From little things (like running out of your favorite creamer when you need a 2nd cup of coffee) to big things (like feeling attacked by someone), anger happens. Every one of my clients is told the same thing: manage your anger. It's bound to happen, you can't expect it not to, so have a plan in place to manage it. When we talk about it, we work on ideas to manage that anger and I realize you could all benefit from these discussions as well.
Below are my Top 10 Ways to Manage Anger:
- Write out what you want to say when someone really irks you. Write the email, write a letter, or even say it out loud, just make sure the person doesn't see it or hear it. Don't send the email. Crumple up the letter. Say the words to a friend of sibling. Get it out, but don't take it out on them.
- Deep breaths. Yes, it's just that simple. Anger raises your heart rate and deep breaths slow it down.
- Ground yourself. Use all of your senses. Make yourself aware of 5 things around you, touch 4 items of different textures, listen for 3 different sounds, smell 2 different items, and taste something.
- Use the energy. Anger comes with a lot of energy, so use it in a positive way. Dance. Clean the house. Take the kids to a water park. Use the energy for something constructive.
- Exercise. Similar to the last one, you're using the energy, but doing it alone. Go for a walk to clear your head and get the energy out.
- Music. Put the earbuds in and listen to some of your favorite songs. There's nothing like giving yourself something you love to help put you back on track.
- Meditate. This is a bit more involved than deep breaths. It's clearing your mind so you can focus on something more than the anger. There are some wonderful guided meditations online.
- Hobbies. Whether you knit, paint, read, play baseball, or photograph. Do something related to your hobby. Like music, it's taking your mind off of something not so fun to think about and putting it back onto something you love.
- Take a bath (or hot shower). Pamper yourself a little. Again, it's getting your mind off of where it's at and putting it on you.
- Be angry, then let it go. Accept the anger. Say to yourself, "This makes me angry." Accept that anger is a valid and acceptable emotion. Then say, "I forgive (insert the appropriate person or situation here." Then let it go. Walk away. Learn and move on.
That's it. Those are my favorite ways to manage the anger that comes up. It's a valid emotion. Please don't feel like you shouldn't ever be angry, that's simply not true. Feel angry and then move on. Learn from the situation so you don't continue to get angry over and over again, but don't tell yourself you should never feel angry.
Now, comment below and tell us how you manage your anger!