Feelings of anger are normal and even appropriate at times. However, it’s important to deal with anger effectively.
“Anger is like flowing water; there’s nothing wrong with it as long as you let it flow. Hate is like stagnant water; anger that you denied yourself the freedom to feel, the freedom to flow; water that you gathered in one place and left to forget. Stagnant water becomes dirty, stinky, disease-ridden, poisonous, deadly; that is your hate. On flowing water travels little paper boats; paper boats of forgiveness. Allow yourself to feel anger, allow your waters to flow, along with all the paper boats of forgiveness. Be human.” ― C. JoyBell C.
Uncontrolled anger can create additional burdens on your relationships and in your life.
If your anger is getting the best of you, investigate a few alternatives to help keep it under control.
Try these techniques to deal with anger in a positive manner:
1. Count to 10 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.
2. Begin to deal with anger when you first notice it. It’s much easier to control any emotion at the onset. As you become more stimulated, it’s more challenging to think clearly and rationally. Notice when you’re starting to become upset and you can stop anger in its tracks.
3. Steer clear of saying anything while in an angry state. Speaking 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.
4. Focus on solutions. Whatever we focus on tends to expand. Directing your focus to finding an answer to the issue increases the odds of a positive resolution.
5. Distract yourself. The might be seen as avoiding the situation, but focusing on something else for a while can overcome anger enough to permit seeing things more clearly. Choose to think about something that makes you happy.
• When your emotions are settled, you can return to the situation with a renewed ability to gain peace.
6. 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.
7. Seek to understand those who have angered you. If you understand the reasons the other person angered you in the first place, you might find it was just a simple misunderstanding. It’s also possible you made a mistake and can then rectify it.
• Be certain you have a valid reason for your anger. You might find there’s no reason to be angry at all.
8. Apply logic to the situation. Consider the likely outcome of being angry. Is it really going to help you? Is the situation likely to improve or get even worse? Seeing the negative outcome of continuing with your anger might be enough to put a stop to it.
9. Make peace the priority. As the saying goes, “You can be right or you can be happy.” A feeling of equanimity trumps anger every time. Value your peace of mind more than you value your ego or holding on to negative feelings.
10. Consider the impact on your relationship. When we say or do things in anger, 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.
• 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.
• It’s important to maintain positive relationships with your boss and coworkers. Consider the consequences that your anger could have on your job.
Anger is a normal emotion, yet has the power to be very destructive.
“Anger … it’s a paralyzing emotion … you can’t get anything done. People sort of think it’s an interesting, passionate, and igniting feeling — I don’t think it’s any of that — it’s helpless … it’s absence of control — and I need all of my skills, all of the control, all of my powers … and anger doesn’t provide any of that — I have no use for it whatsoever.” ― Toni Morrison
There are many ways to deal with anger effectively and peacefully. Focus on understanding and finding solutions to upsetting situations.