Healthy Ways to Handle Anger
How do you feel about anger? Did you know all anger is not the same? Did you also know there are both unhealthy and healthy ways to handle anger? Sometimes it’s good to get angry about something; it’s just the right thing to do in response to an event. Positive change can come from being angry at injustice or inequality for example. Righteous or justified anger from being mistreated can be a great motivator for change.
The challenge and the inner conflicts come if you’ve had bad experiences with handling anger. For instance, if you had less than healthy role models in your childhood, you might only see anger as destructive and scary. Some of us grew up in homes where fighting and arguments happened all the time, and others of us grew up in homes where anger was frowned upon. You learned it was best to stuff your feelings down and not show your anger when you felt it.
Learning anger management so you can be in control of angry feelings can have a positive effect on your relationships. Here are some expert strategies to help you manage your anger.
- Know why you’re feeling angry
Understanding why you’re angry and where it’s coming from is key. Maybe you’re stressed and grumpy, fatigued, or just not feeling well. Perhaps the reason for your anger is apparent and crystal clear to you.
Once you understand your anger and its sources, you can begin to make a plan to deal with it and find healthy ways to handle anger.
Turning your feelings into words is a powerful process. Write down in your journal or notebook whatever comes into your head, even if it doesn’t make sense at the time. Do a brain dump or an anger dump.
The act of writing down your thoughts stops them from running in circles in your head and gets them down on paper. It’s possible they may not even seem so big or formidable. You may even begin to see patterns so you can understand what triggers the angry feelings you may feel repeatedly.
- Make an action plan
Once you know what’s making you angry, you can plan workarounds for it and find healthy ways to handle anger. Be aware of your triggers and minimize them. That can include making sure you eat properly to avoid blood sugar spikes and drops, getting enough sleep, exercising and taking time out for self-care.
There will be times when you won’t be able to avoid being angry. It’s important to realize you can take some control so you don’t feel so engulfed by anger and frustration.
- Don’t stew about it
Stewing about the cause of your anger is just plain unhelpful. I know that’s easy to say and sometimes hard to do, but stewing keeps you stuck in those negative feelings, keeps you stuck in victim mode and promotes a feeling of being powerless in the face of the anger.
Stewing about something is simply unhealthy for your blood pressure as well. It keeps you producing adrenaline and cortisol, the fight or flight stress hormones. They’re excellent to have in an emergency by not healthy to live with all the time.
- Don’t rehash your anger
Talking over your problems in a positive and constructive way can be helpful if you share with a trusted friend or even with a professional. Be careful to keep the discussion focused, or you might end up rehashing your troubles over and over again. Just living in the drama of the anger and the situation that caused it isn’t healthy or helpful. Like stewing and brooding, complaining and drama can keep you from moving forward and finding real solutions to your problems and to constructively handling your anger.
It’s important for your health, both mental and physical to find healthy ways to handle anger.
Helping You Achieve Major Wellness!
Cheryl A Major, CNWC
I’m author, health coach, and entrepreneur Cheryl A Major, and I would love to connect with you. If you’re new to the world of creating a better mindset for yourself, please check out my training on how to do just that at Embrace Optimism. Learn how to improve your mindset and create a happier and more positive life for yourself and those around you.
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P.P.S. Be sure to follow me on Twitter so you won’t miss my daily postings for health, wellness and mindset!