When I’m angry, I go into “crazy girl” mode. In college, this translated into breaking things, screaming, crying, breaking into locked rooms, taking back gifts, snooping/spying, cursing people out, putting on all black and trekking across campus trying to be discreet–you get the point.
After college, I put the huge majority of those activities away. All in all, I’ve grown to realize that none of those activities were healthy (except for maybe crying which I still do more frequently than I would like). That being said, here are some ways to deal with anger (the grown up way):
1. Breathe: This will probably always come first in any list I make. For me it’s a way to stop and calm myself. Release the tension.
2. Don’t act hastily: In the heat of the moment it’s easy to make a decision based off of your anger that could become costly once everything has blown over. Be careful not to make crucial decisions when emotions are high. It’s hard to reason when you’re angry and most often times you’ll end up regretting the action you took out of anger.
3. Find a healthy release: The key word is HEALTHY! Although I hate crying it can sometimes feel better just to let it go through tears. Other suggestions: exercise, listen to uplifting music, dance, color, clean, write in a journal.
4. Don’t complain to others if the source of your anger involves a significant other: Our friends tend to be on our side and if some one wrongs us, then in our friends’ eyes, that person has wronged them too. However, long after we’ve forgiven those in the wrong and moved on, our friends will still have that wrongdoing in their minds whenever that person’s name or presence pops up. If you just have to talk to someone, pray. Talk to Jesus or whatever higher being you believe in. If you have to talk to a physical being, talk to your therapist (you DO have one of these, right? If not, GET ONE ASAP! ).
5. Don’t dwell. Forgive: When you’re in a funky mood, it’s easy to feed that. It’s easy to find more negative things to harp on. Doing that will only intensify your negative feelings. Instead of adding salt to the wound, let go of the negativity. Forgive the person who wronged you and move on. Although this is easier said than done, if you can find the strength to do so, it’ll benefit you in the long run.
6. Refuse revenge: Once again it’s easy, almost natural to want to get back at the person who wronged you. You want them to feel the hurt and anger that you feel. But look at it this way– let’s say you’re successful in getting back at them; they’re hurting and angry just like you; what if their pain causes them to lash back at you again? Then what? Now it’s your turn to lash again? What a vicious cycle! Why not stop the cycle before it begins? Be the bigger person and walk away. Rest assured they’ll pay for what they’ve done and you won’t even have to plot it out.
7. Smile: Frowning causes wrinkles. And who knows, your smile may save a life ; -)
I want to hear from you! What are some healthy ways that you deal with anger?