effects of holding on to your anger might be enough to put a stop to it and let it go.
Make peace your priority. As Gerald G. Jampolsky is reported to have said, “You can be right or you can be happy.” That doesn’t mean you go along with something you don’t believe, or something that goes against your values. It means that you no longer let who is right or wrong control you. Value your peace of mind more than you value your ego or holding on to negative feelings.
Remember, life is all about relationships. When we say or do things while angry, it’s not always possible to take them back because the damage has already been done. Your relationship is more important to you than the issue causing the anger.
Remember the love. With your spouse, child, significant other, close friend, or other loved one, keep the fact that you love them at the forefront of your mind, even in a disagreement. It will help you think more clearly about the issue. My sons often heard me say during their difficult years, “I love you, but I don’t like you right now.” It allowed me to express my feelings, yet they never doubted my love.
Remember – anger is a simply an emotion – not good or bad, yet it has the power to be very destructive. There are many ways to deal with emotions effectively and peacefully. Focus on keeping the peace by understanding the situation and seeking solutions whenever possible.
Find your purpose – find your joy!
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Did you find a few more ideas of your own? If so, I’d love to hear about them in the comments, and as always please reach out with your thoughts.
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Serenities Now LLC is a holistic health practice and healing center that will find you the tools you need to bring calm to your chaos, take back your control, and break through your barriers, so you can become your best self ever.