how should we deal with one of our strongest emotions?

Blood boiling. A raging storm. Shooting daggers with one’s eyes.

For such an intense emotion, there are plenty of vivid ways we have described anger over time. Anger is typically associated with one color in particular; red. Plenty of color theory exists for some semblance of an explanation as to why we have such a visceral reaction, and emotion, to the color red.

Anger is a natural human emotion that we all experience from time to time. Yet, many of us do not know how to deal with it in a healthy, constructive manner.

Here are some of the best and most effective ways one can release anger as well as common mistakes made by many.

Do name how you feel

One effective measure to take is to recognize that you are feeling angry. Say it to yourself out loud, silently, or to yourself, whichever you feel most comfortable with.

Try “I am feeling angry right now” or some variation.

This way, you are able to put your emotions into a digestible perspective. It makes it much easier to stop yourself from going any further in your anger.

Don’t get upset at yourself if you cannot

There are plenty of times when life becomes considerably difficult, seemingly out of control. Anger is the same way. One of the worst aspects of anger is how much of a whirlwind it can be for many of us; it sweeps us up into an unmanageable state it feels near impossible to stop the most extreme of emotions.

In the moment, it can become hard to identify how we truly feel. Have a bit of compassion for yourself if you are unable to put what you are feeling into words.

Do separate yourself from what is making you angry

This applies literally and figuratively.

Physically, getting away from the source of your anger puts an imaginary barrier between you and your anger. If you are able to do this, it may help tremendously.

Remember that you are not your anger; your emotions are not you. They are merely that, emotions.

Don’t take your anger out on others

Just as much as you have quite a bit to deal with, other people do as well. Everyone has their own struggles and lives to live.

Never take your anger out on other people, no matter what.

While you can definitely try to process how you feel with someone you trust, do not say or do anything you will regret later. It will only make the situation worse.

Do take a break

Go ahead and take that break. It is well earned!

More than often, many opt to merely push through. Especially when they are under some deadline. There is a great temptation to skip any semblance of a break and, in fact, some entirely forgo breaks so they can get things done timely.

However, breaks are important and can be valuable.

For one, it can be thought of as a reset. There is a reason the first fix for many technology applications and devices is to turn it on and off again or reset. They are not meant to run all time and neither are we!

Don’t exert your anger inward and bottle it all up

Taking anger out on others is bad, and so is taking anger out inwardly. In fact, they are two sides of the same coin, that coin being destructive ways of expressing anger.

Bottling up emotions, in general, is bad for one’s health.

As much as we are told that emotions cause us to do and think irrationally, they are still valid. How we feel should not be erased nor taken as some sort of weakness. There is nothing that shows maturity and strength more than being able to express and acknowledge emotions.

Do find a way to have a good laugh if you can

There is humor in almost everything and the same goes for situations that create anger.

While anger is a complex emotion and is often a result of other emotions, it can also be simplified down to one thing: a person failing to get what they want. We want milk for our cereal but are all out. We want our internet to work but it is not working. We want a burrito bowl but they are all out of carnitas.

There is something profoundly funny about each of these situations, whether we realize it in the moment or not. In fact, more than often we look back at each of these and laugh.

So why not treat every scenario that gets under our skin the same way?

Don’t take it personally

In a seemingly never-ending sea of things that make us angry, it is easy to feel like you have a target on your back. On the most anger-inducing days, the world seems to be out to get us personally.

Realize that it is not at all about you! In fact, let’s play an odds game.

There are roughly 7.9 billion people in the world, really give that some thought. Each and every one of them has gotten angry about something at some point. They have all been at a place where their specific needs were not met. The world is not out to get all of them, and certainly not you!

The next time you find yourself angry, realize that everyone has felt like this at some point. By no means should you dismiss your feelings, but still recognize that what you are going through, you are not and never have been alone.

Do realize it is temporary

One reality about emotions, especially anger, is realizing that they are merely temporary. No one emotion lasts forever. If something is making you angry, remember that how you are feeling is temporary and it will go away.

The adage “this too shall pass” should come to mind next time you feel anger building. 

Control anger before it controls you

Anger is an incredibly strong emotion and at times, can be inevitable when our needs are not met. Being able to control it, view it, and express it in a healthy manner will help tremendously in both the long and short run. 

March 30, 2022

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